Knocked off early-ish on Friday night at 7.30pm and went to the Humanist Society Hall in Chippendale to protest against a group of extreme right-wing fascists, Klub Nazia, who meet there every month. They didn’t show, though.
There were about 80 people there, mostly residents, hanging around outside and a little streeet party with drums and music and singing. There were two mounted police, about 10 Tactical Response officers and another dozen police officers. They were strategically standing in a circle around the protesters.
Klub Naziya members didn’t turn up. They hold an informal get together for nationalists, white supremacists, fascists, and Nazis. A protester gave me a leaflet and said she’d found out about the group a couple of months ago when she had been walking down the street with her friends and saw some skinheads with Nazi tattoos sitting outside the Humanist Society, drinking beer. She’d also heard around that time that a group of them were meeting at the Lansdowne hotel (round the corner) and had ended up in a big fight there with coloured people. She found out they were meeting at the Humanist Society. There’s a suspicion that one of the blokes on the Humanist Board is right-wing and he might have said it was OK for these people to use the premises. Anyway, somehow they got approval. A protester told me that last month: “One of the Humanist women came down here with a video camera and was filming us and was worried we were doing to damage the building! She was more worried about the building than damage to us from the Nazis. I don’t feel safe in our neighbourhood with them around.”
They guessed there had been between 30-40 Nazis at last month’s meeting, and afterwards, the police formed a long line to protect the Nazis as they walked out! “We were shocked – the police never protect us.”
Facist update : David Palmer, the imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in Australia, goes to Klub Naziya meetings. Another member allegedly had fled another country after pushing a Jewish person in front of a train, killing him. They’re anti-gay too. A couple of months ago they held their annual national conference for right-wingers, the “Sydney Forum”, nearby. Also, they get worked up about international students at Sydney uni “taking our jobs”. Some of them might be involved with the Australia First Party, which is trying to be officially registered and represents the extreme right. Recently, a building in Lismore was sprayed with the KKK letters.
What cheesed everyone off tonight was that the police said the drumming and singing had to stop at 8.30pm. I heard the cop ask us to stop “because residents object to the noise”. The protesters said that was rubbish because “we are the residents – so who’s complaining?”
Also, since I live around here, the local noise regulations are that music is banned from midnight until 8am in the City of Sydney – the drumming and singing weren’t amplified, and we were all standing on the street next to a noisy pub. The cops just wanted to go home and have an early night. I reckon they felt obliged to stay in case damage was done to the building.
The protests will continue every month until everyone’s sure the Nazis won’t return.
UPDATE: Xenophobic leaflets letterboxed in Chippendale on Tuesday. Details here.