National Action is racist, court rules

Issue 

National Action is racist, court rules

By Jessica Rose

ADELAIDE — The leader of National Action, Michael Brander, has lost a defamation action after a magistrate ruled that he is a racist.

Brander's claim for damages over a 1995 column by Messenger Newspapers editor Des Ryan was dismissed in the Adelaide Magistrate's Court on January 19 on the grounds that the article was fair comment.

Magistrate Andrew Cannon said, "Mr Brander is not entitled to damages for being described as a racist, because he is racist". Cannon based his findings on National Action's denial of the Holocaust and support for apartheid, and on a NA poster displayed at a rally with the words "sink them", referring to a boat of Chinese refugees.

"Michael Brander and his associates in Australian National Action are racists", Cannon said. "They are willing to pursue their objectives by the incitement of racial hatred and the use of Nazi symbolism, aggression and threats to intimidate those who oppose them."

On December 12, the Adelaide Resistance bookshop was attacked by three men who were identified as being members of National Action. The NA members threw books and literature on the floor and abused and threatened several people present. They left when the police were called.

On the same afternoon, the home of a member of the Democratic Socialist Party was vandalised, every window being smashed. Neighbours saw two men, whom they described as "skinheads", leaving the scene. These attacks coincided with a national gathering of NA held in Adelaide that weekend.