The long, long road to Utoya

The Drum

15 December 2011

Jeff SparrowAnders Breivik

On The Drum last week, Chris Berg attacked the book On Utoya (to which I’m a contributor) for suggesting a link between Islamophobic rhetoric and Anders Breivik’s anti-Muslim rampage.

“There is,” Berg said, “an enormous moral leap between believing multiculturalism is a bad policy and systematically slaughtering 77 members of the Norwegian Labour Party, some as young as 14 years old. To suggest they are on the same continuum is to obscure how anybody could make that leap.”

I wonder if Berg actually read the book.

On Utoya‘s not about people who believe “multiculturalism is a bad policy”. Rather, it discusses rightwing commentators who, like Breivik, see multiculturalism as a cover for what they generally call “Islamicisation”.

As it happens, one of the more extreme and repellent of these Islamophobic pundits was just in Australia.

A few weeks ago, the Q Society hosted an Australian tour by the American writer Robert Spencer.

Spencer runs a website called Jihad Watch, in which he publicises whatever slurs about Muslims that Google sends his way. Recently, he launched an “Action Alert” over a nefarious plot to force halal birds upon innocent Americans. Butterball turkeys represent, you see, the latest gobbling incarnation of the “stealth jihad” by which Islam enslaves the West and its people. He also helped initiate an ad-boycott against a reality TV-show All American Muslim: the Florida Family Association, with whom Spencer has allied himself, claims the show about average Muslim families is actually “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values”.

Spencer works closely with the blogger Pamela (‘Barack Obama is Malcolm X’s Son’) Geller, another big name in the so-called “counter jihadi” milieu. Together, they run the group Stop the Islamization of America, an outfit described by the Anti-Defamation League as “consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy ‘American’ values.”

Both featured repeatedly in Breivik’s manifesto.

“About Islam,” he wrote, “I recommend essentially everything written by Robert Spencer.”

As you would expect, in the aftermath of the Oslo massacre, Geller and Spencer hastily condemned their Norwegian admirer (though Geller couldn’t resist pointing out that the teenagers he murdered were “future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate”, nor posting a picture with a caption about how the camp attendees had “faces which are more MIddle [sic] Eastern or mixed than pure Norwegian”).

For his part, Spencer noted that Breivik had explicitly criticized the non-violent orientation of Jihad Watch, a criticism that meant, he said, any connection between his work and Breivik’s actions was ludicrous.

It’s true that Spencer and Breivik disagree about how to fight Islamicisation.

But they don’t disagree that its happening. Spencer’s Melbourne talk concluded like this:

This is an unconventional war. We are in a war, we are in a clash of civilisations. The thing I want to leave with you in closing is that we are the soldiers. The soldiers are not in uniform. There are no armies on the field. The armies on the field are there, they’re doing noble work but that’s only one small part. The main struggle is right here. And we are it. This is a battle for the soul of Australia, for the soul of Europe, for the soul of America, for the soul of the west. And it’s outcome is not at all decided, as dire as it may look, because we have not yet begun to fight. It is up to us

Breivik, too, thinks a war with Islam is already underway.

His disagreement with Spencer and Geller, then, isn’t about the diagnosis. It’s just about the nature of the cure.

That’s the real jump – from accepting rhetoric about war, to taking up the gun to fight it.

Naturally, the vast majority of those who attended Spencer’s lectures won’t embrace violence (and nor did he urge them to).

In that sense, the debate about Breivik’s sanity is moot. By definition, if you commit mass murder, you’re not normal, simply because normal people aren’t mass murderers.

On the same tautological level, Berg’s correct to say no-one’s responsible for Breivik’s actions except Breivik. He’s the one who pulled the trigger – not Spencer, not Geller, and not anyone else.

Yet Berg refuses to acknowledge what Breivik himself was perfectly clear about – ideas and actions are related.

Spend some time on the big anti-Islam websites, and you’ll read over and over and over again that Muslims are violent, dangerous and determined to destroy everything the West holds dear. On Spencer’s page, for instance, commenters refer to Muslims as “subhuman barbarians”, “parasites”, “savages”, “people infected with the musloid faith”, “vermin” and so on.

LoonWatch noted one thread that contained

thirty-five comments by JihadWatch readers, and not a single one who opposed the idea of ethnic cleansing of Germany (or the entire non-Muslim world) and the nuking of Mecca on ethical grounds (with the notable exception of Ronald who thought that it would mean losing the oil reserves and another user who thought there are more creative ways to deliver “pure insult and humiliation” upon Muslims). Not a single commentator on the thread opposed either of these two ideas on moral grounds.

Geller’s blog is the same: almost every post descends into overt eliminationism.

Oh, of course, Spencer says he’s not responsible for his readers and their desires for racial murder. He doesn’t, his blog says, necessarily endorse their comments. But where, we might ask, do they get these ideas? Why do advocates of mass slaughter feel so comfortable around him?

Spencer and Geller also work together on another hate group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative. One of its original board members is a certain John Joseph Jay. Back in 2008, Jay explained on Pamela Geller’s blog how this war against Muslims should be conducted:

“We should declare war on iran, syria, egypt and saudi arabia, as well as libya and the sudan and somalia, and we should kill people by the scores. no science. no precision bombing. no shock and awe designed to ‘impress’ and send ‘signals’, but old fashioned war with wholesale slaughter including indiscriminate death of innocents and babes. down to the last muslim, if necessary.”

“Old fashioned war with wholesale slaughter including indiscriminate death of innocents”: that’s pretty much what Breivik provided a few years later.

Like Breivik, Jay’s enthusiasm for murder extends beyond Muslims to a Left that he says facilitates “stealth jihad”. That’s why, on his own blog, he urges readers to

buy guns. buy ammo. be jealous of your liberties. and, understand, you are going to have to kill folks, your uncles, your sons and daughters, to preserve those liberties.

Yes, there’s a difference between Spencer denouncing liberals as traitors and Jay declaring they should be exterminated, just as there’s a gap between Jay preaching mass murder and Breivik actually carrying it out.

But it shouldn’t be difficult to understand how the constant shared rhetoric about existential war breaks down Berg’s “enormous moral leap” and makes it far more likely that a keyboard warrior will creep out from behind his PC, believing, as he lifts his rifle, that he’s saving Christian civilization, that he’s finally doing what all his friends just talk about.

Chris Berg says that Breivik was a “shocking outlier”, indicative of nothing.

It’s a ludicrous argument.

With their epic struggle against the Mooslamic turkeys, Geller and Spencer might seem like fringe nutters. But they’re not. They’re both widely published (two of Spencer’s books have been New York Times best-sellers); they appear regularly on the circuit of right-wing radio and Fox News.

Together, they wrote the 2010 book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, in which they argued a line almost identical to Breivik’s manifesto:

Transformational issues facing this nation and the world at large—the world at war, creeping Sharia, the perversion of the rights of free men—hang in the balance during the Obama administration as never before. The stakes could not be higher. On foreign policy, Europe has lain down. The political elites have capitulated to Islamists and to multiculturalists. Europe is committing slow cultural and demographic suicide. It seems unclear that they could hold up their end even if America did the heavy lifting.

That book appeared with a glowing foreword by former ambassador to the UN John Bolton – a man who Newt Gingrich has recently announced will be Secretary of State under a Gingrich presidency. Indeed, Gingrich himself seems on-side in this lunatic crusade. The frontrunner for the Republican nomination recently announced that “sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and the world as we know it”.

Meanwhile, in Europe, far-right groups, many with histories stretching back to the fascist era, are re-orienting to exploit anti-Muslim sentiment – and, as a result, they’re growing.

Mattias Gardell, a Swedish expert on the far right, provides the following list of what he calls “redesigned brown [ie fascist] parties”:

Fremskrittspartiet, (Progress Party, Norway), Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democrats), Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party), Sannfinländarna (True Finns), Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom, Netherlands), Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), Front National (Belgium), Front National (France), Mouvement pour la France, British National Party, Lega Nord (Northern League, Italy), Futuro e Libertá (Italy), Schweizerische Volkspartei (Swiss People’s Party), Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Germany), Pro Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany), Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (Freedom Party of Austria), Bündnis Zukunft Österreich (Alliance for the Future of Austria) and Laikós Orthódoxos Synagermós (People’s Orthodox Rally, Greece).

Gardell notes:

Some of these have been remarkably successful. Dansk Folkeparti gained nearly 14 per cent of the votes in Denmark’s 2007 election; Fremskrittspartiet – of which Breivik was once a member – received 23 per cent of the vote in Norway’s 2009 election; and Partij voor de Vrijheid – whose leader Geert Wilders seeks to ban the Koran – became the third largest party in parliament, with 17 per cent in the 2010 election. In Sweden, Sverigedemokraterna – whose ideologue Kent Ekeroth believes that Sweden and Europe are cast in an apocalyptic war with Islam and Muslims, and who co-funds the anti-Muslim network out of which Breivik emerged – became the first brown party in the country’s history to enter parliament, with close to 6 per cent in the 2010 election. In Finland, True Finns – whose ideologue Jussi Halla-aho says that Europeans have but two options when confronted with Muslim immigration: war or surrender – gained 19 per cent in the 2011 election, just 1 per cent away from becoming the largest party.

There are no adequate statistics on hate crimes in Europe, since few countries collect information about violence against Muslims. Nonetheless, the latest OIC Islamophobia Observatory report documents disturbing incidents from May 2010 through April 2011.

In one instance in Norway, where the massacre also took place, vandals desecrated a mosque in August, 2010, with spray-paint writings saying “oink” and “Allah is a [picture of a pig]”. In another 2010 Mosque attack, this time in the Netherlands, a dead sheep was found hanging in the place where a mosque was to be built. In a similar incident in Normandy, France, inscriptions reading “Islam get out of Europe”, “No to Islam and to burkas”, along with swastikas, were discovered on 15 July, 2010, which the report suggests might be encouraged by a law banning women from wearing the full-face Islamic veils in public, since the timing of the events coincide.

A few months ago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned: “A dangerous trend is emerging, a new politics of polarization. Some play on people’s fears. They accuse immigrants of violating European values. Europe’s darkest chapters have been written in language such as this. Today the primary targets are immigrants of the Muslim faith.”

Most of the rebadged far-right organisations have retained their old-school anti-Semitism even as they choose, for strategic reasons, to campaign against Islam (and, often, support Israel). Indeed, the tropes of traditional anti-Semitism generally reappear in the new discourse of anti-Islam bigotry. Gardell explains how:

anti-Muslim conspiracy theory comes complete with its own version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Evoking a Manichean vision of a struggle between the forces of light and darkness, it tell us that for 1300 years the Western world has been locked in an apocalyptic conflict with ‘Islam’, which is depicted as an animated being with a sinister agency, which tirelessly seeks the eradication of Christian Europe, the last outpost of freedom.

The journalist Colm Ó Broin has produced a neat demonstration of the relationship between the old hate and the new hate, with a close comparison of Spencer’s writing on Muslims next to the propaganda of Julius Streicher, the editor of the notorious anti-Semitic magazine from the Nazi era, Der Stuermer.

Here are the first nine of his parallels.

Muslims/Jews have a religious duty to conquer the world.
“Islam understands its earthly mission to extend the law of Allah over the world by force.” Robert Spencer.
“Do you not know that the God of the Old Testament orders the Jews to consume and enslave the peoples of the earth?” Julius Streicher.

The Left enables Muslims/Jews.
“The principal organs of the Left…has consistently been warm and welcoming toward Islamic supremacism.” Robert Spencer.
“The communists pave the way for him (the Jew).” Julius Streicher.

Governments do nothing to stop Muslims/Jews.

“FDI* acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials…in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.” (Freedom Defense Initiative, Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller organisation).

“The government allows the Jew to do as he pleases. The people expect action to be taken.” Julius Streicher.

Muslims/Jews cannot be trusted.

“When one is under pressure, one may lie in order to protect the religion, this is taught in the Qur’an.” Robert Spencer.

“We may lie and cheat Gentiles. In the Talmud it says: It is permitted for Jews to cheat Gentiles.” From The Toadstool, children’s book published by Julius Streicher.

Recognising the true nature of Muslims/Jews can be difficult.

“There is no reliable way for American authorities to distinguish jihadists and potential jihadists from peaceful Muslims.” Robert Spencer.

“Just as it is often hard to tell a toadstool from an edible mushroom, so too it is often very hard to recognize the Jew as a swindler and criminal.” From The Toadstool, children’s book published by Julius Streicher.

The evidence against Muslims/Jews is in their holy books.

“What exactly is ‘hate speech’ about quoting Qur’an verses and then showing Muslim preachers using those verses to exhort people to commit acts of violence, as well as violent acts committed by Muslims inspired by those verses and others?” Robert Spencer.

“In Der Stuermer no editorial appeared, written by me or written by anyone of my main co-workers, in which I did not include quotations from the ancient history of the Jews, from the Old Testament, or from Jewish historical works of recent times.” Julius Streicher.

Islamic/Jewish texts encourage violence against non-believers.

“And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter… — 2:191.” Koranic verse quoted by Robert Spencer on Jihadwatch.org.

“And when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally: men and women and children, even the animals. (Deuteronomy 7:2.).” Biblical verse quoted by Julius Streicher in Der Stuermer.

Christianity is peaceful while Islam/Judaism is violent.

“There is no Muslim version of ‘love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you’ or ‘if anyone strikes you on the right cheek turn to him the other also’.” Robert Spencer.

“The Jew is not being taught, like we are, such texts as, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’, or ‘If you are smitten on the left cheek, offer then your right one’.” Julius Streicher.

Muslims/Jews are uniquely violent.

“(Islam) is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.” Robert Spencer.

“o other people in the world has such prophecies. No other people would dare to say that it was chosen to murder and destroy the other peoples and steal their possessions.” Julius Streicher.

It’s pretty remarkable stuff. But then we come to the tenth point, and it’s the real kicker.

The final parallel is a shared insistence that such criticism has no relationship to violence.

“There is nothing in anything that I have ever written that could be reasonably construed as an incitement to violence against anyone,” says Robert Spencer.

In a strict sense, that’s probably true. Spencer himself, unlike his associates, knows to watch his mouth. In Orwell’s terms, he’s the kind of person always somewhere else when the trigger gets pulled.

Then again, so was Streicher.

For that was his defence at Nuremberg – he’d never personally incited violence.

“The contents,” Streicher argued, “of Der Stuermer as such were not [an incitement to violence]. During the whole 20 years, I never wrote in this connection, ‘Burn Jewish houses down; beat them to death’. Never once did such an incitement appear in Der Stuermer.”

Streicher didn’t burn houses down himself. Nor, he claimed, did he encourage others to do so.

But if you publish article after article claiming that a particular minority group is a deadly menace, a violent, existential threat to the nation and its citizens, can you really claim surprise if others take you seriously?

Which brings us back to Berg and the IPA.

If someone toured Australia peddling Streicher-style slurs against Judaism, the Jewish community would be rightly outraged, precisely because of the relationship between talk about war against a minority and actual physical violence against them.

Would Australian conservative think tanks argue they had nothing to worry about? Would they tell them that rhetoric about “war against Jews” was merely a suggestion that multiculturalism was a bad policy? Would he reassure them that past examples of deadly violence were the result of an apolitical lunacy for which no-one other than the direct perpetrators were responsible?

If not, wherein lies the difference. During his Australian sojourn, Robert Spencer was invited onto ABC Queensland to discuss his theories. Would a peddler of hatred against any other minority have been treated that way?

That’s the thesis of On Utoya: that bigotry against Muslims has been consistently downplayed in the mainstream, thus creating an environment in which violence becomes more likely.

Unfortunately, the argument seems more relevant than ever.

Jeff Sparrow is the editor of Overland literary journal and the author of Killing: Misadventures in Violence. He Tweets @Jeff_Sparrow.

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ASIO, fascism and anti-fascism

Slackbastard

Posted on October 18, 2011 by @ndy

They said it would rain tomorrow.
My garden is full of weeds this year, the herbicide isn’t working.
The Moles snuck into The Garden last night.
The… spotted cuckoo is flying backwards?

Threat of fascist attacks revealed
Dylan Welch
The Sydney Morning Herald
October 12, 2011

FASCIST and nationalist extremist groups are active in and pose a threat to Australia, with the country’s security agency saying there are legitimate concerns they may spawn a terrorist in the style of Norway’s Anders Breivik.

The assessment, in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s annual report to Parliament, also reveals Australia’s right-wing extremists, much like the Islamic fundamentalists they loathe, draw inspiration from overseas via the internet.

”There has been a persistent but small subculture of racist and nationalist extremists in Australia, forming groups, fragmenting, re-forming and often fighting amongst themselves,” the report states.

The appraisal also states there has been a recent rise in anarchist or ”anti-fascist” groups, with the ideologically-opposed groups coming into conflict.

”Where such confrontations have occurred, the ‘anti-fascists’ have outnumbered the nationalist and racist extremists and police intervention has been required,” the report states in its ”Australia’s Security Environment” section.

As the recent case of Anders Breivik shows, the dangers posed by right-wing extremists have not abated, despite most intelligence agencies focusing on the threats posed by Islamic terrorism.

A Christian who described himself as a ”modern-day crusader”, Breivik killed 77 people during a bombing in Oslo and a shooting rampage at a teen camp at an island outside the Norwegian capital in July.

While the assessment does not suggest ASIO has uncovered right-extremists in Australia that mirror Breivik’s murderous intentions, it reveals they rely on overseas connections and events to inform and motivate them.

”[They] maintain links and draw inspiration from like-minded overseas extremists, and much of their rhetoric and activity is derivative, heavily influenced by developments overseas,” it states. Websites such as stormfront.org – the web’s most famous and ubiquitous white supremacist and neo-Nazi website – have numerous Australian members.

However, the threat posed by Australian right-wing extremists seems to be limited, with such groups appearing to be interested only in ”propaganda and engendering support”.

”However, there is always the possibility of a lone actor or autonomous group inspired by a nationalist or racist extremist ideology engaging in violence as a means of provoking a wider response,” the report says.

It states the continued existence of such groups has directly led to the resurgence of an ”anti-fascist” movement.

”[The anti-fascist movement] aims to confront those it identifies as fascists, including some of the nationalist and racist extremist groups also of interest to ASIO,” it states.

The security assessment also discusses its monitoring of ”issue-motivated groups” – organisations ranging from community-based forestry groups to neo-Nazi parties.

”There is … a small minority who seek to use protests around a range of emotive issues to further their own (often unrelated) political agenda by provoking, inciting or engaging in violence. It is this fringe that is of concern to ASIO.”

Note that The Australian (by way of its Defence Editor Brendan Nicholson) spins the report rather differently. Thus ASIO “warns that as well as Islamist extremism, fuelled in part by wars in Afghanistan and tensions over Palestine, an anti-fascist movement had recently emerged led by self-styled anarchists determined to confront other interest groups.”

grandparents

Last week,  ASIO tabled its Annual Report in Parliament. Inter alia, it included some remarks on “racist and nationalist extremists in Australia” and took note of the recent “emergence of an ‘anti-fascist’ movement, led by self-styled anarchists, which aims to confront those it identifies as fascists, including some of the nationalist and racist extremist groups also of interest to ASIO”.

There has been a persistent but small sub-culture of racist and nationalist extremists in Australia, forming groups, fragmenting, re-forming and often fighting amongst themselves. Over the past year, such extremists have been active in protesting against various Muslim interests. Local racist and nationalist extremists maintain links and draw inspiration from like-minded overseas extremists, and much of their rhetoric and activity is derivative, heavily influenced by developments overseas. At present, their main focus is propaganda and engendering support. However, there is always the possibility of a lone actor or autonomous group inspired by a nationalist or racist extremist ideology engaging in violence as a means of provoking a wider response. A recent development is the emergence of an ‘anti-fascist’ movement, led by self-styled anarchists, which aims to confront those it identifies as fascists, including some of the nationalist and racist extremist groups also of interest to ASIO. Where such confrontations have occurred, the ‘anti-fascists’ have outnumbered the nationalist and racist extremists and police intervention has been required…

A few comments.

There haven’t been many public protests organised by the “small sub-culture of racist and nationalist extremists in Australia” over the course of financial year 2010-11. In fact, just one springs to mind, held in Melbourne on May 15. The rally was organised by the ‘Australian Defence League’ under the leadership of the Englishman Martin Brennan (who was deported from the country in August).

Heil England

The  rally in Melbourne attracted maybe 20 or 30 “racist and nationalist extremists” and several times as many opponents, who after an hour (or two) pushed the ADL off their location at Federation Square. There were no arrests by police whose policing of the rally was reinforced by private security employed by the Square’s owners.

Another anti-Muslim rally was held in Sydney on July 30 (thus technically outside the remit of the report), again organised by the ADL and heavily supplemented by members of the ‘Australian Protectionist Party’ and patriotik yoof belonging to a splinter from the ‘Southern Cross Soldiers’. The rally in Martin Place attracted a slightly larger number of “extremists” (perhaps as many as 40 or even 50), only a handful of opponents, and a relatively large police presence, who ensured that the rally was unmolested by opponents.

More significantly, on January 16 an anti-racist rally was held in the inner-Sydney suburb of Newtown. The rally proceeded to Sergio Redegalli’s notorious mural ( Cydonia The Glass Studio, Station Street) where the few score protesters were heavily outnumbered by police who arrested seven (or possibly eight?) people. A report in Mutiny zine (No.58, February/March 2011) provides the following account:

On January 16th, more than 100 people gathered at the Hub in Newtown to protest against racism in the area. Following several community demonstrations against a mural that says, “say no to burqas” at nearby Station Street, the group decided to go to the mural in opposition to this racist statement. Together residents threw paint and pasted anti-racism posters over the mural, made noise and held banners with the statements, “fascists off our streets” and “racists out of Newtown”.

Police acted to protect the mural. As people attempted to leave the area together significant numbers of … police continued arriving [at] the scene. Heavy-handed tactics were used to violently arrest 8 people, and to intimidate and harass everyone present.

Witness reports attest to a high level of police aggression, with punches, grabbing people by the neck and threatening to break bones. Charges are being pressed against those arrested and court solidarity will be essential.

On August 15, all bar one of multiple charges against six defendants were dropped, while a seventh defendant received one conviction for “malicious damage” and an 18-month bond (see : We fought the law and we kinda won…, Mutiny, No.61, October/November 2011).

(A previous rally outside the mural on December 19 resulted in no arrests.)

Note that on August 6, 2011 an “extremist” rally was also held in Brisbane. This rally was organised by the ADL and another, Brisbane-based group called the ‘Australian Patriots Defence Movement’. Perhaps 20 or so attended and confronted a counter-protest several times larger. Again, there were no arrests.

In summary: yes, there is a sub-culture of extreme-right / ultra-nationalist / racist and fascist sentiment in Australia. The politically-organised expression of this sentiment is marginal and frequently sectarian.* Animosity towards Muslims has emerged as a major theme over the last decade. Local members of this milieu are responsive to global developments. There is organised opposition to this sub-culture. Such opposition is sometimes confrontational but is generally reactive, similarly small-scale and diffuse.

Otherwise…

The Norwegian anarchist site anarkisterna.com has some interesting analysis in Oslo and Utøya – of words and mass murder (August 11) and From Meta-Politics To Mass Murder – A New Right-Wing Extremism (August 25), while this weekend, a workshop at the London Anarchist Bookfair will be examining some of the issues surrounding these developments:

From Casa Pound to Anders Behring Breivik: Looking at recent developments in European fascism

From black-bloc autonomist nationalists in Germany to ‘third millennium fascist’ squatters in Italy to suit-wearing Nazis in Sweden, the last twenty years has seen huge developments and shifts in the Neo-fascist scene. No longer can Nazis be simply identified by shaved heads, Swastikas and steel-capped boots. Some are even turning to Gramsci, Lenin and international anti-imperialist struggles for inspiration. Paul Hull, a veteran anti-fascist and trade unionist of over ten years in Sweden will discuss the evolution of Neo-Nazi theories and tactics in Northern Europe and will offer suggestions on how the modern militant anti-fascist movement can adapt to these changes.

Co-organised by: Irish, English and Swedish Anti-Fascists

On fishing hooks flicked into faces or squirting dangerous or unpleasant liquids

The ASIO report also states:

Australian issue-motivated groups in general use legitimate protest to publicise and further the cause they advocate. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 states that lawful advocacy, protest or dissent shall not be regarded as prejudicial to security, and ASIO’s interest in protest is limited to that which is unlawful or violent. Unfortunately, while most issue-motivated groups act lawfully, there are some who do not. There is also a small minority who seek to use protests around a range of emotive issues to further their own (often unrelated) political agenda by provoking, inciting or engaging in violence. It is this fringe that is of concern to ASIO.

ASIO has seen violent and provocative tactics used deliberately by this fringe at a range of protests in recent years, although the frequency and intensity of such violence tends to wax and wane. Provocative tactics used include attacks on police managing protests using ‘invisible’ weapons such as fishing hooks flicked into faces or squirting dangerous or unpleasant liquids in order to provoke an apparently disproportionate police response. The aim is to gain public support and to escalate the anger of those protesting in order to cause widespread violence in an attempt to de-legitimise the government position and undermine the rule of law. Other unlawful tactics used include property damage and sabotage.

The accusation that “fringe elements” have been using invisible weapons is not new. In 2006, for example, former Treasurer Peter Costello claimed that demonstrators at the G20 forum in Melbourne were “ throwing balloons filled with urine at police”. He produced no evidence to substantiate his story. Similar claims were made by police during the S11 protests in 2000 (in fact, the claims were made prior to the event itself). ‘Riot!’, an article by Brett Williams in the April 2010 Police Journal, states:

Public order management trainer Mick Chipperfield knows of the barbed-wire bracelets and fish hooks that rabid protestors have used “in close” against police in Melbourne. He knows that, during clashes at the G20 summit (2006) and World Economic Forum (2000), protestors threw urine-filled balloons and soiled tampons at his interstate counterparts.

According to Jeff Sparrow the story about urine-filled balloons has its origins in the mid-1990s during the course of protests against Pauline Hanson, when water bombs were thrown at some of the boneheads who attended her meetings. Throughout this period, no person, to my knowledge, has been charged or convicted of any such offence.

About @ndy

@ndy lives in Melbourne, Australia. He barracks for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies.

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Anders Breivik Kills 92, Injures Several More: “Who Could Blame Him?” Asks Lisa Ebeling

Who the hell could blame a guy for killing close to 100 people, while dressed as a police officer?
Many Christians are arguing that only Muslims kill and blow up buildings because their holy book urges them to do so.
Here are some stats regarding Islamic terrorism in Europe:

According to the EU Terrorism Situation & Trend Report 2011 (https://www.europol.europa.eu/sites/default/files/publications/te-sat2011.pdf), Islamic terrorists in the EU:

– committed 3 out of 249 attacks (1.2%)
– were 179 out of 611 people arrested for terrorist related offences (29.3%)

Notes:

1. Why are there many Muslims who don’t kill people or blow things up? Why is it that when this story broke there were false reports of these attacks being committed by Islamic groups – and that when these false reports came to light, people like Lisa felt horrified with these atrocious actions against innocent people, yet when the perpetrator is shown to be a white, right-winged, Muslim-hating Christian, he is excused of his crime because he was either fed up with a society that accepted Muslims or a nutcase whose actions could not be linked to his religion? Why is that when yet another criminal is linked to racist groups like the EDL, supporters of such groups continue to believe that the sun shines only on them?

2. Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God
Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods.  In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully.  If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.  Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it.  Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God.  That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt.  Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction.  Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you.  He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors.  “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.”  (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

3. Kill People for Working on the Sabbath
The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: ‘Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever.  It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.  Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy.  Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community.  Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest.  I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.’  (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

4. Kill Sons of Sinners
Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants.  (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)

5. God Will Kill Children
The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived.  Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you.  It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone.  I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre.  But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered.”  O LORD, what should I request for your people?  I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth and breasts that give no milk.  The LORD says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them.  I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions.  I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels.  The people of Israel are stricken.  Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit.  And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.”  (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

6. Kill Men, Women, and Children
“Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked.  Show no mercy; have no pity!  Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.  But do not touch anyone with the mark.  Begin your task right here at the Temple.”  So they began by killing the seventy leaders.  “Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded.  “Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill!  Go!”  So they went throughout the city and did as they were told.”  (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

7. Kill Old Men and Young Women
“You are my battle-ax and sword,” says the LORD.  “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.  With you I will shatter armies, destroying the horse and rider, the chariot and charioteer.  With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens.  With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers.  “As you watch, I will repay Babylon and the people of Babylonia for all the wrong they have done to my people in Jerusalem,” says the LORD.  “Look, O mighty mountain, destroyer of the earth!  I am your enemy,” says the LORD.  “I will raise my fist against you, to roll you down from the heights.  When I am finished, you will be nothing but a heap of rubble.  You will be desolate forever.  Even your stones will never again be used for building.  You will be completely wiped out,” says the LORD.  (Jeremiah 51:20-26)

8. You Have to Kill
Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.  (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)

9. Kill Your Neighbours
(Moses) stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the LORD’s side, come over here and join me.” And all the Levites came.  He told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.”  The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day.  Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing.”  (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)

10. Kill Followers of Other Religions
While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men defiled themselves by sleeping with the local Moabite women.  These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, and soon the Israelites were feasting with them and worshiping the gods of Moab.  Before long Israel was joining in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the LORD’s anger to blaze against his people.  The LORD issued the following command to Moses: “Seize all the ringleaders and execute them before the LORD in broad daylight, so his fierce anger will turn away from the people of Israel.”  So Moses ordered Israel’s judges to execute everyone who had joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.  Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into the camp, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as they were weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle.  When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly.  Then he took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach.  So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but not before 24,000 people had died.  (Numbers 25:1-9 NLT)

Should we now label Christians as terrorists?

Of course not.

Does the word of God in the Bible instruct that we should kill?

Yes.

Should we consider banning the police uniform now, considering it was used to draw people closer to a gunman for the slaughtering?

Only if the burqa is banned on the premise that it might be used to rob a bank.

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