A Brief Guide To The Australian Far Right (July 2020 Edition)
In June 2015, December 2016 and April 2019 I published brief guides to the contemporary Australian far right. These were intended to provide a brief survey of some of the more prominent groupings and projects, and came with various provisos; not least that the lists were non-exhaustive, formal groupings typically draw from informal networks, and the milieu is dynamic. In any case, the massacre committed by a far-right militant in Christchurch in March 2019 has had some effect upon the contents of this guide and resulted in a number of scratchings. In other respects, however, the song remains much the same. I wrote last time that:
… in media reportage on the killer’s situation within the Australian far right milieu, much attention has been drawn to three organisations in particular: ‘Antipodean Resistance’ (AR), ‘The Lads Society’ (TLS) and the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF). In this context, it’s important to note that, first, while there are critical differences between them, and only AR openly espouses neo-Nazism, all three are the natural outgrowth of the wave of public organising undertaken by the far-right under the umbrella of ‘Reclaim Australia’ (2015–). Secondly, members of all three groups remain politically active and, finally, all can be read as particular expressions of much (much) larger political and social networks, for which the dominant social media and publishing platforms — Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — have provided and will continue to provide a critical part of their organisational framework.
The social media giants continue to play this role, and to facilitate the growth of the far-right. That said, problematic content linked to death and destruction is subject to periodic crackdowns, typically as and when public outcry or political pressure forces the corporate sector to adopt measures to avoid legal and/or financial penalty. Thus the UPF lived and died on Facebook, and the hundreds of boys who flocked to its banner while Facebook gave it licence (2015–2017) have either grown up, found other things to do/abuse and/or joined The Lads Society and its political extension, the National Socialist Network (NSN). The NSN is an exciting NEW! entry to the guide, and represents an interesting if provocative (and problematic) development in the fortunes of the UPF/TLS and its fellow travellers.
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