International Far-Right Monitor Identifies Australian Hate Groups

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Far Right

The US-based Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) last week released its report into Australia, in which the thinktank rips our nation – with its “history of far-right and white supremacist activism, often rooted in its colonial experience” – a new one.

The report authors further posit that Australia’s past, which is much akin to the history of their country, has led to a legacy of racist policies, the ongoing dispossession of First Nations people, a prevalence of white supremacist tendencies, as well as “xenophobic politics”.

Indeed, GPAHE outlines that far-right groups are on the rise over here, explaining that as of last November, 50 percent of ASIO’s terror investigations were centred on far-right extremists: a “newer and younger generation of neo-Nazis and white supremacists… emerging from modern suburbia”.

“The 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque massacre was perpetrated by an Australian,” the report underscores, “who had connections with white supremacists at home and abroad.”

And the authors, two of whom are veterans of one of the most prestigious US civil rights organisations, the Southern Poverty Law Centre, have been kind enough to provide a list of twenty of our nation’s most serious far-right hate groups.

Purveyors of racism down under

Unsurprisingly, the One Nation Party features. Its ideology is described as anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, white nationalist and conspiracy-based. The report notes leader Senator Pauline Hanson’s decades of racist antics, which both major parties quietly coexist with and at times support.

Everybody’s favourite God-fearing fascists, the Australian Christian Lobby, are on the list as well. The report authors describe the organisation that was founded by Pentecostal and Baptist ministers as “perhaps Australia’s most well-known anti-LGBTQ+ group”.

The recently formed National Socialist Network is also on there, which is now our nation’s most prominent neo-Nazi group, as it includes former members of Reclaim Australia, the Lads Society and Antipodean Resistance. These are the nutjobs photographed saluting Hitler in the bush last year.

And there are other groups one would expect to be on the list, like the Proud Boys, Binary Australia, True Blue Crew and Australia First, as well as some lesser-known white supremacists entities, such as the Australian Natives Association, SA Mens Health Club and White Wellbeing Australia.

From the top down

GPAHE calls out our former PM Scott Morrison for what he is a “prominently anti-LGBTQ+” politician, who, whilst in the top job, attempted to push through “a ‘religious freedom’ bill, originally an American idea, that activists warned would be a ‘license to discriminate’”.

So, it’s little wonder that over Morrison’s time in office, 2018 to 2022, there was this distinct rise in white supremacy and far-right extremism, which, as the report explains, was also fostered by a cross-section of these groups coming together of late to protest against pandemic measures.

The authors further note that the list, and the accompanying descriptions of each of the twenty hate groups, is far from exhaustive, adding that both local and international neo-Nazi and racist skinhead groups have long had a presence in this country.

And these hate groups have historically and continue to engage in violence against communities they believe have no place in Australian society, including “the Indigenous population, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, left-wing groups, and others perceived as threatening white dominance”.

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Paul Gregoire

Paul Gregoire is a Sydney-based journalist and writer. He's the winner of the 2021 NSW Council for Civil Liberties Award For Excellence In Civil Liberties Journalism. Prior to Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, Paul wrote for VICE and was the news editor at Sydney’s City Hub.

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