Sydney ‘True Blue Crew’ far right wing ‘Aussie Pride’ Flag March.

credit: Facebook.

A largely uneventful, and small, far right rally was held in Sydney on Sunday 24 June. The rally was organised by the True Blue Crew (TBC), a far right group that was formed in Melbourne in late 2015.

The “Aussie Pride Flag March” rally was made up of a group of fifty protesters, mostly middle-aged males. Many of them were draped in Australian flags and some with beach towels of the Australian flag. The police presence outnumbered the protesters.

Although it was a small gathering that marched from the Anzac War Memorial through Hyde Park to the NSW Parliament, chanting “Aussie Pride, nation-wide”  and “Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi”, the rally and its ideas are part of the rise of the far right within Australia over the last several years.

True Blue Crew describes itself as being

“against the Islamisation of Australia, the far left wing, or any ideology that seeks to destroy our Australian culture and way of life.”

TBC has focussed on opposing Islam and the building of mosques, speaking against so-called “African violence” in Melbourne, and against multiculturalism and socialism. This was the first year that TBC has held a Flag March in Sydney.

There were two large placards in the TBC rally denying that the far right are racists: “There’s no hate inpride!!!” and “Patriotism is not racism!!!” each next to the TBC logo.

Other people wore their politics on the clothing, like gang colours, showing they belonged to other far right groups such as Infidel Brotherhood. One speaker had the words “Deplorable lives matter” on his t-shirt, and another speaker had “If you don’t love it, leave” under an Australian flag on her t-shirt.

Bill Ryan Kokoda veteran

Yet, the one lone counter-protester, Bill Ryan, an elderly man in a walker, and WWII veteran, held a sign

“Kokoda veteran says NO to Racism”.

The first speaker was a young man, Thomas Hopper, from the Lads Society. This group has male-only “clubhouses” in Melbourne and Sydney, and is closely associated with Blair Cottrell of the now defunct United Patriots Front. Hopper declared

“Our movement is rising and it is growing and we will take this country back.”

He railed that

“we must stand up against the exploitation that we are currently facing, against international bankers that are taking everything from us.

Everything!

They are ruthless.

We have a country but they don’t.

They’re everywhere and anywhere.

But us, we have a soil. And we have to defend it against anything that threatens it. They’re currently trying to take everything from us. They are dividing our society. They are dividing our society very aggressively through this mass mass immigration, they’re dividing our society through this new wave of gender theory, this new radical feminism, this new age of Marxism…”

Hopper continued

Thomas Hopper of the Lads Society.

“The way we fix this mass division in our communities which I absolutely hate is to recreate a national spirit, a national unity, one that can fight against this division… This national community… will be achieved by our very own will, our own determination, our own struggle.

Struggle is the law of nature, and nature only rewards those who embrace struggle the most, we must embrace it until we become one again.”

There was no overt antisemitism in Hopper’s speech, but read between the lines and it is an old familiar refrain, antisemitic in its message and choice of words.

Another speaker was Riccardo Bosi, a tall elegant man dressed in a long brown coat, who claimed that the Australian federal government was illegitimate due to sitting politicians being dual nationals, therefore passing illegal laws, and ruling on behalf of elites overseas.

“We are at war” Bosi exclaimed. “If we lose the fight”  he warned “what we are seeing in Europe is a taste of what is to come in Australia.”

He called on people to unite politically, and to “build an army” to vote good people in to parliament.   

A small rally.  An insignificant rally in itself. But a sign that the far right in Australia is still an active force, albeit still on the fringes. Their ideas are couched carefully and covertly so as not to appear too extreme. But underneath the surface, the ideas they propagate are extreme far right and are intolerant of ethnic and religious minorities, intolerant of equal rights for women, and are intolerant of those not of their ilk.   

Julie Nathan is the Research Officer for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry

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8 comments

  1. Julie , are you sure these individuals warrant this focus.or even yout terms? I was intrigued enough to some thin and quick Googling and.didnt come.up with much.

    Sure talk of “international bankers” carving up the world or whatever is always good for shiver in the spine but there’s always been a lot of that about. The extreme right hardly have a monopoly on this. Most of it comes from the left.

    The first speaker is unknown to the internet and the all male fraternity he.belongs to looks to me pretty innocuous if a little silly. Then again single sex clubs usually are.

    It’s new I think and .may not last.
    .

  2. So the young bloke could just be a bit thick.

    The other guy could be a retired senior army officer who has seen action in Afghanistan as some kind of intelligence expert unless this is a mistaken identify . If he is this I would give him a fair hearing any day.

    That would also explain his repetitive talk about war.

  3. A lot of people are becoming alarmed at mosques poppig up in the suburbs like toad stools after rain and might not be just because hey do not like Muslims. .

    Substitute poliical Islam or Islamism for Islam and I could not find anything much objectionable about.wjat was said there either. Could that be because I’m a bit … you.know … politically correct?

    Still. You.know more about the pedigree of this than I do.

  4. And another thing. Are you sure the old digger with the placard was a.cnter demonstrator?

    Could he have been a supporter?

    This.group does seem to be anxious to distinguish its.idelogy from racism what it is.

  5. Larry Langman

    It is said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance – the author of that observation is not relevant but in the above article the sentiment is as true in 2018 as should have been in1936.

    I very much appreciate what the ECAJ does in this regard and to the attention this site gives to publishing its work.

    I am also reminded of Neimoller’s “First they came…….but I was not”….today I object to Mosques….tomorow do I object to Synagogues?

    With respect we are invited to replace “political Islam” for “Islam”….for some it is just as easy to replace “international bankers” – and note please its always “International bankers” not “international banking” – with “the Jews”……

    I read Julie Nathan’s pieces with great care and appreciate again both the efforts of the ECAJ and this site for promoting that work

    • Thanks Larry. That sentiment is very much appreciated.

      I will pass it on to the ECAJ. Also to Julie.

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