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(en) Australia, Nazi infiltration into the Melbourne music scene.

From <James.Hutchings@ato.gov.au>
Date Mon, 20 Jan 2003 08:15:38 -0500 (EST)


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> All People Equal - Anarchy Against Bigotry.
Nazi infiltration into the punk and metal scene in Melbourne - report on 
2002.
Introduction.
Blood and Honour are a small Nazi organisation, which is based in Melbourne.
  Their aim is to spread Nazi ideas through music.  Throughout 2002, they 
have held a few gigs to try and achieve this.  There are a number of Nazi 
bands connected to Blood and Honour, for example Fortress, Bailup, and 
Ravenous.

The management of the Birmingham Hotel (on the corner of Smith and Johnston 
Streets in Fitzroy) has helped them.  The Birmingham let them put on two 
gigs (one of them to celebrate Hitler's birthday).  The Birmingham also 
allowed them to meet there regularly.  Due to pressure from us, Blood and 
Honour seem to be looking for another venue to put on shows.  However they 
also seem to still be meeting at the Birmingham.

Our activity.

Our aim in 2002 has mainly been trying to get around information about Blood

and Honour, and especially to try to get a response from the punk and metal 
scene.  We have asked people in the area to stop supporting the Birmingham 
Hotel.


Successes.

One major success is that Blood and Honour have said they're not doing any 
more gigs at the Birmingham.  They announced this on the 'Melbourne Punx 
Forum' website (although they felt the need to say that it 'wasn't because 
they were scared').

We wrote to Community Radio 3CR and the Friends of the Earth bookshop.  Both

3CR and FOE have offices on Smith Street, would've been seen as targets by 
Nazis, and put on benefit gigs at the Birmingham.  Neither of them wrote 
back to us, but neither of them have had any more gigs at the Birmingham as 
far as we know.

This has meant that the Birmingham has lost two sources of money, and that 
Blood and Honour no longer have a central location to put on gigs - although

they appear to still be using the Birmingham for meetings.


The Melbourne Times.

We approached the Melbourne Times, a local paper with a reputation for being

slightly 'lefty'.
They talked to us about it, but refused to run a story.  One of their 
reasons was that "they talked to a lot of local councilors and social 
workers and they hadn't heard of Blood and Honour".  Blood and Honour 
operates almost completely within the punk and metal scenes.  Common sense 
would suggest that talking to someone in that scene might be a better idea.

It's likely that these local councilors and social workers wouldn't know 
about *anything* that goes on in that scene.  It's a bit like us talking to 
some metalheads and asking them to name some local councilors - and if they 
couldn't, deciding the local council mustn't exist.

The undertone of their attitude was like "if it doesn't effect councilors or

social workers it mustn't be important".  One of the local Nazis, Patrick 
O'sullivan, has recently gone to jail for stabbing someone in North Fitzroy.

  We told the Melbourne Times this but they treated it as if it was totally 
unimportant.  I got the impression that the Melbourne Times didn't care, 
because of who the victim was.  He was 'just' a skinhead who'd turned away 
from Nazism.  I got the impression that if he'd been a social worker or 
councilor then it would have been treated differently.
In a way the Melbourne Times agreed with the nazis, that this person was of 
no value or importance, because of who he was.  There was a real element of 
classism or snobbery to it; like if 'those people' want to hurt each other 
then it's OK, as long as they don't turn on 'us'.

The sad thing is, if the Nazis ever kill someone, then the Melbourne Times 
would probably decide it was now newsworthy, run to us begging for an 
interview, and run a story about how "someone has to do something". We want 
to stop the Nazis before they kill someone, and they couldn't care less.

The best that can be said about this episode, was that it was our own silly 
fault.  We shouldn't have put that much faith in an institution like the 
Melbourne Times, and in future we won't.


The punk scene.

Although a lot of people in the scene have supported us, some people have 
been very defensive about ties to Nazis.

A typical comment on the Melbourne Punx Forum website, was that the 
Birmingham is the only pub that supports the punk scene.  This is completely

false. Punk gigs happen at the Arthouse, the Pink Palace, the Tote, and 
several other places.

Someone even said that "the birmy is our pub".  This is a ridiculous 
comment.  The Birmingham belongs to the owner of the Birmingham. They're not

"supporting the punk scene", they're supporting the idea of them getting 
money.

If the Birmingham management decided there was more money to be made by 
putting on top 40 bands, that's what would happen.  It's likely that if our 
campaign keeps going, the owner of the Birmingham will just cut off all ties

with the punk scene, and the punk scene will find that 'our' pub was their 
pub all along.

Punk is supposed to be partly about 'diy'.  Even if there were no venues 
putting on punk gigs, there are always places like youth centres.  A lot of 
techno fans have gone further and set up their own events in abandoned 
warehouses or even just out in the open.  Some people in the punk scene seem

to have the opposite of a 'diy' attitude.  Their attitude seems to be "we 
can't do it ourselves, we need a businessman to organise it for us".

Punk is also supposed to be about more than 'having a career'.  A member of 
punk band Charter 77 wrote that "my band Charter 77 will continue to play at

the Birmingham, as they are one of the few venues that have supported us".  
In other words, they can get a higher profile by hanging around with Nazis, 
so they will and that's that.  Their career comes before anything else.  
Charter 77 say that they're not Nazis, and this seems to be true.  But were 
happy to, for example, advertise a gig with pictures of Nazi skinheads from 
Romper Stomper (they explained this as being 'just a joke').


If the Nazis Stay...

Roddy Moreno, lead singer of The Oppressed, saw the early 80s skinhead scene

in Britain destroyed by Nazis.  He said that
"If you don't care, they will take your scene, they will ruin it and suck 
the lifeblood out of it. When we started off, we had songs on compilation 
albums and were making the national charts. But once you had bands like 
Skrewdriver singing 'white Britain' and stuff, all of a sudden nobody would 
touch any skinhead bands. If you were a skinhead, you couldn't play 
anywhere, nobody wanted to put your records out. It was all because the 
Nazis came in and most people stood by and let it happen."


A similar thing could easily happen in Melbourne.

Blood and Honour paints a picture where they're standing up for the scene 
and defending it against us.  They make out we're a bunch of uni students 
who want to destroy it.  In fact one person in our group is working, and 
doing uni by correspondence at the same - that's it for our  uni connection.

  The number of people in our group who don't go to punk or metal shows is 
exactly 1 - and they used to be the singer of a punk band.  The first event 
that APE did was an all day punk and metal show.

Our connection to the scene much more real than the Nazis, who are in there 
purely to advance their politics.  In the 70s nazis wanted to get rid of 
rock music and replace it with folk music.  In the 80s in Germany they said 
that electronic bands were the only 'pure white music'.  Now they're jumping

on the punk and metal bandwagon.  Next year it could be something else.

People also should remember that, if they felt confident enough, Nazis would

start to 'purge' the scene of people who were against them.  After all, 
Melbourne Nazi leader Patrick O'Sullivan went to jail for stabbing...not a 
Jew or a hippy, but another skinhead, after he made a vaguely anti-Nazi 
remark at a party.

A Blood and Honour supporter has confirmed this.  They wrote on the 
Melbourne Punx Forum that the Nazis didn't care about the punk scene and 
"perhaps if a skinhead was fucking a coloured sort then [Blood and Honour] 
might have a problem".  In other words, we don't care about you, and we will

use violence against you if you don't do what we want.

The worst thing about this comment was that no one criticised any part of 
it.  But some people on that website still act like we are the people who 
are threatening the scene from outside.

As we saw with the Melbourne Times, the 'establishment' couldn't care less 
about what's happening, as long as they're not personally threatened.  If 
enough people in the punk and metal scene treat us like we're the bad guys, 
and use the excuse that 'it's the only place we can go', then the Nazis will

easily be able to take over.


All People Equal - Anarchy Against Bigotry.

links: contact us -

email allpeopleequal@hotmail.com

PO Box 1191
Richmond North VIC 3121

Phone (03) 9513 0533
(message bank - call any time)


Our website, which included information about the stabbing by Patrick 
O'Sullivan, and other anti-racist information, can be found at 
www.angry.at/racists

Melbourne Punx forum - http://worldcrossing.com/WebX?.ee9c11b

quote from Roddy Merino is from www.turnitdown.com - anti-racist website.

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