The Age on November 26 contained a two-page spread on “Melbourne’s Trump-land”, which is apparently located in Narre Warren North.
Results in the October 22 Victorian local council elections were mixed.
The Greens won big increases in representation in Melbourne’s inner city councils, the two socialist councillors retained their positions, but racists retained their positions on a couple of councils.
The Greens stood more candidates than in previous council elections. They retained 13 of their 16 council seats and won an extra 16 council seats.
Phillip Galea, linked to far right groups Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front, was arrested on August 7 as part of raids on four properties in and around Melbourne and charged with making documents likely to facilitate a terrorist act and planning or preparing for a terrorist act. He was jailed last November for possession of several stun guns and bomb precursor chemicals.
Plans to build a mosque in Buchanan in the Hunter Valley, NSW, were approved 6–4 after nearly two hours of emotional speeches at a meeting of Cessnock Council on July 20. The Newcastle Muslim Association applied to build a 390 square-metre place of worship and funeral home on 23 hectares at Buchanan, south of Maitland. But the 12 residents who spoke against the mosque said it is too big, will create traffic congestion and noise and is inappropriate in a rural area. Some also said they were concerned about the safety of their children travelling to school and feared increased crime.
Newcastle anti-racists are counter-mobilising again against Reclaim Australia, the anti-Muslim group, who are again attempting to establish a support base in the Hunter Region. The far-right racists are using a proposal by Newcastle's Muslim Association to build a mosque and small funeral parlour in Buchanan, in the Hunter Valley, as a pretext to attack the Muslim Community. Buchanan is a rural area just outside Kurri Kurri and close to the Hunter Expressway.
In a surprise move, the far-right group Reclaim Australia has moved its rally on November 22 from Melbourne’s CBD to Melton, which lies west of Melbourne. Reclaim Australia is modelled on far-right groups in Europe that target mosques and the Islamic community in order to promote racism and far-right policies. Reclaim Australia is focusing on opposing the construction of a mosque in Melton. Reclaim Australia has been outnumbered by anti-racists at the two previous rallies it held in the Melbourne CBD. The timing and move is designed to make it harder for anti-racist
Victoria Police announced on August 6 they had arrested and charged a 38-year-old man in connection with death threats made against Socialist Party councillor Steve Jolly, from Yarra Council in Melbourne’s inner north. The threats referred to Jolly’s prominent role in mobilisations countering the far right Islamophobic groups Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front (UPF).
Carlo's Corner: Thank god the age of entitlement is over or who knows what Bronwyn Bishop would claim
Thank god the age of entitlement is over and the days of the lifters carrying the leaners is finished. Otherwise, just imagine what sort of absurd things politicians like Bronwyn Bishop might claim. Instead of a $5000 helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser, the Speaker might have taken a taxpayer-funded gold-plated spaceship via Pluto, stocked with black truffle mushrooms and caviar.
On the weekend of July 18 and 19 there was another round of right-wing Reclaim Australia (RA) protests. The stated aim of RA and its offshoot, the United Patriots Front (UPF), was to defend what they call “Australian values” from the threat of “Islamicisation”.
On the weekend of July 18 and 19 rallies were held around Australia to counter the racist rallies organised by Reclaim Australia and the fascist United Patriots Front. Following is a roundup of some of the rallies. * * * Melbourne A planned show of strength by racists and neo-Nazis in Melbourne backfired when once again far-right protesters were outnumbered 20 to one on July 18.
Singer Jimmy Barnes, best known as frontman for iconic Australian pub rock band Cold Chisel, released a statement slamming the far-right Reclaim Australia movement for using his songs at their rallies. In a statement on his official Facebook page, Barnes said: “It has come to my attention that certain groups of people have been using my voice, my songs as their anthems at rallies.
Today someone tried to stab me with an Australian flag.Yet in spite, or maybe because, of that, I am glad I made it to the Canberra anti-racist rally on July 19. When overtly racist right-wing forces come out onto the streets, we need to show that there are many more of us who are against that kind of hatred. I was in the middle of a large crowd opposing racism and xenophobia and opposite a small one waving red, white and blue flags and carrying placards that said “Islam is a hate group, not a religion”. I think we can tell from that who is the hate group.
Photo: Ali Bakhtiarvandi. A planned show of strength by racists and neo-Nazis in Melbourne backfired when once again far-right protesters were outnumbered 20 to one on July 18.
The demonising of asylum seekers is an elaborate exercise in racist scapegoating designed to distract Australians from the real causes of anxiety and insecurity in their lives. We need to be absolutely uncompromising in our resistance to this toxic agenda.
On July 19, Reclaim Australia will lead a coalition of conservative, Christian fundamentalist and fascist organisations in another set of rallies to “defend Australian values” from “Muslim invasion”.
Rammstein. The racist United Patriot Front (UPF) have used German industrial metal band Rammstein in a new video to promote a racist march on July 17. The UPF are a splinter group from a Reclaim Australia that seek to harass Muslims and promote Islamophobia and violence. The video opens with the UPF member declaring “I am not a Nazi”. The UPF video has excluded images from Reclaim Australia rally in April of participants with swastikas.