|How the sausage is made|
|Inventing "The Other"|
|Fear And Loathing|
“”I cannot live any longer in this left wing NANNY state that is pushing the safe schools program, has announced Canberra as a refugee safe zone, (don't worry about Australians). Go stick your regressive shit up your ass but you'd like that you bunch of poo pushers.
|—Dan Evans reacts to his 2016 electoral loss|
Reclaim Australia was an Australian right wing political movement that maintained that "patriotic Australians need to stand together to stop halal tax, Sharia law and Islamisation". The movement was established in late 2014 and lasted until 2016. The movement was also strongly anti-leftist and gained prominence after conducting major rallies in cities all over Australia, in April, July and November of 2015.
The first Reclaim Australia rallies were held across Australia in April 2015. A second round of rallies were held in July 2015, along with its child and later successor organisation, the United Patriots Front. Both protests generated plenty of praise, criticism, and counter-protests by left wing groups who accused Reclaim Australia of racism and of preaching hate. Some violence erupted at a protest in Melbourne.
The main figurehead of the movement, prior to his departure, was Sherman "The Great Aussie Patriot" Burgess. Just like any other Islamphobe, they deny that they are anti-Muslim and are just want "Australia to be a Christian-based society" which basically amounts to "I want religious freedom only for me, me and ME. $&@! those damn Muslims!".
The movement organisers stated that "Reclaim Australia" is a movement of "patriotic Australians" who wish to prevent the Australian way of life being compromised by radical extremism. It lists the following 9 point plan on its official website, which are stereotypical wingnut and crackpot positions:
- To stop any enforcing of Sharia law throughout the whole of Australia. To make Sharia Law illegal in every State and Territory.
- Keep our traditional values ie. Christmas, Easter, Australia Day, Anzac Day and other beliefs a large number of Australians have grown up with.
- Keep our rights and freedom of speech.
- Halal certification should be banned and made illegal. (if not banned, then control should be handed over to the government so it isn't a moneymaking scheme for Islam).
- Introduce pride in the Australian flag and national anthem at all levels of schooling.
- Ban the teaching of Islam in government schools.
- Ban the Burqa or any variant thereof.
- Ban Female genital mutilation (FGM) and introduce mandatory 10 year jail terms for perpetrators and organisers. This includes those who send girls overseas to have FGM carried out. Once their jail term has been completed, their citizenship should be cancelled and they be immediately deported back to the country they originated from.
- Stop Centrelink (Australia's welfare system) recognising polygamy and only recognise the traditional marriage for benefits.
Most of those points are already against the law. For example, FGM already carries lengthy jail terms, Islam isn't taught in government schools, Centrelink doesn't recognise polygamy, and Christmas, Easter, Australia Day and Anzac Day are still (surprise!) routinely celebrated.
The movement, like similar movements the world over, was officially opposed to Neo-Nazism, which it also states on their website. However, in practice, the movement was merely a front for Neo-Nazis to organise behind. Reclaim's successor organisation the United Patriots Front (2015-2017) was overtly Neo-Nazi.
Relationships with political parties and other organisations
Rise Up Australia
The movement has the backing of the minor hard-right Christian party Rise Up Australia, with party leader Daniel Nalliah being a key speaker at the Melbourne rally. Former Australian soldier Scott Moerland, also a member of the party, gave a lengthy speech at the Brisbane rally where he denounced radical Islam. Moerland has also produced YouTube videos where he has put forth anti-Islamic rhetoric along with accusing the left of treason.
Not surprisingly, One Nation also shows strong support for the Reclaim Australia movement, and many within the reclaim movement idolise Pauline Hanson, who was one of the speakers at the Brisbane reclaim rally.
Patriots Defence League / Australian Defence League
Also not surprisingly, many members within the Reclaim movement aligned with the now defunct Australian Defence League/Patriots Defence League.
Party For Freedom
The Party For Freedom, a now defunct Christian paleolibertarian minor political party (later turned white nationalist), led by Nick Folkes were also spokespeople for Reclaim Australia. Following the initial protest, Folkes and his organisation conducted a protest in Sydney against halal food, where they were aggressively confronted by left wing activists who accused them of preaching hatred. Folkes has also accused left wing critics of Reclaim of committing treason, and urinated on and burnt an anarchist hat in response to their actions at the halal food protest.
Nationalist Republican Guard
The little known Nationalist Republican Guard also promoted the rallies. The Nationalist Republican Guard (NRG) was a right wing propagandist organisation led by Neil Erikson, who is regarded by some as a Neo-Nazi. Erikson has denied this, though in 2014 he was convicted of committing a racially-motivated offence against a Rabbi. The NRG have accused the left of committing violent offences against the patriotic right during protests, of wanting to turn Australia "into China" and regard the left as being just as bad as Islamic State terrorists.
National Democratic Party
The fringe political party the National Democratic Party has also been involved in promoting Reclaim Australia/United Patriotic Front. The movement's spokesperson, Blair Cottrell has also denounced Islam, however more so the left in recent times, and produced a hilarious video outlining how the left is to be overcome Cottrell would later be the leader of Reclaim's successor organisation the United Patriots Front.
On August 3, 2015, it was announced by the group's Mackay division Reclaim Australia was in the process of disbanding
The last Reclaim Australia rallies were held in June 2016 and January 2017, with the organisation fading away as chapters continued to close down. Many of its members either joined the more radical United Patriots Front and other groups, or simply quit the movement altogether. However, as of 2020, some of Reclaim Australia's Facebook pages still occasionally post content.
- ABC News Reclaim Australia clashes with opposing groups at rallies around the country over extremism and tolerance