Australia: some history, 1969-72

Below is a transcription, via slackbastard, of ASIO documents from the National Library. It provides an account of a number of actions classified by the agency as ‘terrorist’. National Archives of Australia: A12389, A30 PART 14

“Title: ASIO Special Projects Branch documents 52-67: Terrorism its nature, objectives and revolutionary role, A note on the past, present and future significance of Communism in Australia, Significant demonstrations, including violent incidents claimed by or attributed to terrorist-type groups like the People’s Liberation Army, Worker-Student Alliance, the Utashi etc, A note on Terrorist activity, Trotskyism in Australia, The National Socialist Party of Australia (NSPA), Communist Party of Australia (CPA), Socialist Party of Australia (SPA), Comment on a Communist Party of Australia Discussion Document for its 23rd Congress (1971), A note on recent “New Left” trends in the USA and their significance for the “Left” in Australia, A note on the “new Left” in Australia, Urban Guerilla Warfare including Anarchist and radical Violence, The Politically Motivated Act of Violence”

Significant demonstrations, including violent incidents claimed by or attributed to terrorist-type groups like the People’s Liberation Army, Worker-Student Alliance, the Utashi etc,


4th July : About 13 youths, in three cars, broke 18 windows in the U.S. Consulate-General, Melbourne. Anonymous callers to radio station claimed responsibility on behalf of the P.L.A. Damage assessed at $500.

17th July : A ballot box being used in the University of Melbourne Student Representative Council elections was stolen. Anonymous callers to mass media claimed responsibility on behalf of Melbourne P.L.A. “Second Division”.

14th August : Two plate glass windows were broken at Australia House, Brisbane (housing the Department of External Territories). An anonymous caller to mass media claimed responsibility on behalf of the Brisbane Branch of the P.L.A. Earlier that day there had been a demonstration outside Australia House in protest at the Department’s policy in regard to the Bougainville copper dispute. Damage was assessed at $2,000.

9th September : Four – six persons raided the premises of Department of Labour and National Service, Adelaide, throwing animal blood into filing cabinets and cutting telephone cables. The raid was planned by PROVO. One of the participants was arrested.

23rd/24th September : A group, claimed to number 15, extinguished the eternal flame at the Shrine of Remembrance, Brisbane, and later broke windows at Australia House (housing the Department of Labour and National Service). An anonymous caller to mass media claimed responsibility on behalf of P.L.A. Continue reading “Australia: some history, 1969-72”

Mexican authorities still seek Victorian anarchist

The Age, December 31: The parents of a Victorian woman wanted for questioning by Mexican counter-terrorism investigators insist their daughter is a ”caring and gentle person” who had no direct involvement with anarchist bombings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed Mexican authorities are still seeking Felicity Ryder, a Melbourne University graduate and political activist who has been linked to an anarchist activist allegedly responsible for explosions in Mexico City six months ago.

Ms Ryder came to Mexican police attention in late June 2012 after her passport was found in the backpack of alleged bomber Mario Antonio Lopez Hernandez, who was arrested after being wounded by the accidental explosion of an improvised explosive device.

Documents released to Fairfax Media under Freedom of Information legislation show that Ms Ryder did not report her passport lost or stolen and has not contacted the Australian Embassy in Mexico City to seek consular assistance.

She is wanted for questioning by investigators from the Mexican Attorney-General’s Department who have undertaken to notify Australian authorities in the event of her arrest.

Fairfax revealed in November that Ms Ryder was the subject of a probe by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation that included inquiries in her home town of Rutherglen. Continue reading “Mexican authorities still seek Victorian anarchist”

An open letter to anarchists (and others) in Melbourne (and other places) who feel under attention from the state; or, “Please Don’t Talk To The Cops”

source: The Golden Barley School

Dear comrades,

First of all: you have our solidarity. We know that feeling surveilled and monitored can be a very real trauma, and we know that those feelings don’t just disappear though the ‘correct’ political analysis or through macho bravado.

We have no interest in singling out anyone or any group for condemnation. However, these recent events, and the conversations around them, have emphasised to us the importance of creating a strong collective culture in which we refuse to speak with ASIO or the cops: not matter how innocent the circumstances might seem. Even when we’re under pressure – and we’re always under pressure – we need to be able to deal with debates and conflicts without creating unnecessary divisions between ourselves.

It’s precisely because things don’t seem to have gone too badly on this occasion when people chose to speak with ASIO that it’s important to raise a critique of ever talking to them and to point out the dangers of becoming complacent around this. It seems necessary to re-iterate why ‘don’t talk’ should be a general political principle. Continue reading “An open letter to anarchists (and others) in Melbourne (and other places) who feel under attention from the state; or, “Please Don’t Talk To The Cops””

Melbourne: Solidarity with grand jury resisters and response to coffee with ASIO

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
-Frank Herbert, Dune

Indymedia: As part of the days of solidarity with grand jury resisters in the US, on the morning of Friday 16th November we hung a banner on the Merri Parade train overpass which read “SOLIDARITY WITH GRAND JURY RESISTERS IN THE USA, ACAB”.

In addition to that and in reference to this article we wrote “DON’T TALK TO ASIO” on the front of the Melbourne Anarchist Club, [which didn’t talk to ASIO: see their statement here – disaccords] and a huge “SHH! DON’T TALK TO COPS” on the Merri Creek bike path. Continue reading “Melbourne: Solidarity with grand jury resisters and response to coffee with ASIO”

Melbourne: Rebecca Winter’s response to Fairfax article

Anarchist Affinity: In response to an article from today’s Age dealing with ASIO surveillance of anarchists:

“So yeah… this happened. Pity Fairfax decided to go with the usual ‘anarchist=terrorist’ garbage.

For anyone’s who’s interested: I decided to meet up with ASIO because people from Quit Coal asked me to do so. They had reason to believe that ASIO was investigating Quit Coal and people thought that meeting with ASIO was worth the risk so that we could get confirmation of this that we could then take to the media.Turned out, they weren’t at all interested in Quit Coal. I’d apparently been ‘identified as someone active in the anarchist movement.’ They asked me a heap of questions I replied with a lot of ‘I don’t know’s. Should go without saying that they didn’t get any information from me that could be used against anyone.Afterwards, some people thought it would be worth talking to a journo from Fairfax so that other people could know what was going on and we could bring some attention to the way that people in Melbourne are currently being targeted for surveillance for nothing more than holding lefty/revolutionary political views.As you can see, though, this didn’t work out quite as well as hoped. As usual, the mainstream media is happy to present anarchists as scary terrorists and little else. Continue reading “Melbourne: Rebecca Winter’s response to Fairfax article”

Statement from Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC)

MAC: We note with interest the reference to the ‘Melbourne Anarchist Club’ (MAC) in Philip Dorling’s article ‘Nothing short of anarchy’ (The Age, November 14, 2012).

For the record, we have not been contacted by ASIO, will always refuse to provide any information to it if requested, and advise others to do the same.

The MAC exists in order to promote anarchism in Melbourne. We do so by organising public meetings, musical events, social functions and film screenings; attending public rallies and events; producing and distributing propaganda; and otherwise publicising our views. Continue reading “Statement from Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC)”

Melbourne: ASIO question anarchists

November 14: Rebecca Harrison was extremely curious when the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation unexpectedly contacted her last month. What the Monash University student and part-time political activist didn’t know was that she had been drawn into a new counter-terrorism probe, and that ASIO is investigating possible threats to the G20 economic leaders’ meetings to be hosted by Australia in 2014.

An ASIO officer rang Harrison on her mobile phone, introduced herself and asked whether they could meet to discuss the issue of ”politically motivated violence”.

Harrison, a third-year philosophy student, has been involved in a range of political activities including the Melbourne Anarchist Club, the Occupy movement and environmental activist group Quit Coal. She spoke to other activists and when the ASIO agent rang back, agreed to meet.

The meeting took place the next morning at Kafe Mument, near the Monash campus. The female officer was accompanied by an older and apparently more senior, male colleague who did most of the talking.

Harrison thought ASIO might want to talk to her about her involvement with Quit Coal, but the the security officers said they wanted to discuss the ”anarchist scene” in Melbourne. They said they were talking to ”lots of people” in an effort to understand anarchist viewpoints. Continue reading “Melbourne: ASIO question anarchists”

Australia: Anonymous take down ASIO website

August 10: The notorious hacking group Anonymous crippled a computer server at the domestic spy agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and claimed the agency’s website would be unavailable for the rest of the day.

An Australian arm of the loose-knit hacking group Anonymous announced its attack via its Twitter account shortly after 10am today. “Server has been down for some time now, And will be for the rest of the day!” the account stated. Continue reading “Australia: Anonymous take down ASIO website”

Australia: Nicole Roxon on ‘anarchists’ Last night on Q&A, Nicola Roxon (current Federal Attorney General) made this bizarre comment, in the context of government spooks intimidating questioning anti-coal protestors.


…Peaceful protest is one thing. Sometimes peaceful protests can break the law. But there is also a lot of industrial sabotage which gets to a point where it is the commission of quite a serious crime. So there might be people who were involved in that. I would expect that the contact, if there was any of that behaviour, would be police, both State and Federal, rather than ASIO. Unfortunately we see a growing number of leaks across some groups who are anarchists, others who meld into some religion sometimes and intent with committing a terrorist offence that might link in with other protest groups. You do see a bit of merging. There are a lot of people involved individually and intend to cause no harm and would have no reason to fear that ASIO was in any way monitoring what they were doing.