Saturday, October 27, 2007

national 'anarchists'

Below is a statement penned by that Slack Bastard, @ndy, regarding the presence of so-called national anarchists in Australia.
To date, it's been signed by:
Anarchist Direct Action
Wild Cat
Melbourne Anarchist Club

(The symbol directly below is, apparently, the national anarchist logo. I obtained it from a site called Folk and Faith, which, whilst denouncing racism, simultaneously screams blue bloody murder about the existence and imputed practices of 'judeo types' and eschews miscegenation. It also claims to be neither right nor left. Which may be fair. Theirs is an entirely whole new order of insanity.)


On Saturday, September 8, 2007, a small group
of between 15-30 individuals assembled in Sydney under the banner of the New Right. They were there to attend the anti-APEC summit rally and protest, and did so while assembled in the manner of a black bloc (dressed in black uniforms and wearing masks to disguise their faces). Their propaganda proclaimed the group to be composed of 'national anarchists'. This statement is being issued by a number of anarchist groups in Australia [and Aotearoa] in order to unmask these impostors, to expose 'national anarchism' as being the fascist nonsense that it is, and to give notice, both to the 'national anarchists' and to the general public, that anarchists in Australia [and Aotearoa] will not tolerate fascist elements attempting to use anarchist rhetoric and imagery in order to pursue their goals. We do so on the basis of our support for the equality and freedom of all individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity, and in recognition of the role of fascists ideas, parties and movements in destroying the libertarian working class cultures and movements which anarchists promote and which we depend upon for our survival. But what, exactly, is the 'New Right', and what is a 'national anarchist'?

The New Right

In Australia, the New Right is a tiny grouping on the far right, established in late 2005, largely via the efforts of a German-born, Sydney-based businessman named Welf Herfurth. Herfurth has a long history of involvement in the German neo-Nazi movement, including the NPD, and more
recently the Australian far right, including organisations and projects such as the Australia First Party, Blood & Honour, One Nation and the Inverell and Sydney Forums. According to Herfurth and the New Right, “National-Anarchism represents the political embodiment of the... New Right — it is the political wing”. In other words, while the New Right provides the 'theory', 'national anarchism' is the 'practice'.


'National anarchism' has its origins in the UK, and is largely the brainchild of Troy Southgate, another individual with a long history of involvement in the British neo-Nazi movement, including organisations such as the National Front, the International Third Position, the English Nationalist Movement and the National Revolutionary Faction. Critic Graham D. Macklin notes that "When put into its wider context… ‘national-anarchism’ appears as one of many groupuscular responses to globalization, popular antipathy towards which Southgate sought to harness by
aligning [his activities]... with the resurgence of anarchism whose heroes and slogans it arrogated, and whose sophisticated critiques of global capitalist institutions and state power it absorbed…". In essence, 'national anarchism' is an attempt to use anarchist rhetoric and imagery in order to better advance the cause of reactionary, racist and fascist politics.

Our response

anarchists, we categorically reject this. We also categorically reject any and all attempts by the New Right (and any other group with politics similar to it) to align themselves in any way, shape or form with the contemporary anarchist movement in Australia [and Aotearoa]. The use of such tactics by the far right, including the formation of 'black blocs' such as the one in Sydney, has been witnessed in Europe for a number of years, and it now appears that an attempt, however minor, to do so in Australia is now being made. (In Germany, for example, some right-wing radicals even use the “Antifaschistische Aktion” logo (a circle with a red and black flag) but adorn it with the slogan “Nationale Sozialisten” (national socialists)!) We consider the use of such tactics to be deliberately aimed at causing confusion among the broader public with regards the aims and methods of elements of the far right, and to confuse anarchism with the pursuit of 'white, nationalist' politics. Such tactics are also
based upon a recognition by elements of the far right of the attractive nature of anarchist rhetoric and imagery to many young people, and a desire to win some of these individuals away from genuine attempts to create true anarchy; a society without rulers -- of whatever colour, and of whatever supposed nationality.

The Sab Cat.
As such, we, as anarchists: wish to make our opposition to the New Right and 'national anarchism' known; denounce their attempts to appropriate 'anarchist' rehetoric, imagery and symbology for their own racist and fascist purposes; commit ourselves to to ensuring, each in our own way, that any and all confusion be eliminated in the minds of both the 'national anarchists' and the broader public regarding the opposition between anarchism and the antics of groups such as the New Right.

For more information, read @ndy's blog.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

gunns = evil

I've just finished reading an excellent article written by Richard Flanagan in the May 2007 issue of The Monthly and now I'm real angry.
I was angry before, but reading about how Gunns and the Labor Party, headed by Paul Lennon (Tasmania's Premier), are destroying Tasmania has rekindled the flames of hate, sadness, anger and disgust throughout me that were once burning brightly when I was living in Tassie.
I'm utterly incensed at the petty-minded betrayal of Tasmania by a small bunch of men who see fit to rampantly increase their own and their friends' wealth at the wholesale expense of Tasmania's wilderness as well as the health and wellbeing of many Tasmanian people and businesses. And the fucking shit-stream of lies and rhetoric that Paul Lennon and his cronies have heaped upon the public in order to get away with it.
Geez, I'm too angry to write.
Another time. Another time. I'll edit this later when I have some more clarity.
If I write about it now, I'll just use vigour instead of rigour. And that never works. I need both.
now playing: tim hecker - aerial light-pollution orange

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

cold war unicorns and bono

Ali, a good friend of mine, was overseas for four months because the Department of Immigration and Citzenship (DIC) dicked her around for a good two months or so, which is surprisingly fast by their standards.
Ali has only just returned to our dubious shores and much to my extreme pleasure she came back with some great gifts for me and my boyfriend.
Firstly, as you can see she returned with these awesome cold war unicorns. Brilliant!
But more significantly, to my boyfriend's and my utter amazement, she bought us an Apple iPod Shuffle each. And not only that but, because they are the same colour, she had our
names printed on the back of them so we don't get them confused.
Perhaps more interestingly, Apple claims they donate some money to 'the Global Fund,' to fight AIDS in Africa.' They don't say how much they donate and the
(PRODUCT)RED campaign is dodgy for several reasons.
And here they are:
1) It's a corporate initiative. That is, it's for profit. Product Red is a kind of symbiotic company that, in a sense, commissions other businesses to make items with their brand on it. Surely it would be a lot easier for businesses such as American Express, Armani and Apple, who all participate in this scheme, to just donate money to 'The Global Fund' to raise money for AIDS survivors in Africa? Ah, but then they wouldn't be making money off of it, would they?
2) According to this article, orignially published by the Independent Online (who is also a partner of Product Red), as of January 2006, less than 1% of the Global Fund's revenue was received by big businesses (although the initiative was launched at the same time as that article was published). Having said that, none of the businesses affiliated with Product Red have divulged to their loyal consumers the percentage of profits they donate to the Global Fund. Why not? Surely they would want to show off. Well, it turns out, Product Red has spent more moolah on advertising than they have generated raising revenue and thus fighting AIDS. They managed to raise a measly $18million as of March 2007. Oops. So who's benefited here? Big business. Who would've thunk it?
3) Bono's involved in Product Red. This is a bad thing and no mistake. Listen to what Bono has to say about ethical consumerism:

Philanthropy is like hippy music, holding hands. Red is more like punk rock, hip-hop; this should feel like hard commerce." He added: "People see a world out of whack. They see the greatest health crisis in 600 years and they want to do the right thing, but they're not sure what that is. Red is about doing what you enjoy and doing good at the same time."

What? So moral actions these days come down to commerce alone, which he also adds is sexy. Right-o, Sir Bono. Maybe for you.
A backlash to Product Red is the Buy Less Crap site, which encourages punters to actively donate to the Global Fund rather than more or less passively consume.
Fuck I hate Bono!
But having said all of that, if it's the difference between having an iPod that I didn't have to shell out a single cent for and not having one, I'll take the Product Red iPod any day. Does this make me a hypocrite? No, no it doesn't.
Thanks a heap, Ali!
now playing (in my iPod): the fall - powderkex

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