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United Patriots Front

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The United Patriots Front (UPF) aka the Two Patriots Front (2PF) was an Australian far right political action group that regarded itself as "a nation wide movement, opposing the spread of Left Wing treason and spread of Islamism"[1]. The group was established in May 2015 by Shermon Burgess, known for his social media persona The Great Aussie Patriot, after his departure from Reclaim Australia. From late 2015 until 2017 when the group split, it was led by far-right activist Blair Cottrell. The group was comprised mostly of white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, alt-lite types and Christian fundamentalists.

As with their father group, the UPF were concerned with overcoming what they saw to be the Islamic takeover of Australia, and the implementation of Sharia law. The movement was also virulently opposed to leftism, and accused the left of helping facilitate such an Islamic conquest, of "hating" the Australian nation and of also supporting the notion of a one world socialist government in favour of more nationalistic interests. Despite being led by a Neo-Nazi in Blair Cottrell, the UPF identified as being a civic nationalist organisation and Cottrell's Nazism was generally kept in the closet, though visible on close inspection.

In 2015, the group held its first public action, an anti-leftist protest in Melbourne, in opposition to what they called a "socialist takeover" of the Yarra Council. In particular, the main target was the socialist councillor Steven Jolly, who the UPF accused of "hating Australia" and of preventing patriots from exercising their freedoms[2].

Following the appearance of Zaky Mallah, an Australian Muslim and convicted felon on the Australian ABC's Q&A program (seen as left wing by many right wing ideologues), the United Patriots Front protested in front of the ABC's headquarters in Melbourne. The protesters brought numerous Australian flags and a roasted pig on a spit, to mock Islam and the ABC for allegedly supporting the ideology. UPF members also hurled out remarks accusing the television station of committing "left wing treason" and of supporting the Islamic State[3]. The protest also prompted an immediate evacuation of the building.

Before the July 2015 rallies with Reclaim Australia, members of the UPF were accused of stating that they had intentions of bringing firearms to one of the protests. Shermon Burgess had also stated that they had guns, and that if "shit went down", they would survive and not their enemy. This prompted an immediate police investigation into the group[4].

The United Patriots Front received a critical reception following their protest on July 18-19, with certain Australian musicians condemning the group, along with Reclaim Australia, for the groups using their music in propaganda pieces[5][6]. This prompted Blair Cottrell and other UPF members to denounce these musicians in return, and questioned where their allegiances were.

A UPF supporter was arrested and charged with threatening to kill a Melbourne socialist Councillor in August 2015[7] The Councillor, Stephen Jolly, had been the subject of a video by Blair Cottrell following the July rally, where Cottrell had stated that Jolly had to be removed from office because of his supposed affiliation with violent left wing extremists. The hypocrisy from Cottrell and his friends is laughable.

On September 10, 2015, Shermon Burgess announced that the United Patriots Front would be forming itself into a political party once it had sufficient numbers[8].

In October 2015, following a failed rally against Islam and the left in the rural town of Bendigo, Burgess left the UPF and granted Blair Cottrell full control of the organisation.

That same month, UPF members Cottrell, Chris Shortis, Neil Erikson and Linden Watson beheaded a dummy outside Bendigo City Council while dressed as Muslim radicals, as an act of protest against the Council's approval of the construction of a new mosque in Bendigo. In 2017, Cottrell, Shortis and Erikson were fined $2,000 each after being convicted by a magistrate for inciting contempt, revulsion or ridicule of Muslims[9].

Fascist Fortitude[edit]

In 2016, the UPF established its new political party, Fortitude. Blair Cottrell became the party's self-appointed "chairman" and led the group on three rallies in rural Australia to help gain support.

Fortitude's online manifesto outlines the group's batshit insane policy, including an unconstitutional ban on all Muslim immigration and a desire to bring their warped view of "patriotism" back into the nation's state schooling system. Blair Cottrell also outlined that majority decisions on any matter within the party would be banned, and that all decisions would be made by an "Inner Circle" of elite individuals, with the final approval of Chairman Cottrell himself.

Blair Cottrell has theoretically supported the murder of Fortitude members who leak information on the party to political opposition, yet acknowledged that under "modern pacifism" this cannot occur; so instead, has advocated a "blacklist" of such traitors who are to be ostracised by other members of the group[10].

Exit UPF, Enter Lads Society[edit]

Fortitude was dissembled in mid-2016 following an inability to gain 500 members (the amount required to become a registered political party). The United Patriots Front followed suit, splitting in 2017 after a series of internal disagreements and continued social-media bans. Facebook took down the United Patriots Front Facebook page in May 2017; at the time it had around 120,000 likes.

In 2017 former UPF members including "Lieutenant" Thomas Sewell established a new organisation, the "Lads Society". The Lads Society is a men's only far-right organisation with branches both in Ashfield, Sydney, and in Melbourne. Activities undertaken at these clubs include both the study of far-right literature and weekly "fight nights".[11] The Lads Society met with Canadian white-nationalist activists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux during the Canadians' speaking-tour of Australia in 2018, and were photographed with the pair performing white-nationalist salutes.

The Melbourne branch of the Lads Society were largely behind the organising of a January 2019 rally held at St Kilda Beach. The rally took place in response to an alleged increase in violent crime committed by youth gangs of African descent. At the rally, many attendees were photographed performing Nazi salutes[12] and wearing Nazi attire; the controversial Senator Fraser Anning, formerly of One Nation, also in attended.[13].

In response to the Lads Society, Antifa activists in Sydney established a community-watch group in Ashfield - they distributed posters warning residents that a Neo-Nazi cult was organising in the area, and called for the group to be shut down.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the terrorist behind the March 15, 2019 Christchurch mosque massacre at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand was later revealed to having been a supporter of the UPF during the group's heyday; he had previously referred to Blair Cottrell as "Emperor Blair". He had also made a donation to the group and threatened a Melbourne man in 2016 over his political views.[14] Lads Society leader Thomas Sewell had previously tried to recruit Tarrant into the Lads Society,[15] but Tarrant rejected the offer as he was about to go to New Zealand.

The Lads Society shut down their Melbourne clubhouse at the end of 2018, and in the following year they lost their space in Sydney. As of 2020, the Lads Society have a new Melbourne clubhouse, in an unknown location, and have sought to grow their base by recruiting members of two other failed fascist organisations, Nationalist Alternative and the Atomwaffen Division.[16]

References[edit]

  1. https://www.facebook.com/unitedpatriotsfront?fref=ts
  2. https://www.facebook.com/unitedpatriotsfront/videos/vb.106736366327491/107155436285584/?type=1&theater
  3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3141420/Flag-waving-protesters-carry-PIG-spit-demonstrate-outside-ABC-offices-against-broadcaster-s-decision-allow-former-terror-suspect-Q-A.html
  4. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/farright-antiislam-group-to-rally-at-victorian-parliament-house-20150712-giajz9.html
  5. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-22/jimmy-barnes-asks-reclaim-australia-rallies-stop-using-songs/6638478
  6. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/john-williamson-on-reclaim-australias-use-of-true-blue-how-about-a-rally-for-love-20150727-gil0sr.html
  7. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/nazi-charged-over-death-rape-threats-to-socialist-party-councillor-stephen-jolly-20150806-gitipy.html
  8. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1057135100966186&set=vb.920332737979757&type=2&theater
  9. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/farright-trio-convicted-fined-2000-each-over-mockbeheading-mosque-protest-20170905-gybdei.html
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw6TKQr7jLw
  11. https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/secret-location-of-aussie-underground-fight-club-leaks/news-story/16f5b680a7ab4cc5de0078cb2a37ccc9
  12. See the Wikipedia article on Nazi salute.
  13. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/heavy-police-presence-in-st-kilda-as-protest-groups-converge/news-story/ca8fd8a5af11e28f45d2c9d9f1a3b6a1
  14. [https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6841653/Man-accused-Christchurch-terror-attack-called-far-right-nationalist-Blair-Cottrell-Emperor.html Australian white supremacist accused of killing 50 Muslims called far right nationalist Blair Cottrell 'Emperor' three years before mosque massacre - as it is revealed he was living off a $500,000 inheritance]
  15. https://www.smh.com.au/national/threats-from-white-extremist-group-that-tried-to-recruit-tarrant-20190501-p51j5w.html
  16. "... Sewell, Hersant & The National Socialist Lads have opened another space in Melbourne, & otherwise seek to expand upon the networks created first by the 'United Patriots Front' but incorporating elements of 'Nationalist Alternative' (both Sewell & Brenton Tarrant's 'Emperor' Blair Cottrell were involved in NAlt) & allied projects."