Facing Off Against Fascists And Racists: In Defence Of the Anti-Reclaim Australia Protests


Some people believe the anti-Reclaim rallies are counter-productive. Matthew Stoff explains why they’re not.

By now, it should be obvious to everyone who knows what the words mean that Reclaim Australia is a disingenuous neo-fascist movement, taking advantage of the fears and prejudices of working class Australia to promote a white supremacist ideology.

What’s less obvious is the reason why that’s true. Ask any passionate supporter of Reclaim Australia to respond to this argument and they’ll come back with something like this:

Stormfront 0

I don’t know if the person quoted actually believes in white supremacist ideology. I don’t know if he only sees this as useful rhetoric to defend a cause he believes in from attack, or if he sees it as a valid counter-argument against my position Reclaim Australia is a white supremacist movement.

But I do know a little bit about white supremacy, having spent a bit of time on racist forum Stormfront researching the origins of a particularly malicious white supremacist meme posted as a random Youtube videos in late 2011.

It’s referred to as The Mantra, designed by white supremacist Bob Whitaker to create a more positive environment for racist thought in an increasingly progressive society. The version I saw looked like this, taken from a still-active thread on Stormfront forum discussing and explaining its use:

Stormfront 1

The interesting thing about this post isn’t the mantra itself, but the discussion that followed it on Stormfront, and the places that discussion led.

White supremacists viewed the mantra as a tactic to present unpalatable opinions to the public at large, a public they saw as being “brain-washed” by academia and social justice activism.

As one Stormfront user writes:

Stormfront 2

The mantra is used for its rhetoric value, an entry point for white supremacists to get otherwise non-racist people thinking more positively about white supremacist ideas. One poster expresses this explicitly this way:

Stormfront 3

The true “logic” governing their point of view is only shared in private circles. The mantra is a friendly front, designed to bring new people into the fold. Compare it to the manifesto of Reclaim Australia, taken from the Reclaim Australia website:

Stormfront 4

The telling part is on a deeper page:

Stormfront 5

While this paragraph is easy to relate to, (as all good propaganda should be,) it also betrays the focus of the movement, described before as being about:

Stormfront 6

But if the movement is only about maintaining “freedom of speech”, “equality”, and “tolerance”, why the special focus on western civilization, or Judaeo-Christian cultural identities?

The answer is because the movement is rhetorical: playing off our pre-existing prejudice and fears (the world is getting more dangerous, we didn’t have to appease so many social groups when we were kids etc), and using them to create an environment more accommodating for white supremacy. The same tactics that white supremacists on Stormfront use to spread their fascist ideology.

Free speech is not applicable to fascists, because fascists aren’t willing to engage in it. They know that their opinions are unpopular. They know that they will crumble under scrutiny.

Because of this, they won’t present them openly, putting out rapid-fire bursts of half-truths and empty rhetoric, designed to disarm their competition and persuade uncritical onlookers to adopt their point of view.

They are not interested in debate, so debate will fail to touch them. Counter-protest is the only thing that’s left.

They need to know that their ideology is unacceptable. That we see through their lies and propaganda, and we don’t approve of what they want to do.

Giving them a stage is not the answer. We need to fight them off instead.


Maddison Stoff is a 29 year old writer, critic, and independent musician from Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter: @TheDescenters.