New Zealand nazi terrorism, no ‘lone wolf’

This 17 March 2019 video from South Africa says about itself:

Residents of Cape Town have come together to mourn the victims of the mass shooting in New Zealand on Friday, which left 50 dead and 50 injured in two mosques in the city of Christchurch. People from different faiths gathered on the steps of the St George’s Cathedral to pay their respects.

2,891 Murdoch Media Stories Trashing Islam In A Single Year, Study Reveals: here. And that is just the Rupert Murdoch newspaper media, not Rupert Murdoch TV etc.. in just one country, Australia.

BURIALS BEGINS FOR MOSQUE VICTIMS The bodies of people killed in New Zealand’s mass shooting last week were carried in open caskets on the shoulders of mourners into a large tent at Christchurch’s Memorial Park Cemetery — the first burials of the 50 victims. The youngest was a boy of 3, born in New Zealand to Somali refugee parents. [Reuters]

By James Cogan:

Governments and media seek to cover up culpability for fascist attack in New Zealand

19 March 2019

Vigils and other commemorations for the victims of last Friday’s fascist terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch have been attended by large and emotional audiences across New Zealand, as well as in Australia and numerous other countries.

The atrocity is the worst mass killing in New Zealand’s history, and one of the most savage acts of fascist terrorism internationally. Fifty people have lost their lives, while 31 remain in hospital with gunshot injuries, including nine still in intensive care. Many of those murdered were migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan and Palestine who had lived in New Zealand for decades. Others were refugees who had been forced to flee their home countries due to the US-led wars and proxy wars in the Middle East, waged on the false pretext of combating Islamist “terror”.

The solidarity events have witnessed an outpouring of impassioned opposition to anti-Muslim xenophobia and condemnation of the extreme right-wing, fascist conceptions of the man who has been charged with the terrorist act, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant.

More information is emerging to prove that Tarrant was not some “lone wolf”, let alone a “madman”. For a number of years, he has moved within, and been politically shaped by, the international fascist networks spawned by the almost universal stoking of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim hatred by the political establishments and media in Australia and New Zealand, across Europe and in the United States.

Tarrant has travelled extensively across Europe since 2012, as well as visiting Turkey, Pakistan and even North Korea. He participated in extreme right-wing discussions on 8chan, as well as commenting on posts on Facebook and other media. He did not conceal his name or his views.

He claims in his manifesto to have decided to conduct an act of terrorist mass murder while in France and witnessing the defeat of the fascist National Front in the 2017 elections. From November 2018 to January 2019, as he planned Friday’s attack, he toured Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia, visiting sites of past battles against “Muslim invaders”.

The Australian and New Zealand governments continue to insist that Tarrant was “off the radar” of their intelligence agencies, whose size and resources have been vastly expanded since the “war on terror” began in 2001. While the Muslim communities of both countries have been subjected to 18 years of surveillance and numerous police actions, an individual interacting with organisations espousing fanatical right-wing views was purportedly ignored—even after he applied for a gun license at the end of 2017 and this year joined a gun club in New Zealand when he returned to the country.

Tarrant, moreover, did not seek to hide his murderous intentions. Two days before the attack, he posted images on his Twitter account of his semi-automatic weapon with white supremacist slogans dubbed upon it. His fascist manifesto, which specifically named the two mosques he was going to attack, was sent out to dozens of government and media accounts some eight minutes before he initiated the massacre. If he had been under monitoring, the atrocity might have been entirely prevented.

While millions of working people have reacted with shock and anger, the official expression of horror by the political and media establishments in New Zealand, Australia and internationally is, frankly, a cover-up of their culpability in the development of fascist terrorism.

In Australia, successive Liberal-National Coalition and Labor Party governments have presided over 18 years of anti-Muslim hysteria and the enforcement of a brutal and racist policy of preventing predominantly Muslim refugees from claiming asylum in the country on the grounds they could be “terrorists”. The dominant figures within the current Coalition government, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, are among those most associated with these policies.

Decades of anti-immigrant xenophobia have given rise to not only racist parties such as One Nation, but myriad right-wing and neo-fascist groupings. This is the toxic political atmosphere in which Tarrant grew up in an Australian regional town, the kind of location where the extreme right has particularly concentrated its efforts to recruit support.

In New Zealand, the Labour Party-NZ First coalition government headed by Jacinda Ardern came to power on an explicit program of slashing immigration, on the false grounds it was responsible for housing and other social problems. NZ First leader Winston Peters, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister, is an open racist, on record as sowing xenophobia against Muslim, African and Chinese migrants. The extreme right elements in New Zealand praise Peters as their best spokesperson in parliament.

The reality is that anti-immigrant and nationalist demagogy has been used by the capitalist ruling class internationally to try to divide the working class and scapegoat migrants for the immense and ever-widening social inequality and dysfunction of essential services. The Trump administration’s blatantly racist “America First” policies are just a particularly crude expression of a universal tendency. Ultra-right parties are now part of numerous governments in Europe or form the main official opposition, as in France and Germany.

Fascism is spawned by the crisis and failure of capitalism. Its fundamental role for the capitalist class is to block and break up an independent and unified socialist movement of the working class developing for revolutionary social and political change.

Tarrant spelt this out clearly in his manifesto, which is influenced by the views of an entire fascist milieu. He advocated provoking race-based violence across the United States, Europe and other countries, as it would provide the pretext for the establishment of military dictatorships and genocidal policies against socialists, immigrants and religious minorities such as Muslims and Jews.

Ardern in New Zealand and Morrison in Australia are now demanding that social media platforms do more to censor bulletin boards and postings, and impose stricter controls on the live-streaming of video. Such measures will not be primarily used to block fascist views, but to undermine the democratic rights and struggles of the working class against social inequality and war.

This was what followed the bloodiest fascist terrorist attack: the mass murder of 77 people, mainly left-wing youth, at a Norwegian Labour Party camp in 2011 by Anders Behring Breivik. This has been followed by the open promotion of extreme right-wing propaganda in the establishment media and at the highest levels of the state.

The official advocacy and support for far-right views is above all responsible for the crimes of figures such as Tarrant, and the decision by disorientated layers in various countries to join fascist parties. While such formations are not yet mass movements, the danger they pose should not be underestimated.

The great lesson of the 1920s and the 1930s is that struggle against fascism cannot be entrusted to any wing or party of the capitalist class. It can be successfully waged only by a politically independent movement of the international working class that is consciously fighting to end capitalism and its outmoded nation-state divisions and to establish socialism. The building of such a movement is the urgent task in New Zealand, Australia and around the world.

This video says about itself:

Christchurch man sheltered people fleeing from terrorist attack at mosque | Newshub

Len Peneha lives next door to a mosque targeted in the Christchurch terrorist attack. He bravely stepped up and sheltered those fleeing from the shooter. This is his story in his own words.

From the BBC today:

Christchurch shootings: Jacinda Ardern calls for global anti-racism fight

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for a global fight to root out racist right-wing ideology following last week’s deadly attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

In one of her first interviews since then, she told the BBC that she rejected the idea that a rise in immigration was fuelling racism.

Fifty people were killed and dozens more wounded in Friday’s gun attacks.

The first funerals, of a father and son from Syria, took place on Wednesday.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at a cemetery near the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, one of two places of worship targeted.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder. Fifty people died in the attack.

What did Ardern say?

Asked about the rise of right-wing nationalism she said: “This was an Australian citizen but that is not to say that we do not have an ideology in New Zealand that would be an affront to the majority of New Zealanders.”

She said there was a responsibility “to weed it out where it exists and make sure that we never create an environment where it can flourish”.

But I would make that a global call,” she added. “What New Zealand experienced here was violence brought against us by someone who grew up and learned their ideology somewhere else. If we want to make sure globally that we are a safe and tolerant and inclusive world we cannot think about this in terms of boundaries.”

She defended New Zealand’s record on accepting refugees, saying: “We are a welcoming country. I utterly reject the idea that in any way in trying to ensure that we have a system that looks after those who choose to call New Zealand home, that we have perpetuated an environment where this kind of ideology can exist.”

This 18 March 2019 video says about itself:

New Zealand: Hundreds of students hold morning vigil for Christchurch victims

Hundreds of school students have held a vigil near the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Monday, the first mosque to be assaulted in Friday’s terrorist attack. The students prayed, sang songs and danced a traditional Maori dance in support of the victims and their families. Students from many schools were present at the vigil including Cashmere High School which lost two of its students last Friday. A total of 50 people were killed in the shootings and a further 50 were wounded in what was New Zealand’s worst attack.

By John Braddock and Tom Peters in New Zealand:

Warnings of New Zealand neo-Nazi attack were ignored

20 March 2019

Following last Friday’s mass killing at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, which claimed 50 lives, tens of thousands of ordinary people have attended vigils to show their grief and outrage and to express solidarity with the Muslim community targeted by this horrific act of fascist terrorism.

However, even as the population seeks to come to terms with the slaughter, an operation is underway to divert attention from its real, underlying causes. The political establishment in New Zealand and internationally is seeking to cover up its culpability for stoking anti-Islamic racism and xenophobia to justify imperialist war and divide the working class as it faces deteriorating social conditions, growing inequality and poverty.

The perpetrator of the Christchurch attack, Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen, is being falsely presented as a deranged outsider whose actions could not be predicted in “peaceful” New Zealand. Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared after the shooting that “the person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not [us].”

Writing in the pro-Labour Party Daily Blog, prominent commentator Chris Trotter echoed Ardern, describing Tarrant as a “lone wolf terrorist” who “took advantage of everything that is good about New Zealand” and who “could not have been stopped.” The same basic message has been repeated throughout the media.

In reality, Tarrant is the product of the promotion of extreme nationalism by established political parties and the corporate media internationally, including in New Zealand and Australia.

There is no mention in Trotter’s column, or most media coverage, of the fact that the Labour Party and the Greens have for years acted in an alliance with New Zealand First, a blatantly xenophobic and anti-immigrant party, which plays a major role in the present Labour-led coalition government.

Deputy Prime Minister and NZ First leader Winston Peters has repeatedly demonised Muslims and denounced “mass immigration” from Asia in terms not very different from those used in the “manifesto” of the Christchurch shooter. Trotter and the Daily Blog have played a particularly foul role in supporting Labour and NZ First’s racist scapegoating of Chinese people for the country’s social crisis.

Claims that Tarrant acted alone and “could not have been stopped” do not withstand serious scrutiny. Despite official statements that Tarrant was not known to New Zealand or Australian authorities, police and intelligence agencies were warned about the danger of anti-Islamic extremism and turned a blind eye to it.

Yesterday, the minister in charge of the intelligence agencies Andrew Little admitted to the New Zealand Herald that the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) only began “explicitly doing work on alt-right stuff” in the middle of 2018 and a plan to tackle right-wing extremism had not been completed at the time of the Christchurch attack. Little did not explain why this intelligence work only began last year.

According to Tarrant’s 73-page fascist “manifesto”, he spent two years in New Zealand planning his attack and had contact with nationalist groups throughout the world. He claimed to have received a “blessing” for the massacre from Anders Behring Breivik, the anti-Muslim terrorist who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011. It is also highly possible that Tarrant had contact with neo-Nazis in New Zealand. An unnamed 18-year-old is currently in custody charged with, between March 8 and 15, posting a photo of the Deans Avenue mosque with the words “Target Identified”, and messages inciting extreme violence.

Notwithstanding propaganda from Trotter and others that “New Zealand is a good place” and the Christchurch massacre was an anomaly, there have in fact been several previous fascist attacks. In 1989, 22-year-old Wayne Motz was killed in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square by a neo-Nazi skinhead who then shot himself. In 2003 two skinheads brutally murdered Korean backpacker Jae Hyeon Kim on the West Coast of the South Island.

The question must be raised: has the far-right been allowed to operate free from interference because it enjoys sympathy and connections with the police and intelligence agencies in Australia and New Zealand?

Internationally, there are close ties between the state apparatus and fascist organisations, including in Germany, where the neo-Nazi Alternative for Germany is the main opposition party in parliament. US President Donald Trump, whom Tarrant viewed as a “symbol of white renewal”, has brought fascist advisors into the White House and sought to create an extreme anti-immigrant base in border security agencies, the police and the military.

Anjum Rahman, a spokesperson for the NZ Islamic Womens’ Council, told Radio NZ that her organisation repeatedly warned the intelligence agencies about the rise in anti-Islamic racism and threats. In March 2016, the Masjid Al-Noor mosque, at the centre of Friday’s massacre, was delivered boxes of pigs’ heads by Hitler-saluting men who boasted: “Bring on the cull.” The chief perpetrator, insulation business owner Philip Arps, posted a video on social media declaring that the boxes should have contained “f***ing molotovs.”

Rahman said in 2016 and 2017 “we told [the SIS] about our concerns over the rise of vitriol and the rise of the alt-right in New Zealand. We asked them what resources were being put in to monitoring alt-right groups.” In May 2018, the Council asked why security agencies were spending “so much on surveilling our community” but not on preventing violence.

New Zealand is part of the US-led “Five Eyes” surveillance network, which spies on millions of people throughout the world, including New Zealand citizens. People travelling to the Middle East have been targeted purportedly because they might be joining ISIS. Muslims have reported being routinely searched and made to feel like criminals when entering and leaving New Zealand.

Tarrant apparently faced no such obstacles during his extensive international travels. Since 2012, he visited Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, France, the UK, Spain, Turkey, Israel … . Turkish agencies revealed on Monday they suspect the gunman, who travelled the world while having no apparent job, may have been supported by a “well resourced” organisation.

Police did not prevent Tarrant from amassing multiple firearms. He obtained a gun licence in November 2017 after passing a police background check and joined the Bruce Rifle Club near Dunedin. A former soldier, Pete Breidahl, said he warned police in late 2017 about the toxic culture at the club, describing it as the “perfect breeding ground” for a mass shooting.

Breidhal told Newshub that people at the club were “ranting and raving” that the military would be deployed on Dunedin streets because of Muslim terrorist attacks, and that “too many Muslims were coming here.” He says he saw members with the Confederate flag and another person informed him that he had visited a club member’s house and saw “German SS uniforms.” Briedhal said the police officer he spoke to dismissed his concerns, saying “don’t worry about them, it’s all good.”

The government has announced that an inquiry will be held into the circumstances surrounding the Christchurch massacre. This exercise is destined to be a whitewash. Its role will be to cover-up the complicit role of the state agencies and to obscure the fact that governments, including the Labour-NZ First-Greens coalition, have promoted many of the same nationalist and anti-immigrant policies of the far-right.

While fascism is not yet a mass movement, the danger it poses cannot be ignored. Fascism is the tool used by the ruling class to divide and crush working-class opposition to austerity and war. It cannot be opposed by allowing governments to censor the internet and impose other police-state measures, which will be used primarily against the working class and the left. The urgent lesson of the 1920s and 1930s is that fascism can only be defeated by a movement of the working class, united across borders and armed with a socialist program to abolish capitalism.

13 thoughts on “New Zealand nazi terrorism, no ‘lone wolf’

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