Reclaim Australia is a far right Islamophobic movement. It was founded in 2014 off the back of fear and hysteria created by the Sydney Siege. It was promoted online by YouTube & social media activist Shermon Burgess, who called for nation wide rallies on the 4th of April in 2015 in opposition to the rise of Islam in Australia. These rallies took place in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Newcastle, Hobart and the Gold Coast. RA rallies initially attracted a few hundred at each rally nationwide in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Hobart, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Toowoomba, Townsville and Mackay.
The most obvious and offensive notion is that it claims to reclaim Australia, but Australia is not theirs to reclaim. This incredibly insensitive and inaccurate claim has forced them into a corner as they continuously and shamelessly hijack the First Nations flag as part of their logo. Reclaim Australia claims to oppose all forms of radicalism and have denounced charges of racism and claim to support members and supporters from different racial backgrounds. The group has attempted to use a false image of being moderate, secular and even liberal on several social issues, including LGBTIQ rights. RA ‘is not racist’ but calls for foreigners, Muslims in particular, to immediately assimilate to Australian culture and values.
RA is organised as a kind of umbrella movement, without much central leadership. Each city had its own Reclaim circle that would plan and organise the rallies and communicate online with other Reclaim organisers from the various other cities. Groups involved in the organisation of RA include Rise Up Australia, One Nation, the PDLA, Restore Australia, Australia First Party, Q Society and the Party for Freedom.
Following the first RA rally, elements within its leadership expressed the intention of forming a militant arm of the movement to act as its fighting force on the streets and at rallies. Lead by Burgess, this element would splinter to form the United Patriots Front, which would continue to play an integral role in the organising of RA rallies.
RA was organised under the guise of freedom of speech, claiming to be comprised of concerned mums and dads and Aussie battlers who fear creeping Sharia and the loss of the Aussie way of life. They called for non whites to attend the rallies to prove that they were not racist in nature, using these people as media shields from accusations of racism and bigotry. Aside from the obvious tokenistic racism evident in their requests, RA rallies bare a more sinister danger to these people, as large numbers of neo Nazis are in attendance at these rallies.
Neo Nazis photographed at the first RA rally alone
A second round of RA rallies occurred on the 18th and 19th of July. The RA rally organised on the 18th in Melbourne was intended to be their biggest nationwide in order to out trump their opposition, calling for “patriots” across the country to attend. This turned out to be a total loss for RA as they were outnumbered 10 to 1 by anti racist counter protesters. Those on the 19th took place in their respectable tribal enclaves across the country.
RA round 2
The Melbourne RA rally was a really good day out, being a large action packed counter demonstration attended in the thousands. It was highly successful in creating a human barricade around the perimeter of the RA rally, blocking various fascists entry points. Scuffles broke out between small groups of fascists and neo Nazis attempting to break through this barricade. A small contingent of UPF militants attempted to attack the anti RA rally but were successfully repelled by anti fascists. Fascists had arrived in groups and milled around but soon began losing far right and ozfailian merchandise at every turn as they mistook bravery and patriotism for stupidity and ignorance. Others were smart enough not to cross the picket, and called it a day.
This rally was also marked by excessive use of force by the Victorian police. They brought the normal beat coppers, mounted police, dog squads, riot squads, drone cameras and the notorious snatch squads to act with impunity at the first opportunity. It was a menacing sight. Vicpol deployed copious amounts of full strength capsican spray on counter protesters. This was done several times throughout the day causing an elderly man to go into temporary respiratory failure. Police also targeted street medic volunteers treating victims of police violence with the same chemical weapon.
An interesting observation was made early on regarding the police and their use of designated areas, which allowed the police unrestrained rights to publicly search people within the vicinity of the protest. This was because UPF members had bragged online to bring guns to the rally to “shoot lefties”. Funnily enough police also discovered a gun on the Sydney to Melbourne bus, but all that happened was the gun was confiscated, the man allowed back on the bus and to travel without a hitch. It quickly became apparent that the search laws were directed at us, as they snatched many of our comrades from the crowd and searched them. So nice try police state but your intentions and tactics are about as transparent as your motto “Uphold The Right”.
Similar scenes of police violence occurred the following day in Sydney. It was business as usual as Baird’s (state) fascist boys in blue were out and about, busy manhandling the disabled, young students, teenage girls and Socialist Alternative members. A group of counter protesters were forcibly removed early in the morning from the rally location, pushing young students and a disabled man down stairs and across three roads to clear a path for their Nazi mates. Five were arrested, one of whom was a one armed 1st nation elder, who was roughed up and treated with no respect, held longer than the legal detainment time and had his pension and Medicare cards stolen. I guess we should just be grateful he’s alive and shut up.
moar brave patriotic displayz!
Throughout the day, police surrounded and kettled the counter protest, chaired by 1st Nation activists, and established over 12 mobile camera units to film and photograph anti fascists. Police openly allowed overt attenders of the Reclaim rally into the counter protest to photograph and harass us, but when anti racists wanted to leave our own protest we were blocked on both sides by mounted police and misogynistic public order (bash and dump squads) who looked all to keen for a fight or an illegal arrest. Whilst some proud fascists marched around feeling safe with the protecting eye of their minders near, they soon learned that around some people, this could never be the case. Several of them were swiftly ejected. This included members of the neo Nazi group Squadron 88 who were allowed by police to enter the counter rally and initiate a conflict with anti fascists, but were put on the run very quickly and sent sprinting into the arms of NSW cops.
In funnier news, Jim Saleam, Australia First Party chairman, and his deranged groupie Tania Rollinson were ejected from the Reclaim Australia rally. Due to old Jim being a compulsive liar, its hard to tell the truth, but his initial report was that he was reported to be an “anti fascist” by Reclaimers led by the Party for Freedom, a rival nationalist party, whom Jim believed was behind the slander and sabotage of a possible AFP recruitment drive amidst Reclaimers. A surprising speaker for Sydney proved to be old suffering anti multicultural immigrant Danny Nalliah. The twitching mess of a man spoke briefly before he was ushered off into a corner to have a nervous breakdown. He too, had trouble entering into the rally.
Police continued their heavy handed treatment of anti fascists as they illegally demanded face masks be removed so the 60 odd undercover police out that day could photograph them. We were followed and incited by a undercover Middle Eastern police officer who came up to us and tried to provoke us into confronting the UPF after the rally. No one recognised this person and we said we were leaving to go home. As people continued down the street we bumped into a police line, our undercover mate reappeared with them, surprise surprise, who had formed a safety escort for Nick Folkes and his band of PfF cowards. We took up pursuit of Folkes and his group down two blocks before badass pushbike coppers began hitting people in the face with their bike tires and punching people. They then split us up by charging us across the road, knocking over pedestrians in the process. Anti fascists were forcefully evicted from the streets by brutish pigs who threw people against bus stops, arrested a blind disabled woman, pushed over a 16 year old Arab woman and stole peoples possessions, or should i say “seized”.
Throughout the day over 400 beat cops, unknown numbers of Public Order & Riot squads, over 30 sets of mounted police, a police chopper, push bike cops (cops who aren’t able to get their P’s yet) over 50 undercover cops deployed around the city alone just so the police could prioritise elderly neo Nazis and idiotic insensitive racist nit wit zealots out on a day of race hate and attempted pogroms, whilst they shove 16 year old girls into phone boxes. Meanwhile they allow Ralph and his UPF mates to leave Sydney after boarding a bus with a gun bound for a political rally and then admitting to assaulting a young man and women before reboarding the bus in Melbourne back to Sydney, all while Ralph is on a good behaviour bond for inciting further racial hatred. FUCK THAT SHIT.
Queensland’s contingent of the Reclaim movement did its best to retain its reputation as the bastion of nativist racism, even if they aren’t native themselves. Mackay was an interesting one, organised by some random Scottish bloke called Mark Barrett who welcomed up the lumbering colossal pig George Christensen, (a far right Tory and Liberal MP for Mackay and close ally to Tony Abbott and by far the highest profile speaker at these rallies). He walked straight into a rant in favour of the dark years of Reagan rule in America. The rest of his time was spent talking about forging closer cultural links with the British and freedom of religion?. Their rally went largely unopposed with a few people heckling to the side who were largely ineffective in disrupting the rally on account of them standing around and actually listening to him.
Christensen & Mark Barrett
In Brisbane, some of Queensland’s and even Australia’s far right heavies took the stage to spout more hate. These included One Nation’s Pauline Hanson and the UPF’s filthy little potty mouth Scott Moerland. I think everyone can guess how THAT speech went. “Fucking fuck Moslims and lefties and political fucking correctness and fuck you for telling me to stop fucking saying fuck and I served in the fucking army already so give me some fucking respect you fucking cunts. ” Others in attendence were a contingent of boneheads of the PDLA who actually turned out to be the organisers of RA in Brisbane. What do you know.
Moerland speaking in Brisbane
In the Gold Coast, the small group of around 70-100 were entertained by veteran Islamophobe and Catholic extremist Bernard Gaynor and pig cartoonist Larry “raschist” Pickering. Other speakers included Kent Bayley, Harry Richardson and Jo Miles. Their little meeting almost went off without a hitch except one brave soul disrupted their little hatefest. Great work you hero you, remember you had the guts to do what no one else in la la yuppie ex pat land did. The Townsville rally was led by neo Nazi One Nation candidate Leanne Rissman, a still active beat cop with a pathological hatred for Muslims and Aboriginals. The RA rally in Northern Queensland was addressed by speakers Kim Vuga, Jean Maree and Pam Hecht.
Across the country there was a massive improvement in numbers for RA with a larger turn out in Perth with two arrests after a confrontation with Reclaimers and anti fascists. Newcastle also enjoyed a massive boost in support for the counter protest, matching the numbers of the fascists. Counter protesters there were also manhandled by police.
In Canberra the dissident Reclaim group calling itself Stand Up Australia, was lead by suffering simpleton Dan Evans. The rally was over policed, and heavily handed, surprise surprise, towards anti racists. A member of the counter protest was assaulted by a so- called patriot in a parking lot after the rally.
Patriot punching counter protester Canberra
Adelaide was much the same as round one, being led by reject politician John Bolton, a man who proudly identified as being “anti Islam” in the first five words of his speech as well as calling for the forceful assimilation, prosecution and deportation of Muslims. Violence did occur as a group of drunken patriots tried to initiate a physical confrontation with a young woman.
In Hobart a small group of patriots were outnumbered 10 to 1 and were sent home early with their tails between their legs. Not much else to say there lol. A few attempted to push through police lines to get at the lefties.
The following days featured mainstream news coverage of the weekends events. Some reports were better than others but in general there was a gross misrepresentation of events by the same old crowd of opportunistic filth merchants from the press, keen to put their name to a story at the expense of others safety and the truth. So yea, the pie munching, tourist souvenir baring, brainless bigots attended the rally in force to wave their pride in the face of the country who outnumbered them in opposition, taunting at everyday Australians opposing bigotry, from behind the lines of police, again.
Whilst safe in their little police bubble, they played great Aussie anthems, present and new, designed to ignite great feelings of camaraderie, pride and spirit, which it did. Temporarily. Soon after, a long line of musicians who had heard their music played at a fascist rally spoke out against their ridiculous presumption and claim that their music resonates in anyway with the small minded bigotry and racism of Reclaim Australia. Those that spoke out included the Midnight Oil, John Farnham, Men at Work, John Williamson and public enemy number one Jimmy Barnes. That awkward moment when your ANZAC loving Aussie working class battler denounces your deadshit backwater hick movement for what it is and you tell him to go back to where he came from. Adelaide? Scotland? Where? Its getting pretty ridiculous guys, really. Also you know you are in trouble when the only musician who did not speak out was the self parody Lee Kernighan, who has refused to denounce Reclaim on the grounds of the songs being about “love, mateship, self sacrifice, endurance and courage.” Jesus. What a wanker.
The RA movement announced its intention to rally for a third time on November 22, organising rallies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle, Hobart, Alice Springs and parts of rural Queensland. Just as well, looks like the momentum is dying as a result of your ego driven disorganised leadership that couldn’t organise a piss up in a pub.
In Sydney, the RA rally was to be held, once again, in the same place. The dreaded Martin Place. The rally was largely uneventful as both sides numbered evenly and were out of each others sight. The battle that ensued, once again, was with the police. NSW police continued state violence with their usual smirk. An unexpected march initiated from the counter rally point, instigated by members of Socialist Alternative, towards the RA rally which resulted in a predictable response, provoked from the boys in blue. Police rode horses into the rally, trampling peoples feet and knocking others over. A boy as young as eight (attending the rally with there parent) was thrown into the side of a parked car by one of the boys in pyjamas. Fucking heroes.
Infiltrator removed from rally
Melbourne’s RA rally was to take place in western suburban suburb of Melton, a logistical nightmare for those travelling by train or public transport. With the UPF leadership on holiday, the organising of the event was left on the shoulders of less significant members of the UPF, Rise Up Australia and what is left of RA Melbourne. The quality of speakers really drained the gene pool as Farma John, John Bolton, Rosalie Crestani, the Great Aussie Bastard and others turned the supposed anti Muslim speech into flat out race hate against Arab people. Fights were instigated by drunk locals and members of the so called True Blue Crew, a UPF offshoot.
The RA Melbourne group organised an after rally BBQ in a local park. The over heated drunks then went on to turn against themselves, fighting amongst each other in front of a park full of kids. Me thinks the lights are fading for this dimwitted movement by the day.
The lack of the UPF leadership was very evident in the disorganised flop that was Melton. Blair, Tom, Thumb and others had decided to ditch out on Melbourne this time and travel up to Perth to meet their reptile like mate Dennis. Despite promoting and flaunting this movement to its fullest via their page, the UPF only managed to muster a few hundred patriots, who looked more and more alarmed at Blairs Nazi rhetoric and posturing by the minute. It was during this trip the idea of their political party Fortitude was conceived.
Reclaim Australia ran into some real difficulty up north. RA Brisbane just couldn’t get its shit together and learn how to use their own mics, amps and sound equipment. As a result the rally was totally drowned out by a highly successful noise demonstration organised by counter protesters. Safe to say Pauline and Scotty weren’t too impressed. Other visible faces at the rally were a handful of neo Nazis and assorted boneheads from Right Wing Resistance (Formally known as PDLA Brisbane). They even dragged out some bloody Hitler impersonator!.
In Canberra, Reclaim Australia/ Stand Up Australia marched onto Parliament lawn with about 100 blokes. Led by Shermon Burgess, Daniel Evans and Ralph Cerminara, the crowd was incited by all three speakers to embrace ultra nationalism (Burgess) and commit acts of lone wolf violence against Muslims (Cerminara).
Adelaide experienced a highly successful counter rally on the 22nd. Members of the anti RA mob congregated and marched on the Reclaim rally and their ring leader John Bolton, successfully disrupting their speeches. The counter protest, which outnumbered the fash 3 to 1 successfully blocked RA who had the intention of marching around town. Sound job.
The most disturbing by far RA rally that occurred was the one that took place in Newcastle. The area Cessnock was chosen as it was believed to be a target area for the patriot movement with large amounts of disenfranchised white Australians. The rally led by PDLA’s John Oliver and Australia First’s Shane Worrall marched down the street virtually unopposed. The number of those that attended this rally was close to 700, growing from 300 at its last rally, making it the most successful. Alarming.
Reclaim Australia as an organisation and movement has largely dissolved and split into several other groups as a result of personality clashes, ideological differences, embezzlement and power feuds. The grouping was briefly reformed to organise the Australian PEGIDA rally on February 6 in Canberra. Although no longer functioning officially, the network continues to exist and function online.
An anti Islam rally was organised in Perth on the 18 of June under the RA banner. The event, that was organised by Perth based Islamophobic group Wanted was made up of UPF and True Blue Crew members in fancy dress and spoiling for a fight with the lefties. Well at least that was the way they wished to appear. Less than half attended from the last one, numbering little more than 100.
RA rallies have slowed to a flat line, with the organisation hanging together with string. An official RA rally was called for on the 29th of January 2017 by several representatives from across the country. Those present at the rally included Scott Moerland, Dan Evans, John Bolton, Blair Cottrell & Ralph Cerminara. Other groups in attendance included members of Party for Freedom, Rise Up Australia, Soldiers of Odin and the neo Nazi Right Wing Resistance. Despite bussing in supporters and speakers from Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle, the rally didn’t reach 60 heads. Sad. On a more somber note, because of this nonsensical gathering of reprobates, the homeless camp that had stood for months before was evicted by methed up coppers just so Nick Folkes and his cluster of fucknuckles could ramble on for an hour or two.
Efforts made by the Socialist Alternative & the Greens front group Sydney CARF (Campaign Against Racism & Fascism) were successful in sabotaging the counter rally called against Reclaim. Despite both organisations tokenistic claims to “smash” fascism, they were much better suited running a stall at Newtown train station instead, chasing paper sales and petition signatures for their ongoing struggle against fascism. Despite mounting a huge 200+ police operation, our friends in the NSW Police department once again appeared disappointed they could find no heads to crack along the way.