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Sep 10, 2009

'White power' t-shirts for sale in Alice Springs

As Alice Springs grapples with the alleged bashing death of an Aboriginal man by five young white men, one man has begun selling "Alice Springs White Power" t-shirts and caps. Outside the Council offices...



As Alice Springs grapples with the alleged bashing death of an Aboriginal man by five young white men, one man has begun selling “Alice Springs White Power” t-shirts and caps from his car. And it’s all happening outside the Alice Springs Town Council offices, with local police and council officials refusing at least two requests by local residents to shut the man down.

The t-shirts and caps were yesterday on display in the passenger side window of a 4WD ute parked directly across the road from the council chambers.

The t-shirts include a swastika motif:

The number plates on the vehicle read “GANGSTA”, and a hand-written sign was taped to the back passenger window advertising the shirts and caps:

The sign included pricing — $25 for a shirt, $25 for a cap or to [sic] for $35. The sign includes a mobile phone contact.

The sale of the merchandise follows the July 25 death of Donny Ryder, an Aboriginal trainee ranger, aged 33. Mr Ryder was walking home along an Alice Springs back street when a group of five white youths aged 19-24 allegedly alighted from a 4WD and bashed him to death.

The youths have each been charged with murder, and up to nine counts of reckless endangerment — about a half hour before the bashing death the youths also allegedly drove their vehicle at itinerant Aboriginal men and women camping on the dry bed of the Todd River.

Two residents who contacted the National Indigenous Times last night said the man had been seen making several sales of the t-shirts outside the council chambers. After complaining to council officers they were told no by-laws were being broken because the sign advertising the vehicle was situated inside — not outside — the vehicle.

One of the residents who complained (and requested anonymity) said: “The fact he was sitting out the front of the council building, probably within view of many security and CCTV cameras … I think it’s pretty brazen.

“By doing it in front of council he’s trying to assert some sort of power. He’s trying to say that he has immunity to spread hate around town.”

The residents said they also complained to local police but officers declined to take any action. Calls to the Northern Territory government also fell on deaf ears.

A spokesperson for NT Police this morning confirmed officers had received one complaint, but made no further comment.

We didn’t, however, have much trouble getting comment from the seller of the t-shirts.

The owner of the vehicle is a local man in his late 40s. He identified himself only by his nickname, ‘Red’. In a lengthy interview, Red unleashed a torrent of racial abuse, after initially claiming that the t-shirts and caps weren’t for sale.

“I’m not selling the t-shirts, I’m giving them to people who want them,” Red said. But when told NIT had photographs of the advertising signs in Red’s car, he replied, “You’re just some white c-nt who’s a f-cking n-gger lover.”

Red claimed the shirts were popular among local residents — even police had shelled out the $25.

“I’ve sold them to police … I’ve sold them to nurses, school teachers. No c-nt has ever come up to me and said nothing about it. I wear my shirts and hats everywhere I go,” he said.

Red said the Alice Springs community was angry at the death of a white man allegedly bashed to death by several Aboriginal men earlier this year. He said he had grown up in the central Australian town and that Aboriginal people were the source of all the problems.

He pointed to the fact jails in the Territory were full of black criminals as proof that Aboriginal people were the cause of Alice Springs’ problems. “… 80% inside were f-cking n-ggers for doing sh-t,” he said, later conceding that he knew because he’d “done time … for flogging the f-ck out of some c-ons”.

Red said that “n-gger lover d-ckhead lawyers and reporters” only made the problem worse because they defended Aboriginal people.

A spokesperson for Alice Springs town council this morning said that the council was unable to act because there had had been no sign of “paraphernalia” being sold. Instead, it was simply a singlet that was visible from the outside of the vehicle.

Chris Graham is editor of the National Indigenous Times.


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63 thoughts on “‘White power’ t-shirts for sale in Alice Springs

  1. Jon Hunt

    Clearly there are a few anti-social traits on display here. It won’t matter what you say or do, they will still be the same. Admittedly it would be better if people such as this were put somewhere safe where they can not cause too much trouble, preferably somewhere where they can’t escape from.

  2. james mcdonald

    I suppose it would be stupid of me to ask if the police checked with a prosecutor before shrugging off multiple complaints. Council by-laws? What has inside/outside the car got to do with anything?

    Or is it me who is caught napping and the Racial Hatred Act is also suspended in NT?

  3. james mcdonald

    Well, bugger me, looks like it is me that is caught napping, and maybe the Racial Hatred Act is indeed suspended in NT. That act is just an amendment to the Racial Discrimination Act.

    Does that mean you can now legally hold KKK anti-black rallies and burn crosses on Anzac Hill?

  4. Hugh Ripper

    Are this guy’s sentiments popular amongst the non-aboriginal population in the outback? We city dwellers tend to be a bit isolated from what people think in the bush. If so, it sounds like a pretty scary place to live, especially if your black.

  5. stephen martin

    I don’t know about Alice Springs by-laws regarding For Sale signs in, or on, cars but it certainly illegal in Darwin to display For Sale signs in cars, but it may not be actively policed.
    There was a clamp down by the Darwin City Council against For Sale signs on cars parked on vacant land advising of car sales, a year or so ago. At the time the council also mentioned For Sale signs on car on the road as being illegal.
    It’s a pity that the same is not the law in Alice.

  6. Alison

    I was going to make the same comment as James – surely there are grounds of racial villification here? If this red-neck was targeting Jewish people, or some other ethnic minority, he’d be hauled before the courts for inciting racial hatred.

    I note that the NT has an Anti-Discrimination Act, but not being an expert, it isn’t clear to me whether this kind of activity falls under “discrimination” given the vendor may be just as happy to sell his wares to aboriginal people as he is to “whites” (though heaven knows why anyone of any creed or colour would want them).

    Just one more reason for the Commonwealth to hurry up and un-suspend the RDA. I wonder if the suspension really has the unexpected side-effect of protecting perpertrators of hate crimes, or if the suspension had limited application – does anyone know?

  7. Aphra

    Those of us who have travelled the length and breadth of the Wide Brown Land, know that this is only the tiny tip of the racial abuse and degradation which is endemic, especially in country areas.

    In fact, if the poverty, destitution, hatreds, violence and utter despair which is visited upon many indigenous Australians, shamefully, in their own land, were known throughout the world, we’d probably be regarded as perpetrating genocide and on a par with the most shocking excesses of rogue African and Asian states. And those of us who’ve visited and seen the despicable racism still practised in the southern states of the US are given pause when we witness much, much worse, in so-called liberal, tolerant Australia.

    On the other hand, I believe that the majority of ordinary Australians have absolutely no idea of what’s going on in their own country. For this, I blame the press which is generally silent on the atrocious third-world conditions in which so many of our fellow Australians struggle to survive. Maybe Crikey could commission a photographer to visit some of these Aboriginal communities and show how some are actually reduced to living in one of the world’s richest democracies.

    Of course, one can’t really change ingrained hatreds and senseless racist hostilities but we shouldn’t, passively, allow them to flourish, unhindered.

    The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the Nationals, Minister Macklin, whatever clown is currently Chief Minister of the NT and the mayor of Alice Springs should make a televised joint-appearance decrying this aggressively hateful behaviour. If there are no laws which proscribed encouraging racism, then all representative political leaders should not hesitate to make it abundantly clear that Australia will simply not tolerate it. And freedom of speech doesn’t come into it, or if it does, then balance that against the basic rights of every Australian to simply live, not be abused and humiliated, and not made to apologise for the colour of their skin nor their social norms and religious beliefs.

    But I guess that all will shrug, Beckett-like, braying, ‘nothing to be done’.

  8. james mcdonald

    I agree Aphra, I’ve been out of touch with the outback for some years but Aboriginals were being widely vilified in the 80s and 90s outside the big cities, and things don’t change very fast there.

    I remember a popular joke about a policeman giving a priest a lift when he swerves to kill some Aboriginals walking along the road, the policeman blasphemes about having missed one, then apologizes to the priest, who replies “Don’t worry I got him with the door.” With a few notable exceptions, whole pubs could roar with laughter at that one.

  9. Most Peculiar Mama

    They were also flying white balloons in Darwin on Tuesday.

    Should someone notify the police and UNHREOC?

    Sometimes free speech means defending the indefensible.

    I smell a beat up.

  10. james mcdonald

    MPM, you lost me, some of us can’t keep up with your brilliance. Free speech has never meant unlimited speech. In what way do you smell a beat up?

  11. SeantheBlogonaut

    The council could have at least fined him for parking illegally in a motorcycle zone.

    In terms of Racism, I didn’t find it too much different to other areas of Australia, i very rarely ever heard the word n-gger used. Oh there is a subtle racism to be sure, but no worse than I have experienced since moving to South Australia.

    It’s part media beat up to be sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the council used this instance to help push through its draconian by-laws.

  12. James Bennett

    So this bloke works for a living, is articulate , and thinks that blacks are the cause of all the problems in the Alice.

    I think you should hire him to write some stories for NIT or Crikey – he sounds like the exact opposite of the good Chris Graham and could provide some much needed balance.

    Trash talking extremists are ratbags no matter which side they are on.

  13. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…In what way do you smell a beat up?…”

    Is anyone investigating the alleged perpetration of a criminal act?

    Are we assuming guilt without the presumption of innocence?

    Does anyone possess ‘evidence’ that could lead to a criminal prosecution?

    My laundry powder has the words “white” and “power” on the front…have I broken the law?

    Has any law been broken here?

    If so prosecute.

    If not, accept that others have different – sometimes offensive – points of view and move on.

  14. Alison

    MPM – it is clear that the sale of these articles of clothing would constitute an offense under the Racial Hatred Act provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act, however as has been established, this has been suspended due to the intervention in the NT.

    The Act covers public acts which are:

    * done, in whole or in part, because of the race, colour, or national or ethnic origin of a person or group AND
    * reasonably likely in all the circumstances to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate that person or group.

    I think that “White Power Alice Springs” slogans around a swastika would fairly firmly fit this definition.

  15. Tom McLoughlin

    Really good scoop. Strong story too. It’s got to be dealt with pronto. Was this raised in federal parliament today? Doubt it.

  16. Aphra

    I know of no country where free speech is untrammelled.

    In the USA, for instance, the First Amendment does not protect against imminent or potential violence against particular persons, i.e. there are Supreme Court determined restrictions on hate speech and actions.

    If racist Australia wants to promote its cause, no one’s stopping it. My contention remains, however, that those who oppose it and those who have a responsibility for ensuring an equitable society for all, should simply stand up and be counted.

    I can’t understand what the flying of white balloons in Darwin has to do with this discussion. Seems to me, MPM, that you’re frivolously cavalier about a serious national catastrophe.

  17. Alison

    The Australian Human Rights Commission advise (subject to confirmation) that the suspension of the RDA legislation only applies to acts of the NT Intervention, not to life in general in the NT.

    On this basis, I believe the police should take action under the provision of inciting racial hatred.

    Any interested/affected person or group is invited to take the matter up with the HRC on their complaints line: 1300 656 419 – if only to ascertain whether this man’s actions (and/or the refusal of police and council to take action) contravenes the Racial Discrimination and Racial Hatred Acts. Any takers?

  18. james mcdonald

    MPM, from the top:

    “Is anyone investigating the alleged perpetration of a criminal act?”
    – Apparently not, and that’s what the whole story is about

    “Are we assuming guilt without the presumption of innocence?”
    – I didn’t see anyone post that “Red” was guilty of anything. The story was that police refused to even investigate after repeated complaints.

    “Does anyone possess ‘evidence’ that could lead to a criminal prosecution?”
    – There are some really nice colour pictures accompanying the story, which together with the content of the story, seem like evidence of Inciting Racial Hatred. Note I said evidence, not proof. A police investigation would be really helpful here.

    “My laundry powder has the words ‘white’ and ‘power’ on the front…have I broken the law?”
    – In cases of abuse of freedom of speech, juries are asked to determine what meaning an ordinary reasonable person would take from the material. If you know any ordinary reasonable people, just show one of them your laundry powder box and ask them what they take it to mean.

    “Has any law been broken here?”
    – As I said above, there facts in the story should be enough to investigate a complaint of inciting racial hatred. What I’m curious about is whether that has ceased to be a crime in the NT, with the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act. I believe inciting racial hatred used to be covered by the common law offense of sedition, but I have no idea if that still applies in NT.

    “If so prosecute.”
    – Why do you think Chris Graham wrote the story?

    “If not, accept that others have different – sometimes offensive – points of view and move on.”
    – No. Liberties in a libertarian society are bound by the rights of others to the same liberties.

    Live and let live.

  19. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…a serious national catastrophe…”

    Please. Spare us the hand-wringing dramatics.

    One monchromatic cracker in the Top End and the chatterers go postal.

    A “serious national catastrophe” is today’s job figures and the spectre of an interest rate hike..

    Get some perspective.

  20. james mcdonald

    Thanks for the comic relief. I find it amusing that in spite of your loftier perspective, you continue to show such an interest in the “hand-wringing dramatics” of this story.

  21. Alison

    MPM – I believe Aphra was referring to the plight of some Indigenous Australians (see previous post) and not the actions of this one man when referring to a “serious national catastrophe”…

  22. Aphra

    Thanks, Alison.

    MPM, I base what I say and believe on what I’ve personally seen and experienced.

    I have no doubt, either, that if the majority of Australians were truly alive to what’s occurring in their own backyard that they, too, would wring their hands in shame and embarrassment.

    And try telling disadvantaged, hungry, sick and ailing, poorly-educated outback Australians that all that matters are job figures and the spectre of interest rate rises. To many, this has no relevance, and it’s our shame that it doesn’t.

  23. james mcdonald

    “If not, accept that others have different – sometimes offensive – points of view and move on.”
    – You’re allowed to hold whatever views you please. You’re allowed to believe privately that women are slaves, Hitler was the messiah and non-WASPs are sub-human. You are not allowed to inflict these messages on society in public places in such a way as to make people feel vilified or incite others to hatred.

  24. james mcdonald

    Hi James Bennett. “So this bloke works for a living, is articulate , and thinks that blacks are the cause of all the problems in the Alice. I think you should hire him to write some stories for NIT or Crikey – he sounds like the exact opposite of the good Chris Graham and could provide some much needed balance. Trash talking extremists are ratbags no matter which side they are on.”

    Bring it on. He might feel the law cramps his style a bit, but I’m all for exposing views like his to the light. As I said to you once before, I think we made a mistake martyring Pauline Hanson instead of debating her.

  25. Heathdon McGregor


    If racist Australia wants to promote its cause, no one’s stopping it. My contention remains, however, that those who oppose it and those who have a responsibility for ensuring an equitable society for all, should simply stand up and be counted.

    Hear Hear

  26. Gary Stowe

    Well bugger me (to quote James McDonald). Here I am defending Chris Graham (a regular and vociferous antagonist whom I dislike with some vehemence for his purblind views) against the likes of James Bennett.

    James, read the article again. In the face of some really ugly, deliberately provocative acts and destructive, trashy comments from a clearly distorted person, this article is one of the most dispassionate and clear I’ve ever seen from Chris. For once he presents all the facts and lets them speak, with great eloquence, for themselves.

    Can’t quite believe I’m saying this but well done Chris. I had to go back to the by-line and check who’d written it.

  27. James Bennett

    Well done Gary,

    I’m sure Chris appreciates your support in the face of criticism from the likes of me.

    So now i’ve read the article again i think i see your point.

    Chris is saying this single redneck dufus in his gangsta ute is representive of or protected by the majority of ( white ) councillers , police officers and the community in Alice or the NT ?

    What a suprising theme for Chris.

    Just as we probably don’t judge the entire aboriginal population by some drunken wife beater in the Todd, we could also imagine Red may not mirror the beliefs of all that many whitey’s.

    Despite what most of you yearn to believe, this is not a big story..

    As i said before – this bloke is dickhead , he’s not a mirror into the hidden racist soul of the white community – he’s just a dickhead .

    There’s plenty around.

  28. james mcdonald

    James you still missed the point, in spite of as Gary said the story being unusually eloquent and crystal clear.

    One neo-nazi in a car in the middle of an Australian town is not a story.

    A whole police local area command, a town council, and a territory government, shrugging their shoulders at complaints of a neo-nazi distributing racial-hate paraphernalia in the middle of an Australian town. That’s a story.

  29. Bob Durnan

    Apart from Chris Graham having the facts of the matter wrong, in relation to his description of what happened to the late Donny Ryder (as far as I am aware, no witnesses or press reports claim that all five men “alighted from a 4WD and bashed him to death”), there are other issues that I would like to contest here.

    As a long term friend of the mother and father/uncle of the deceased, I feel offended by Chris Graham’s emotive and exploitative intervention in this matter, as he has connected the apparently legal act of a stupid racist selling objectionable t-shirts with the tragic death of Donny Ryder against the widely reported and clearly stated wishes of Donny’s family about how they would like people to behave in the dangerous situation in Alice after his murder.

    Crusading Chris is exaggerating and over-reacting again, attempting to inflame the feelings of his readers in the manner of any ordinary demagogue.

    So is James McDonald. There is absolutely no evidence presented to show that “A whole police local area command, a town council, and a territory government, [are] shrugging their shoulders at complaints”: in fact, on the evidence presented, one or two (probably low level) employees of the Alice Springs Town Council claimed not to be able to find a way under the Council’s relevant legislation to act against this nasty moronic bigot; one or two police officers claimed the same in relation to NT law and police standing orders. They may be right. Chris quotes no legislative requirement to the contrary. Nor does he quote any contrary by-law. Neither Crusader nor James consider this.

    I’m not sure why they feel able to include the NT Government in their swinge, other than that they probably just felt like doing so. Neither James nor Crusader provide any evidence for the alleged NTG culpability in any of this. “Calls to the Northern Territory government also fell on deaf ears” is not evidence. It is a lame journalistic line, and could well mean that nobody had replied to Crusader’s phone enquires by the time he filed his story, a fact which for all we know may have a perfectly reasonable explanation.

  30. walypala

    Have any of you lot even been to the NT, let alone my home town of 10 years Alice Springs?

    Most of the guff expressed above is typical of the misinformed arrogant bollocks we’ve come to expect from the inner suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney pontificating on matters of race and everything else in outback Australia.

    The police and council took the appropriate action in my view – ignore this isolated individual dickhead. James Bennett hits the nail on the head … “this bloke is dickhead , he’s not a mirror into the hidden racist soul of the white community – he’s just a dickhead.” This would be the opinion of 99.9% of the community here, so why create a storm in a teacup and give this idiot oxygen?

    From what I can see in his other material Chris Graham has absolutely no idea what he is talking about in relation to the NT. Anyone interested in what indigenous leaders in the NT really think should seek out the views of Alison Nampitjinpa Anderson and Bess Nungarrayi Price … who both support the Intervention. Listen to indigenous people, not fools like Chris Graham.

  31. Liz45

    JAMES MCDONALD – Thank you! At last! I can’t believe that it took so long for some people to grasp the reality of this travesty. I just found it disgusting, chilling and really sad. After over 200 years we still have this entrenched racism, that’s protected and upheld by our so-called politicians and police!

  32. james mcdonald

    Walypala: Yes. Wonderful place, much more fun than Sydney all things considered, shame about the apartheid.

  33. matthew

    On local ABC radio this morning (here in Alice Springs) ‘Red’ apologised unreservedly for what he described as stupid comments. He added that he is a dickhead who deserves everything he has coming to him (he has apparently received threats).

    However I think, contra to the thoughts of Walypala there is a significant race issue here in Alice, and that this kind of thing is a tip of a scarily big iceberg. It has a long history and keeps on being recreated in the homes and minds of people all over town. If there are any doubts you just have to go back to the aftermath of the CAFL grand final of 2007 when footage of a post match brawl were posted on Youtube (by the owner/publisher of the local paper the Alice Springs News) resulting in hundreds of extreme racist comments.

    However I dont really think that there is anything we might do about it as a town. That said the exposure of this and the resulting apology at least put it on the table; the cause of making Alice Springs a better place to live is not served by pretending that racism does not exist (and dont get me started on the institutional racism!)

  34. SBH

    @Walypala what’s with the name calling? If only it was a single isolated incident but you know it’s not. The ‘f*ck off c*ons’ on the sings at East Point and Casurina College, the motel owners who refuse admission to Aborigines, the advice not to buy or rent a place because its near a ‘renal unit’ liqour laws that target aborigines in a way southerners don’t even notice, joke about ‘boongs’ and ‘gins’ and so on.

    As to indigenous leaders should we start a list of who supports/doesn’t support the intervention? Or maybe you’ve done a poll and you can tell the rest of us who is and isn’t entitled to speak out on these issues?

  35. Jammiegirl

    I agree with both Matthew, SBH and Alison. I am an Alice Springs resident and this town does have intrenched racism. This issue is brushed under the carpet, so much so that when five white youths go on a rampage through the Todd River intimidating Aboriginal people and ultimately killing one, it barely rates a mention in any paper within or outside of Alice Springs (see an article on my blog about this http://girlinthepjs.blogspot.com/2009/08/alabama-1960-or-northern-territory-2009.html).

    I do not think the Council nor the Police took the appropriate action. Racial Discrimination Act aside (no pun intended), as someone mentioned, Red was parked in a motorcycle zone, which is contrary to the Alice Springs Town Council parking laws. He should have been fined and moved on by a Council Ranger.

    I think that if we are going to take steps to change the attitudes of people in this town then these instances need to be publicised and decried.

  36. walypala

    I’m not disputing that racism exists in Alice Springs – it is a human attribute that exists to some extent everywhere in all cultures in the world. The question is whether Alice Springs is a hot-bed of neo-nazism and should be singled out as significantly more racist than anywhere else. For what it’s worth, the phrase ‘white c*nt’ is heard here at least as often as any other racist term.

    OK, I was wrong to call Chris Graham a fool. But the fact is some indigenous leaders are more representative of their community’s views than others. Alison and Bess were born in the desert, speak their language, know their culture and speak legitimately as members of the remote communities to whom the Intervention by and large applies … and resent outsiders of any colour speaking for them.

  37. james mcdonald

    How’s this then: If distributing tshirts with swastikas and “white power” in the middle of Alice with impunity is OK with Alison Nampitjinpa Anderson and Bess Nungarrayi Price , then it’s OK with me and I’ll take back everything I said.

  38. Jammiegirl

    The Centralian Advocate ran this story today (front page, Alice Springs local paper). They have comments from the police who are investigating. From the investigation they will decide what action to take.

    The Advocate has also received legal advice that due to the suspending of the Racial Discrimination Act and the weak nature of the NT Anti-Discrimination Act provisions the police probably won’t be able to prosecute.

  39. livid-i-tee

    Walypala – i disagree, while this particular story clearly relates to just one dickhead in the community. To imply that it is an isolated sentiment and not reflective of the community out here is dangerous.

    There is an undeniable and extremely strong undercurrent of racism in this town and occasionally it surfaces in an ‘isolated’ incident such as this one (or the bashing death of Mr Ryder). Pretending it doesn’t exist and ignoring dickheads like this gives this guy and his racist buddies the go ahead to do whatever they want.

    This is clearly a case of racial vilification and should be treated as such.

    “A whole police local area command, a town council, and a territory government, shrugging their shoulders at complaints of a neo-nazi distributing racial-hate paraphernalia in the middle of an Australian town. That’s a story.” And that my friend is alice springs racism in action!

  40. walypala

    I guess if you’re predisposed to grand conspiracy theories then the neo-nazi sympathising police and council theory might seem plausible. A more plausible explanation is that this type of event is so rare and left-field that the authorities in question were simply unprepared and didn’t know what to do. Or, given that this individual is universally recognised as a dickhead with no constituency who can’t even give his crap away, had more urgent priorities.


  41. David Dalrymple

    Alice Springs – typical. I am sorry but even so-called indigenous leaders such as Alison Anderson and Bess Price would not tolerate let alone support such action from this person. The problem is and one that everyone needs to face is that Alice Springs is a racist red-necked place. Of course they hate anyone telling them what to do but the bleeding obvious is there. My god for anyone to say that Alice Springs is not racist and that all is okay – pull your head out of the sand.

  42. walypala

    David, Since you’re such an expert on Alice Springs I can only assume you’ve spent more than a couple of days here. In any case, you feel free to slander the town and everyone in it with stereotypes and unfounded gross generalisations – typical racist traits in themselves. There are thousands of people in this town who work very hard every day doing the exact opposite of what you portray and you insult them all.

    To reiterate:
    1. NO-ONE supports the nazi guy … that is the whole point.
    2. Racism exists in Alice Springs, as everywhere else.
    3. Racism in Alice Springs is a two-way street.

  43. micae

    Shame on us Australians in the eyes of the world.
    So it’s ok to walk around selling and wearing shirts and hats with swastikas on them? I can’t believe Jewish people aren’t reacting and making representations to the law to stop this abhorrent behaviour.
    I am perplexed as to why people in the NT are able to act as if they are above the laws of common decency and morality – then bleat about people in the cities not understanding them.

  44. asdusty

    I think that we can all agree that this bloke is a dickhead but the disturbing rise in fascist groups in Australia and across the globe is what we should be really concerned about. The grand poo-bah of the KKK in Australia, David Palmer, recently announced that the Klan was involved in NSW state politics (http://www.smh.com.au/national/we-have-infiltrated-party-kkk-20090709-der4.html). A splinter group of the KKK used to be based here in Toowoomba before moving to Townsville (it seems that military types love these nutbags ideas and the military is a fertile recruiting ground for them). When the Grand Wizard visited Australia a few years ago these were the two places he visited and there was a rally held for his honour in Townsville. But the Invisible Empire of the Australian Knights of the Klu Klux Klan are just the tip of the iceberg. Many white power groups view the Klan with distrust as they are a christian group and every body knows that “Jesus was a jew”.Groups like Blood and Honour, Southern Cross Soldiers and the Storm Front idiots are more insidious as they are infiltrating institutions quietly. Political group such as the United Australia Party, which was formed from the dregs of One nation, still distribute racist propaganda behind a veneer of party political respectability. Fascism finds fertile ground in economic instability and to dismiss them as irrelevant is just stupid. Look at the growth of the British National Party which has now secured seats in the European Parliament and will win seats at the next UK general election. Do we want fascist political groups in Australia?

  45. asdusty

    BTW: Walypala, if NO-ONE supports this guy, why is there racism in Alice Springs?

  46. walypala

    “So it’s ok to walk around selling and wearing shirts and hats with swastikas on them?”

    Micae: No one anywhere here walks around with this rubbish on. The nutter had them for sale but didn’t sell any to anyone, and can’t even give them away by his own admission. You are totally misinformed (actually, you made that up yourself).

    AsDusty: Who can argue with penetrating logic like that?

    I’ve wasted enough time here. You lot should actually get out of the east coast cities sometime and inform yourselves first-hand about the country you live in so that you are not so easily duped. Have a nice life in fairy tale land.

  47. james mcdonald

    Walypala: Bye

    Jammiegirl: Thanks for the critical piece of the puzzle which shows just what a big story Chris has reported here:

    “The Advocate has also received legal advice that due to the suspending of the Racial Discrimination Act and the weak nature of the NT Anti-Discrimination Act provisions the police probably won’t be able to prosecute.”

  48. asdusty

    Ah Walypala, you make a non-sensical statement and when challenged attack the person challenging you. Good on ya.
    I dont live in fairy tale land but Toowoomba, and, while not Alice Springs, used to be a base for the Klu Klux Klan before they moved up to Townsville. I have seen people walking around here wearing swasticas, plus seen hate material produced by the Unite Australia Party, who distributed pamphletts claiming black men are responsible for the rape of white women before the last council elections in the hope this would get people to vote for their candidate. The Invisible Empire of the Australian Knights of the KKK are just the tip of the iceberg with home grown groups such as Blood and Honour and Southern Cross Soldiers at the forefront of the Fascist movement in Australia. These groups are well organised and insidious in their determination to infiltrate institutions within Australia, and anyone that claims this is not a problem really is walking round with their eyes closed.

  49. Chris Graham

    “I’ve wasted enough time here. You lot should actually get out of the east coast cities sometime and inform yourselves first-hand about the country you live in so that you are not so easily duped. Have a nice life in fairy tale land.”

    Ah, the last refuge of a scandal – Walypala gets defeated on every point, so he plays the ‘you live in an East Coast city’ card.

    As to other people being misinformed, afraid it’s you big guy. Red did sell his t-shirts (he was witnessed doing so by two separate residents).

    If you actually read the story (or perhaps ask someone to read it to you) you’ll note that he denied selling the shirts, until I told him we had a photo of his for sale sign, at which point he called me a f**king n*gger lover and then admitted selling numerous t-shirts.

    Given you’re so proud of your views, why don’t you tell everyone you’re real name… [queue the deafening silence].

  50. walypala

    OK, I’m a glutton for punishment so I’ve come back for more.

    Chris, I’ve apologised for name calling in relation to you and no, I never use my real name in any internet forum.

    Anyway, I think you lot (those attacking my contributions) are just as guilty of not reading what was actually said.

    I abhor racism, especially the organised white thug neo-nazi variety. My entire beef with this whole story and thread has been that Alice Springs has been singled out as somehow worse than anywhere else. It is about how this town is being represented. I do not for a minute suggest that racism is not abhorrent, dangerous and a serious social problem.

    But from what other posters have said, it seems the real hot beds of neo-nazism are far away from Alice Springs in places like Toowoomba and Townsville. I did some research on nutters like the SCS mentioned by AsDusty … they are all based in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. So why portray Alice Springs as the centre of neo-nazism in Australia, when much bigger problems lie elsewhere?

    There are just as many positive stories of racial harmony and reconciliation in this town, for example the garden on the Council lawns just opened today celebrating indigenous and Afghan culture. And this from a ‘neo-nazi’ supporting council? And the many people of many races who work tirelessly and compassionately in many different fields assisting indigenous people every day.

    Come on, this town isn’t perfect and there is a long way to go, but we’re no worse than anywhere else. In fact we’re probably much better in some ways.

  51. james mcdonald

    No, the whole Territory that has been singled out, because laws that guard against racism have been suspended only in the Territory. You may have got used to “isolated dickheads” there but in some parts of Australia police would move quickly to arrest anyone like that, partly to prevent them being lynched.

    And the posts here about neo-nazi organizations should cause you to do a double-take on what looks to be an “isolated dickhead”. Those organisations will be watching community reactions to this “isolated dickhead” very closely as a testing of the water, and it’s conceivable they put him up to it.

  52. Alison

    Um, I think I did make it clear in an earlier post, that the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act ONLY applies to acts under the NT intervention. It is NOT an open license for every race-baced offence to suddenly be ignored or go unpunished.

    Racism anywhere is abhorrent, pointless and feeble-minded – this is just one story about it, one example of it, but one where authorities felt they were either unable, or unwilling, to act – that is the unfortunate part.

    I don’t think it is being suggested that Alice Springs is more intrinsically racist than any other given part of the country and of course there are good news stories to balance the bad – it’s just that they seldom make sensational news (unfortunately). I’d far rather see stories about the positive things that are going on in the world, but usually you’re lucky if there’s one “puppy rescue” or other feel-good story on the nightly news – the rest is doom, gloom and disaster. What this says about human nature, I’m not sure, but most aspects of man’s inhumanity to man have ceased to surprise me, if not to sadden me.

    I think in the end we all agree that the actions of “white power” guy are bad and that we would prefer he and all others like him cease and desist from trying to stir up (further) trouble. I’d be interested to see a follow-up story on this that tells what, if any, action the council or police decided could be taken. If Red is able to be charged and a conviction is upheld, I hope the magistrate sentences him to some re-education and community service, though I’m probably too optimistic if I think he’s likely to see the light. Still – worth a try, yes?

  53. Alison

    PS Chris – as a journo, it behoves you to take a more tolerant approach to your commenters. Making snide and sarcastic comments to people who express their opinion on your story isn’t a very good look for a professional.

  54. Bob Durnan

    As Mr Graham hasn’t bothered to do a follow-up report to his fairly alarmist original piece, readers would be probably interested to learn that the police did [charge] Denis Donohue (aka ‘Red’) last Saturday [edited] with offensive behaviour in a public place.


    As for those paranoid individuals who worry that “The Invisible Empire of the Australian Knights of the KKK” and “groups such as Blood and Honour and Southern Cross Soldiers” are “at the forefront of the Fascist movement in Australia” – this may be true, but the “movement” you speak of must be small enough to fit in a mini-bus. Where is any evidence to the contrary?

    You seem to indicate that one wing of this movement relocated from Toowoomba to Townsville recently. These freaks have no discernible following, and the thing they most crave is your attention and the publicity you provide for them – something that hysterics and sensationalist journos are often willing to give them.

  55. james mcdonald

    Good news Bob. Possibly in response to “complaints from the public” to which Chris’s article would have contributed.

    Point taken about giving extremists oxygen, but if they can fit in a mini-bus it’s a bit of a coincidence that I’ve been invited several times to join or learn about such organizations in the course of conversations in bars and elsewhere. And I don’t even have blue eyes, or a Charlie Chaplin mustache.

  56. Bob Gosford

    I think that more than a few people will be watching the prosecution of Mr Donohue closely – and just what evidence will be led in relation to his charge of “offensive behaviour”. I wonder if they will ask Chris for a copy of his taped conversation with Donohue.
    The ABC reports that: “The Southern Region’s Acting Commander, Kym Davies, says the matter only became criminal after people told police they had been offended by the merchandise. “As a result of our investigations the 48-year-old man was arrested in Alice Springs in relation to those matters,” he said. “So he was arrested for making a false report to police and offensive behaviour in a public place and he’s been bailed to appear in the Alice Springs court.”

    Two other issues remain – the apparent inaction of the Alice Springs Council – did Donohue contravene the current by-laws and would Council officers have taken any action? Apparently not.
    And would the matter would have been treated differently by Council and staff under the proposed new by-laws?

    The other matter – and this relates to Bob D’s comment about the minibus – is the number of “F..k off, we’re full” and similar stickers seen on cars in Alice, Darwin and elsewhere – who are these people that feel this way? Do they represent the “softer” edge of the movement that Bob refers to?

    And from the number of such stickers I’ve seen around the flat you would need a fleet of 40 seaters to hold them, not just a minibus!

  57. asdusty

    Where is any evidence to the contrary?
    I dunno, recently, the neo-Nazi symbol ‘88’ (representative of ‘HH’ – ‘Heil Hitler’) was painted on the home of the NSW Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal. The graffiti attack occurred one month after Mr. Roozendaal blocked any preference flow from the Labor Party to the far-right, anti-immigration Australia First Party, prompting the group to come under scrutiny.
    Also the most recent attack on Indian students in Melbourne was linked to Neo-Nazis visiting the city for a Fascist group convention.
    How much evidence do you want?

  58. asdusty

    BTW, I cant agree with not discussing this issue in the fear it will give ‘oxygen’ to these idiots. Racism is based on ignorance, and you are never going to change ignorance by not talking about. The recent Newsweek coverstory on Racism points out that good, non-racist people can end up with kids with intolerant ideas about race because they DONT talk about it! If you leave a vacuum in peoples heads it may fill up with any old crap so the best thing we, as good, tolerant people, can do is expose these nasty, hate-filled scumbags as the scum they are.

  59. vera

    Of course the NT Government had to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act.. how else could they introduce their Racially Discriminant Intervention.. The Human Rights of a whole section of the population have been suspended.. any wonder racists feel free to express their views..
    It’s obviously time a Charter of Rights for Indigenous People be included in Constitution of this country..
    That Howard intended this legislation to disguise an attack on land rights I have no doubt.

    But we have a brave new world to embrace..
    While the rights and safety of Indigenous women and children in the Territory need to be addressed.. so also must the rights and dignity of the rest of the population be preserved.

    Fundamental to this end is a relevant education system.. (not teaching that “cat says meow”).. with culturally relevant material which will not only preserve ancient Indigenous cultures and languages for future generations.. but to see them thrive and blossom for the benefit of the whole country …

    A country whose citizens have marched in the major capital cities in support of their indigenous brothers and sisters right to self determination, land rights, and a better life… and in vast numbers… half a million in Sydney alone.. prepared to take responsibility for the dreadful suffering inflicted on our Indigenous people…
    That march saw SORRY written boldly across the sky above the Prime Ministers residence … This act demanded an apology from our new incoming Prime Minister.. who said Sorry on our behalf in a national address which the country was permitted to stop work for.. to watch..

    We have shown our desire to see our indigenous communities move forward to a better future.. and on their terms.
    Every act that impedes this progress must be deplored.

    Our government on our behalf has a mandate to improve conditions for our Indigenous peoples.. it just needs to be shown the way..

    Perhaps a FORUM in the northern Territory to bring together interested people like the Canberra forum..
    To create a blueprint for the future.. to focus attention on ways the country can help…
    In Victoria after the bush-fires peoples SO wanted to help and their heart’s bled not to be afforded the opportunity..

    Maybe a competition for kids to design their own curricula and teaching material… it’s bound to be better and more relevant than the rubbish they are being subjected to at the moment.. (has anyone told the education department cats are responsible for extermination of native species..)

    We need to look at the big picture here I think.

  60. vera

    From: The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination..
    To which Australia is a signatory..

    Article 4

    States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to this end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth in article 5 of this Convention, inter alia:

    (a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;

    (b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and also organized and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;

    (c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination.

  61. pwnerous

    An interesting point was reported on JJJ’s ‘Hack’ program last night – the prevalence of ‘f–k off we’re full’ stickers in Perth, and the approval of a number-plate reading ‘foffwrfll’ (or something similar).

    As a resident of Perth, and the Grandson of Dutch immigrants (who faced similar attitudes in Queensland from the 1950’s), I can say I find these stickers highly offensive and embarrassing. The stupidity is particulary pronounced given the amount of wealth thats been pumped into Perth/WA from our good relationship with Asia – and the bogans that have done well out of this.

    I’d definitely support a crack-down on displaying or selling this kind of material! It’s the closest I’ve come to road rage.

  62. micae

    re. Vera’s post: ‘Of course the NT Government had to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act.. how else could they introduce their Racially Discriminant Intervention.. The Human Rights of a whole section of the population have been suspended.. any wonder racists feel free to express their views..
    It’s obviously time a Charter of Rights for Indigenous People be included in Constitution of this country..
    That Howard intended this legislation to disguise an attack on land rights I have no doubt.’

    I think Vera is spot on – all happening to a backdrop of Uranium mining.
    Also a paradox regarding the racists who like to perceive others as somehow ‘lower’ than themselves – people who feel lowdown on the social scale actually NEED these people they are hating on to shore up their own uncertain sense of social identity. They like to reassure themselves there are people lower on the scale of humanity than they are.

  63. beckchanock

    I have never understood why one is supposed to accept other peoples’ “different, sometimes offensive points of view”. If someone is hateful, amoral and racist, then yes, that’s very different to my point of view. We are not “both entitled to an opinion”; he is wrong and I am right. Only people who suspect they are morally dodgy themselves will defned the right of racists to “free speech”.

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