Voices of the Radical West

Securing your Facebook Profile from Fascists and other undesirables in 3 easy steps!

When engaging in anti-fascist, anti-racist or even criticising Nationalist and Fascist groups it is important to secure your information online. In this guide we will talk a little bit about common Fascist tactics to identify ANTIFA agitators, and how to thwart it. This is particularly important if you are using a personal account where information about your life, family and friends is actually posted. If you are using a fake account that does not actually interact with anyone outside of Groups and Events this guide is less relevant, but may still be worth following nonetheless.

We’ll start with an easy one, as it is quite a common tactic for Fascists to create fake profiles that appear sympathetic to the plight of refugees or even involved in Anti-Fascist actions themselves. This is why you must not accept friend requests from people that you do not personally know, or people that trusted sources cannot personally vouch for. It puts you at risk, but moreover it can put other antifascists at risk if a false-flag fascist has unabated access to your account and everything you have ever posted or been tagged in.Fuck off Colin

Not accepting friend requests is a good start, however you may still have a lot of information publicly available on your Facebook page which could be very valuable to fascists who are trying to compile data. Below are some steps that you should take to secure your data online

1. Change your name and Username

Your name is a vital piece of information for any fascists who are trying to uncover information about you. A quick google search can reveal a lot, and that is why you should not use your real name online with any account or email address that you use to deal issues pertaining to fascists, racists or nationalists. Furthermore, if you are changing an existing accounts name you should also change your username if it contains your actual name. We will use this fascist plant account as an example of what a Username is: It is simply the link that after (If it wasn’t obvious, that is a fake fash account – do not add it to your friends!)

You can change both your name, and your username here.

2. Restricting your post access.

You should not have any publicly available posts, even if the content of the post does not contain any identifying information about you or anyone else. On a public post any stranger can see both the comments, and the likes on a post. This means that your friends could be stalked to uncover not only information about them, but information about you. If you do not know how to restrict previous posts, there is a guide in step 3.

The final step to securing your friends information is hiding your friend list from public or even friends view. You can set it so that only you can see it, thus ensuring that no fascist will ever be able to stalk you through your friends, short of actively hacking your account [which is why you should have a good password!]

Go to your profile and click the small pencil button above your friends, and a drop down menu comes up.


Select Edit Privacy and set all 3 options to Only Me.

Edit Friends

This means that anyone searching your profile for compromising info won’t be able to see any friends or family who have interacted with your account, which also protects fellow Anti-fascists. It is important to do follow this step with Groups, Likes and anything else which may allow a glimpse into your life.

3. Secure your photos

Photos are an integral part of the Fascists ability to ID you. They want to be able to go to a protest, and work out who is there by simply scanning any footage taken at a protest, rally or action. If they are able to get your photo they are one step closer to identifying you, and obviously that is not a good thing. This is why it is a good idea to have a profile picture that does not feature your, or a friends, face.

Similar to the previous post, you can set all of your photos to view by “Friends Only” – this means that once again, a public stalker cannot delve through your albums and photos to find more information about you.

This can simply be done by clicking here and selecting “Who can see my stuff?”, and the third option is “Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline” – this will make all of your photos except Cover Photos set to friends only, and for this reason it is highly recommended that you delete your cover photo. 

In total this stuff should take you around 5 or 10 minutes, but for the amount of grief you can avoid its worth the hassle.If I have missed anything in this guide please let us know and we will update it ASAP!

Contraception for Welfare: Genocide, Eugenics or Both?

Gary Johns was a former Labor Party minister, and he is a prime example of the conservative hysteria that has washed over the Australian Labor Party in recent years. It boggles the mind that such a high ranking member of the so-called workers party could come out with a policy that in practice would mean the wide-scale sterilisation of poor people and ethnic minorities. Eugenics is sooo last century.

“It undoubtedly will affect Aboriginal and Islander people in great proportions, but the idea that someone can have the taxpayer, as of right, fund the choice to have a child is repugnant.” Gary Johns

He is effectively arguing that we should curtail the growth of this countries Indigenous population, because our genocidal tendencies and ongoing community-shattering policies have put them into vulnerable positions where they’ve little choice but to receive social welfare. Not only is he practically arguing for the continuation of White Australian genocide against Aboriginal Australia, but he is also arguing that child birth is a privilege of the well-to-do, and not a right for every human being. He is advocating a caste system wherein the poor are effectively second-class citizens, and the only people with maximal civil rights are those who can afford them.

This policy is as classist as it is racist, but it is also sexist. This puts the onus solely on women in the family to ensure social welfare payments continue. It means that women are not only policed out of their bodily autonomy, but they are forced to deal with the accompanying health impacts of using hormonal contraceptives. We know that this will disproportionately impinge on women because there is no mainstream contraceptive for men in Australia, thus making it near impossible to enforce the use of contraceptives on men.

Furthermore, the population debate is a sham. It is a question of resource allocation and to put the blame on poor people having children is simplistic and intellectually lazy. People like Gary Johns are quick to place the worlds woes on the poor people having children, but the fact of the matter is that we could afford to clothe, feed and educate every child in the world – but the nature of capitalism forbids this. It thrives on inequality, and it is upheld by those who profit most.

We know that a rich person consumes vastly more than a poor person. We know that across Sydney poorer communities generally have a smaller eco-foot print, and are generally more concerned about the environmental impact of their actions. It is not poor people having children that has brought this world to the brink, it is capitalism, the idea that certain individuals are worth more based on their ability to accumulate greater material wealth. This is the very same system upheld by Gary Johns, the proponent of this pro-eugenics policy to sterilise the poor. He was a Labor Party Minister, and on his parties watch the gap of wealth between the rich and the poor has grown wider.

The answer to any perceived population crisis lies in education, family planning services and providing pathways out of poverty that directly challenge capitalism, for it is capitalism that has pinned rich against poor and that is continuing to cause the collapse of global life support systems. It is capitalism that has entrenched this mentality of disregard for our fellow human beings who may not have as expensive a car or as big a house. The answer is not to scapegoat children born of struggle street for the societal issues which neither they or their parents are responsible for.

Sydney Socialists – Working Class Champions or Latte Lightweights?

Socialist Groups are an inescapable reality within Left movements in Sydney, and few are as outspoken or large as the Socialist Alternative. You can’t go to a rally without being asked to buy a subscription of Red Flag, or the myriad of other Left-Wing publications.

If you ask them what they stand for, they will tell you the uplifting of the working class and the facilitation of revolutionary politics, a conduit for social change that will rock the very foundations of society and tear down this false paradigm of Capitalist rule, and things like this. They have well-constructed arguments and they are a force to be reckoned with. This is further demonstrated by their presence in protests and marches, red flags flying proudly as topical chants and slogans pierce the otherwise sullen and dull air that hovers above Sydney, but beneath the pomp and grandeur is a stinking heap of nothing.

Socialist Alternative is one of the various socialist factions in Sydney that claims to be for the working class, but the reality tends to be quite different as their bastions of strength tend to be in Middle Class strongholds.  They will tell you that they Classare the only ones who can truly liberate working class peoples, yet their movement is noticeably lacking in working class peoples. It is quite telling that they are not able to build political momentum outside of student politics in a bunch of Inner City campus’ around the country, and they’re failing at even that as of late. They direct all of their resources into winning over impressionable University students, and deliberately work to keep political action away from Suburbs like Parramatta, a place in the heart of the Working West. It is no coincidence that they seldom mobilise outside of Sydney Town Hall, because they have nothing in common with the working class that they claim to represent.

The trend among academic socialists which tend to infest groups like the Socialist Alternative is to discount the experiences of working class people. The mentality is that despite your lived experience of class oppression, you can never truly understand what class disenfranchisement means until you read some wordy book from the 19th century. Marx’s thoughts on class may have been profound and are perhaps even still relevant to this day, but I myself have never read his work. Our experience of class is lived, and given this is it any wonder that Anarchist groups based in Western Sydney have been able to do in 6 months what Trotskyist groups haven’t been able to achieve in fifteen years? Empowering working class people to take action against capitalism, against racism and against classism. Our numbers are growing at a rate we never could have imagined when we started out, and our plans are getting bigger and more elaborate as more voices and minds come to the table. Truly it will be the people in the working class who exert the political will and power of the working class, and not some snooty Trot at the University of Sydney barking orders from their ivory tower.

On Choice, Gender Representation and Individual Autonomy

So I have been seeing some cutesy posters on Facebook this week about women ‘choosing’ what they look like, and how they represent themselves. A sexy, curvy woman in a strapless red dress tells me she chooses not to shave her legs, a young girl wearing a headscarf tells me she chose to wear her hijab, a young punk/ gender queer person tells me she chose not to wear make-up. Correction: they didn’t say anything, I was told by the poster that these women and people ‘chose’ and I should respect their right to choose.

No argument there. Women applaud.

So why do I feel so uneasy? Something is unsettling about these posters. Not just the pink background and the Art deco (?) typeface, not just the fact that the speaker is not the person being represented but a third, faceless voice. No, these posters make me uneasy because they reek of class privilege.

Nowhere do these posters, that hint at individual autonomy and then in the same moment take it away, explore race, class and privilege. Nowhere do they explore women’s and gender queer people’s resistance to mainstream, patriarchal culture. Who are these women anyway? Did they give consent to being on these posters, or are they archetypes dreamed up by the artist?

The idea of ‘choice’ is largely a capitalist myth. We often hear about it wrapped up as ‘consumer choice’ or the ‘right to choose’ whatever jobs we like as waged workers. But nowhere do we consider how for poor women, ethnic women, young women, older women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, men transitioning to women and gender queer young people – that this concept of choice is often laughable. For oppressed people, choice is a concept that favours the ruling elites, and is much unlike the concept of ‘consent’ in western patriarchal capitalist culture – it favours those with class privilege, who even had the freedom to choose to begin with, and who had that choice benefit their lives in some way.

Does choosing to represent myself in a way that keeps me from getting beaten or raped, really a ‘choice?’ Does choosing to represent myself in a way that still allows me to maintain cultural respect/ keep my job/ feel safe/ (insert oppressive structure here) a ‘choice?’

My thoughts and ideas around these concepts are still forming, and whilst I am able to read and have lots of time to think, I also really need to form dialogue around these concepts so that all oppressed voices get to share their side of the story, alongside mine. I am weary of not trying to dismiss the artist, and what I hope was her sincere intention to promote autonomy and personal freedom for all people.

But my sense of unease around this myth of ‘choice’ forces me to want to publicly consider how some of these representations of gender and autonomy act as direct sites of resistance to mainstream culture. Is this about choice? Or is this about resistance to injustice? And why did the people on the posters choose to represent themselves the way they did? Under what power structures and economic conditions and cultural norms and repressive ideals of beauty and femininity and acceptable norms around sexuality and identity?

Resistance is no longer a word used by western feminists. Perhaps it is too political. Perhaps it still puts women’s oppression and gender oppression on the agenda, unlike these posters that wrap us up warmly in the pink glow of the middle-class fantasy of ‘choice.’ Perhaps it makes me sound too angry, and we all know no-one likes a woman with too-many objections.

For some of us people who call ourselves women, and I speak here for myself, our bodies were not a choice, they were inherited. The colour of my skin was not a choice, but the way in which I am forced to defend it, explain it, identify it, disclose it is a daily a site of a power struggle around control, is I suppose, a ‘choice’ under extremely stifling cultural and economic conditions.

My weight and size are not exactly a choice. I am constantly battling with the idea of wanting a fit and strong body (but lack access to spaces that I feel safe to walk or run in) versus daily misunderstanding what beauty and strength should look like in the first place.

My wearing make-up or not, wearing a skirt or a hijab (or not), shaving my legs or not are largely connected to my economic circumstance, the freedom and safety I feel (or not) and the community and cultural standards I dwell within, that affect this concept of so called ‘freedom of choice.’

But safety, fear, money, culture, power and privilege are not discussed here, nor considered to play a role. Gender norms and sexuality norms, and the violence we experience depending on how we represent ourselves and where are not present here, and perhaps, no longer relevant. Discussions on what true freedom and individual autonomy does not make the discussion point…how and what I wear as a representation of my true desires and my voice of dissent are stifled here because what matters, I am told, is choice. And girls, I am told, can choose whatever we like.

Shut the fuck up about Western Sydney

Like Sydney’s Inner West or Northern suburbs the political culture of Western Sydney is defined by the circumstances that people find themselves in on a day to day basis. There is no uniformity of thought in Western Sydney, and why would there be when places like Cabramatta and Castle Hill are different in every conceivable way? That is why it is so shallow when tyrants like Tony Abbott or yuppies like Bill Shorten come to this place and tell us that they understand our political desires and wants. As if we’re too vapid and stupid to see that they are just using us to extend their own agendas.


It’s not difficult to pinpoint why welfare issues top the priority list in the West while environmental issues do so well in the North Shore, where tracts of untouched virgin land still remain. Or why social justice issues like our deplorable treatment of refugees or even the marriage equality movement is such a discussion point in the Inner West. 

Affluence allows you to care about things beyond your means, and when over two million Australians live below the poverty line its hardly surprising that a region as populous and marginalised as Western Sydney has totally different political priorities to more gentrified areas like Newtown or Ku-Ring-Gai. Of course people in a region where some people are routinely forced eat less than three meals a day due to cost restraints are going to be worried about the state of the welfare state first and foremost. 

The idea that people in Glebe or Marrickville should reconsider their political aspirations based on what polls say is palatable in Blacktown or Penrith is repugnant in its own right, but that is a side point. The crux of the issue is the assumption that Westies need to have their political priorities guided by anyone, least of all the political elite. The fact is that someone from a background of great affluence cannot truly empathise or understand the struggles of someone from a less affluent background.

The premise that the responsibility to guide political opinion in the Western Suburbs is purely the domain of the affluent, regardless of their political persuasion, is infuriating and frankly offensive. It erases the history of our political movements, and it undermines our autonomy to organise in our own communities. 

People in Western Sydney are capable of forming their own opinions, we do not need leftists from places of affluence to decide our political priorities for us. We are as capable as anyone of determining what is good for us, and what isn’t, because we are human beings, and not cattle to be fed into an abattoir of populist opinion and upper middle class tears.

The Rise of Modern Fascism

After this year’s European Parliament elections, it was obvious to all but the most casual observer that the major victors at the polling booth were the far right. Far-right reactionaries made a sweep of European Parliamentary seats, running the gamut from simple Euroskeptic anti-immigration racists such as UKIP and Front National in the UK and France, to outright Nazis such as Golden Dawn and Jobbik in Greece and Hungary.

This was obviously a qualified victory in many ways; turnout for EU elections is low, meaning that results will often emphasise and amplify the more extreme aspects of representation, and even with this in mind, the far right in no way maintains anything resembling a majority of seats. It would be foolish to write off these results, however, since they most assuredly reflect a growing sentiment within the European community that must be addressed. EDL

Why are Europeans starting to vote for fascists again? Has nothing been learned from history? In a time when the crimes of the Nazis still exist in living memory, when the relics of concentration camps and Brutalist architecture are still plainly visible, when people still carry the scars of fascist totalitarianism, what is suddenly becoming attractive about fascism again?

The answer is simple. People are scared.

A huge amount of Europe is either struggling through or staring down the barrel of major economic and social issues. The inexorable march of unfettered neoliberalism, in no small part thanks to the actions of the EU and other far-reaching neoliberal bodies such as the IMF, has severely weakened the economic and social structures of Europe, and the cracks are beginning to show in the dam.

The traditional balance to liberalism, the left, has itself become coopted as part of the same structure. British Labour happily tout the economic policies of Margaret Thatcher. The Parti Socialiste engaged in a crippling program of economic austerity. The Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement govern in grand coalition over the ruins of the Greek economy. “The left” as most people see it is a milquetoast sham of a movement that advocates for maybe not destroying the future of society for the enrichment of a wealthy few as quickly as the liberal right. The ever-present spectre of neoliberalism has successfully convinced people that the difference between “left” and “right” are just dials on a control panel of the same basic liberal structure of government.

In short, what used to offer an alternative for the forcefully radicalised no longer exists. Fascism, however, firmly occupies that vacated space. Fascism offers people a focus for their fears, an enemy to fight, a core message and a simple and easily-grasped political narrative that stands in stark counter to the minor gradations in shades of liberalism offered by traditional politics. It always takes root when things are looking their worst, only this time, thanks to the concerted efforts of the ruling elite for many decades, there no longer exists a powerful, organised anarchist or communist left to stand against it.

It is conceptually and narratively difficult to untangle the web of complex economic and monetary decisions that lead to a country of productive workers suddenly being unable to maintain their social structures. It is easy to blame immigrants. It is hugely difficult to explain to people that the state has become divorced from any semblance of democratic control and placed into the hands of unaccountable technocrats and private interests. It is easy to maintain that if we strengthen the state and rule with an iron fist everything will be okay. Radicalisation is difficult. Reaction is easy. Xenophobia, racism and fascism are the path of least resistance when society crumbles.

All is not lost, though. From the ruins of the two hardest-hit countries of the Eurozone crisis, Spain and Greece, another voice is appearing. Greece, at the same time as the rise of the jack-booted Golden Dawn, now has as its offical opposition a coalition of radical left and communist parties known as SYRIZA, who have successfully ridden the wave of people fleeing PASOK to be within reach of a parliamentary plurality at the next elections, as well as gaining the largest number of Greece’s MEPs. In Spain, the economic crisis has given birth to, rather than racists and Euroskeptics, the grassroots left movement Podemos went from whispers amongst the Indignados, protest movements against austerity, to 1.2 million popular votes and 5 MEPs in four months of concerted campaigning.

While fascists might be seeing media attention, the left is revitalising. It will take effort and struggle, but out of the collapse of the current order there’s no reason we cannot see a movement to a system that works for the people.

Two Tiers of Justice


It is one of the fallacies of the legal system that it dispenses justice equally and efficiently. The law is painted as an impartial bystander that affords substantive justice to all those who come before its numerous jurisdictions. Of course as anarchists we know this to be false both theoretically and practically.


The majority of society sees the law and judicial system as their last protector when things go wrong, even if it be against the state. This understanding that the population have, is a result of justice being seemingly served in the higher courts. In places like the supreme court and the high court where few cases are heard things appear more just. Judges look at things with more veracity and in more detail, essentially they ensure that justice is somewhat served in the higher courts because these are the publicized cases, these are the successes by which they choose to measure the fairness of their legal system. (When we talk about fair I refer to such cases being decided fairly relative to those decided in the lower courts. The entire legal system being unfair and not in the interest of the majority of people is a different issue related to the overall structural inequalities in capitalism and the state).

However for most people facing charges they are likely to end up in lower courts, unrepresented, and because of the high volume of cases before lower courts there is a push for quicker results. Here in the lower courts where most people are sent it is about speedy outcomes, and it is here where justice is rarely dispensed with, the place where the masses are most present. This is what is known as the two tiers of justice. In one tier you have the higher courts where there is the appearance as though justice is being served, and these are where the cases are most publicized therefore presenting the appearance of a just and equitable legal system. Then in the other tier (the local court), where most people appear especially those from marginalized groups justice is rarely if ever served.

As we know the lower courts handle the majority of cases, this is where those struggling, those committing petty crimes to survive in this horrid system end up before these courts. The lower courts are mainly interested in dealing with matters in an efficient manner often without proper attention to wider issues and problems. The imagery the citizenry have of the legal system as one of justice and procedural fairness comes from the narrow slice of higher court cases that are publicized (although of course even these are arguably unjust when examining the entire capitalist system in general). Never will you see the lower courts packed with journalists reporting about daily cases, and the courts would rather it that way so that the particular brand of justice dished out by the lower courts to everyday working people is not exposed for what it is.

Unfortunately due process and procedural fairness is not a defining characteristic of the lower courts and two reasons are often cited, firstly being that the offences and their punishment are too minor and trivial and the second that the simplistic legal nature of the matters means that the normal formalities and the need for lawyers is not necessary. Furthermore it said that because of the large numbers of people before the courts for such offences there is a need to deal with them quickly and efficiently. What this equates to in practical terms is many people form marginalized groups who come before the local courts for petty crimes are unfairly dealt with. Many go unrepresented, many plead guilty to the seemingly trivial nature of the offences and so on. The majority of people before the court system face the lower courts on a daily basis charged with crimes often committed out of necessity or so called ‘police offences’ such as those used in protests as well as offences related to drugs and private property.

The so called petty nature of the crimes dealt with by the lower courts and their penalties mean that due process is diminished if at all present. Interestingly this it at odds with the so called ideals of democratic justice which require due process and procedural fairness before ones liberty may be affected. Because penalties are less for these offences i.e. there is less interference with ones liberty the courts act as if less due process is needed. This is wrong – the level of interference does not denote the level of due process.Due process should be afforded regardless of the level of interference.

By their logic they say the more serious the crime the more due process is afforded. What this means is that working class people, minority groups and activist communities are unfairly affected since they are the ones often brought before courts for committing petty crimes under this system, yet they are afforded the least due process. Property crimes, police offences and drug offences are given the least due process, yet are the most common. The very basis of their ideology is flawed, the offences are too trivial that they don’t warrant the same due process as in higher courts but are serious enough as to warrant interference from the state. As it always has been one rule for us and one rule for them! These so called minor offences are the ones most used by the state for control; the complainants of these offences are mostly either police or the elite ruling class. These offences are often vague and couched in ambiguous terms and are prone to adhoc changes and knee jerk reactions.

“ Legal Policy has established two tiers of justice. One the higher courts, is for public consumption, the arena where the ideology of justice is put on display. The other, the lower courts, deliberately structured in defiance of the ideology of justice, is concerned less with subtle ideological messages than with direct control. The latter is closed to the public eye by the ideology of triviality, so the higher courts alone feed into the public image of what the law does and how it operates. But the higher courts deal with only 2 percent of the cases which pass through the criminal courts. Almost all cases are carried out in the lower courts without traditional due process…the traditional ideology of justice can thus survive the contradiction that the summary courts blatantly ignore it every day and that they were set up precisely for that purpose” – Doreen Mcbarnet in Conviction (1981)

The criminal justice system is of course problematic in many more ways, the above is just some simple commentary and observations on how the Australian legal system tends to operate and the way justice is dispensed in a different manner between the local and higher courts, giving the illusion to the masses that there is due process and justice – there is no justice, just us! Their legal system is one which perpetuates the conditions of capitalism and favors the ruling class and the state. The very structure of the legal system is one of domination, even all the way down to the very design of the court rooms themselves. One need only walk into a courtroom and observe how the courtroom is designed to be spatially dominant. The very way judges and magistrates are structurally elevated above their subjects is blatantly symbolic of how the legal system is one of domination.

The courtroom has often been compared to a theatre; the law is both a ritual and drama, a big play in the theatrical presentation of justice. The theater and law like a big ritual are always under threat that their prefabricated character will come to light. In the theater when there is a play that prefabrication is managed through masks and costumes and music and so on. In the courts, the law, unlike a play however must appear natural and an obvious outcome of the system.