Black_rose
Type
Polemic
Category
Politics

A rose by any other name: making stuff up about anarchists

Clive Williams’ recent article on the threat anarchists pose to the G20 summit in Brisbane is poorly researched and badly argued.

The ‘Black Rose Syndicat’, the anarchist group that Williams believes is a threat to the G20, is a scam. I wrote about this online creation for New Matilda in December – but I was skeptical about its bona fides when I first read about it in May. ‘Black Rose’ is well known as the name of an anarchist infoshop in Sydney that opened in 1982. Why would someone with no relationship to the infoshop adopt its name and claim to be located in the area of Sydney – Newtown – that houses it? Why would they subsequently make obviously bogus claims about the Syndicat’s status and activity on Indymedia? I was also concerned that the Syndicat was happy to boast on Facebook of its commitment to militant direct action and to invite others to provide the Syndicat with their personal details by purchasing items from its eBay accounts.

Something smelled very fishy about the Syndicat.

Williams, however, accepts all its claims, expressed in a handful of posts to various indymedia sites, at face value. These include its ‘vow’ to cause ‘CAOS and Mayhem’ at the G20 summit, a garbled account of its political intent and organisational structure, and a fictional tale of an encounter between the Syndicat and students at Sydney University.

According to Williams, the Syndicat is an anarchist group based at the University of Sydney that distributes revolutionary propaganda and ‘uses command and communication chains that are flexible to provide greater security’. He adds that ‘some politically-active Sydney University students say most members are not students there and are motivated mainly by the opportunity to cause violence’. This qualification would appear to be a reference to a post on indymedia in which another fictitious group, the ‘Democratic Socialist Club of Sydney University’, admonishes the Syndicat for its allegedly violent proclivities. It would not be stretching credibility to suggest that the author of this article is in fact the Syndicat – especially if, like Williams, one pays attention to spelling and grammar.

In a similar vein, Williams claims that ‘Anonymous Australia’ has ‘vowed to release a list of more than 500 police and military officers’ supposedly having infiltrated activist groups with the aim of obtaining information about their plans to oppose the G20 summit. An astonishing claim, certainly, but what evidence exists to support it? Nothing, apart from one post to indymedia, written in an eerily familiar style: asked to confirm its authorship, ‘Anonymous Australia’ denied responsibility.

As I detailed in my New Matilda article, whatever claims have been made by and about the Syndicat, it has no relationship to either Black Rose infoshop or to any existing anarchist group. Rather it promotes a clutch of eBay accounts that sell books, pamphlets, t-shirts and other merchandise – including men’s and women’s clothing, iPad covers and Lady Gaga CDs – to the public.

Subsequent investigation has revealed that the Syndicat is highly likely to be the imaginary product of one, very artistic Canberra man, a person with zero relationship to contemporary Australian anarchism and little understanding of anarchist theory. Armed only with a thirst for attention, an internet connection, and a series of (often quite bizarre) political preoccupations, he has succeeded in capturing the attention of journalists desperate for a story and intent on justifying political repression – a task which the Queensland government has taken up with no small degree of enthusiasm.

That it took six months for a handful of posts made in May to come to the attention of a Courier Mail writer is one thing; it’s another thing for an academic to take them seriously. In essence, rather than critically interrogate the specific claims put forward by tabloid media, Williams has simply repeated them.

The Black Bloc

In perpetuating the tabloid myth of the Black Rose Syndicat, Williams locates the myth within a broader discourse regarding anarchist participation in anti-summit protest and in particular the role of ‘The Black Bloc’ within these demonstrations. Contrary to Williams’ assertions, however, the black bloc is not, in fact, an ‘international anarchist cooperative’, nor is it ‘probably the first to use the internet and social networking to encourage “flash violence”’. In reality, the black bloc is a tactical formation sometimes employed during protests in order to provide a sense of cohesion, help protect participants from police assault and, in the context of the anti-summit movement, to disrupt their conduct, often by engaging in more ‘militant’ forms of resistance. Historically speaking, the black bloc developed in Germany in the early 1980s, long before the internet or flash mobs, and in response to police and fascist attack upon public protests. It soon spread to other parts of Europe, and occupies an important, albeit often controversial, place within radical social movement history.

It wasn’t long before this particular tactic, closely associated with anarchist, antifascist, autonomist and militant squatter movements, crossed the Atlantic to the United States. According to one source, the first ‘black bloc’ to appear in North America occurred during a protest outside the Pentagon on October 17, 1988; another took part in a protest to mark Columbus Day in 1992. What brought the tactic to the attention of US authorities, however, was the black bloc’s appearance at the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. (And while this is not the place to discuss the Seattle protests in any detail, it has long been established that the violent repression of the protests by police began before and was conducted independently of the disruptive activity of the black bloc.)

The black bloc has become the subject of both intense debate by activists and misinterpretation by academics ever since, making an appearance in Egypt during the Arab Spring and more recently defending protests by striking teachers in Brazil from police attack.

The same confusion regarding black blocs also applies in the case of Williams’ understanding of the history and role of ‘affinity groups’ (often referred to, in the nomenclature of the state, as ‘cells’). Historically, affinity groups (grupos de afinidad) emerged as an organisational tool among Spanish anarchist-communist workers in the late 1800s. They have since been adopted by a wide range of other movements, anarchist and non-anarchist, and assumed particular importance in the context of anti- (or alter-) globalisation protest movements. While the reasons for this are complex, it is partly the result of a widespread recognition of the importance of the micro-political to social movements: an echo of specifically anarchist concerns but with additional resonance among numerous feminist, peace and environmental movements.

Williams’ laments the fact that the security precautions taken by anarchist groups make them difficult for state agencies to infiltrate. This is not an observation with which I necessarily agree.

That aside, if anarchist groups do take security precautions, that begs specific questions about the Syndicat. Simply put, the Syndicat has used Facebook to promote activity which attracts the attention of state agencies. This suggests either: a) a reckless disregard for the precautions anarchist groups are apparently routinely committed to or; b) that the ‘Syndicat’ is actually not what it claims to be.

On either count, any sensible anarchist should avoid it like the plague.

ASIO

The role of state agencies such as ASIO in infiltrating anarchist groups and identifying anarchist ‘organisers’ is especially noteworthy given the recent screening of a documentary, ‘Persons of Interest’, in which the history of such infiltration, spying and disruption is told through an examination of declassified documents regarding four such persons. The dangerous malcontents featured – Roger Milliss, Michael Hyde, Gary Foley and Frank Hardy – were never convicted or even charged with a serious criminal offence, their major crimes being such things as their active opposition to war, support for socialism, the struggle for land rights and so on. ‘Persons of Interest’ reveals the extraordinary lengths to which ASIO was prepared to go in order to better secure economic and social privilege and state power. The agency’s capacity to engage in this political battle has expanded massively in the ensuing decades, a development which should be a cause for concern rather than celebration.

S11

A passing reference to ASIO’s role in infiltrating groups protesting the WEF in Melbourne in 2000 suggests further flaws in Williams’ argument. If he were more familiar with the S11 protests, Williams would understand that – far from the political situation now having been ‘turned around’ with the emergence of ‘affinity groups’ such as the bogus ‘Syndicat’ and Anonymous networks – affinity groups played a vital role at S11, as they did at other anti-summit protests. If ASIO wished to obtain information on the activities of S11 protest organisers, it was able to do so (and surely did) simply by attending one of many public meetings organised by them to discuss the matter. In the context of anti-summit protest, the challenge faced by the surveillance state is not so much to subvert what are actually long-standing organisational practices as it is not to fall prey to false media reports.

Finally, while the spectre of violence animates Williams’ discussion, in the case of S11 it was police and not protesters who were its chief practitioners, as the litany of broken bones, smashed teeth, cuts, bruises and a later string of successful civil cases will attest. One might also add in this context that Victoria Police cheekily adopted their own anonymising tactics at S11, removing badges and other identifying features in order to blend in better with the ‘blue bloc’. This clever tactic has since become routine at all major (and some minor) protests in which police plan to violently subdue citizens – just as the outcry among commentators has also been subdued.

Anarchism

To mount a defence of anarchism is not the purpose of this piece. Nevertheless, a few words on the subject are necessary.

First, Williams’ grasp on anarchism is about as sure as his understanding of the Syndicat or the black bloc, and barely departs from the standard tropes. Thus in addition to poor spelling and grammar, anarchists are possessed of a violent nature and gross political naiveté: terrorists armed with tiny budgets and febrile imaginations. The sophisticated critiques of capitalist society which anarchists have produced and the mass movements that gave them expression are ignored in favour of an account which emphasises the symbolic content of actions (forming a bloc at a demonstration, breaking shop windows and/or sabotaging surveillance cameras). A broader appreciation of the potential utility of such actions within a specific context like an anti-summit protest, or the relationship between gatherings of the transnational ruling class and capitalist social relations as a whole, informs anarchist thinking on these questions.

Secondly, contrary to Williams’ assertion, it is actually the territory upon which oppositional politics is enacted that has begun to change, rather than the particular problems a large agency such as ASIO may have in infiltrating a small, tight-knit group. Anarchists were early adopters of the internet, with one important website, infoshop.org, publishing online since 1995. Indeed, the software that established the indymedia network – and which the Syndicat has used to publish its demented samizdat – was developed in Sydney in the late 1990s, coming into its own with the Seattle protests and the publication of Seattle indymedia. Of course, the principles of ‘open publishing’ – ‘which allows anyone to self-publish their work on the IMC web sites’ – means anyone reading indymedia should do so with a critical eye, something sadly lacking in Williams’ own account.

Andy Fleming is a Melbourne-based anarchist and author of the slackbastard blog, featuring his political and social musings. He is a long time observer of the far Right in Australia and internationally.

More by

Comments

  1. Williams is just another silly old spook. If the truth about the actual level of threat we face was known he would be out of a job. The biggest threat we all face at the moment is Tony Abbott and what he plans to do to this country. The best national security of all is to have a just and equitable society where everyone believes we’re all in it together instead of slicing the country up into this group and that group and teaching them to hate and fear each other. If you want to see people who are unpatriotic to their bone marrow, just look at Williams and his ilk or our glorious Prime Moron.

  2. Speaking of making stuff up about Anarchists here are some of Andy Fleming recent lies, insults, failed attempts to out who we are and encourage of violence against us attempts to out and examples of his harassment and bullying of our punk band. We do not recognise Andy Fleming to be the sole leader, master and authority in Australia to decide who is and who isn’t an Anarchist or fro that matter as the sole leader of Anarchism in Australia as he likes to portray who has the power and authority to define what Anarchism is.

    An Open Letter to Australian Anarchists from the Black Rose Syndicat

    the Black Rose Syndicat

    ‘Reject All Authority and Rise Up and Free Yourselves of the Hive Mind Imposed by Class Enemies in ‘Organised’ Anarchist Groups in Australia’.

    We have nothing against Anarchist ideas. What we are against is ‘organised Anarchism’ in Australian with their failed tactics, organisation and anti-Leninist tendencies.
    Anarchism at its heart is not a political theory but a revolutionary organisational principle used to mediate social interaction between people in all walks of life not just politics.

    What’s wrong with ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia is that they are in terms of strategy completely morally and politically bankrupt. History has proven that revolutions will always be crushed if the revolutionaries do not seize the power of the state. Were still pretty sympathetic to Anarchism because we like the ideals, punk music and the fashion (the ultimate ideal of all communists is classless stateless freedom, aka anarchism, after all) but we just think the strategy used by ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia is a proven failure.

    There is no anarchist “political theory” as far as we know. Though class enemies have infiltrate ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia especially in Melbourne and have set about destroy Anarchism in Australia. Ordinary Anarchists have the highest and most noble intentions for socialism but all ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia seems to have as far as a strategic approach are black blocs, drugs, veganism and vandalism. Whilst we have all participated in all these over the last 25 years and had lots of dickhead fun they do not make for a lasting revolution. In contrast, Marxism-Leninism has both great theory and practice when compared to ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia.

    The attachment of ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia to “anti-authoritarian” crap has seen them fail utterly to construct any meaningful opposition to globalised capitalism. As a result many ‘organised’ Anarchist groups have both upon other ‘organised’ Anarchist groups and on the Left in Australia in general. So we this we believe ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia have practised both bad theory and practice.

    Yes we went there!

    Organised Anarchism’s Basic Ideological Failure

    There can be no logical strategy for an ideology that seeks to instantly abolish the state and jump to communism, because any logical strategy to reach communism will involve utilising the power of the state. The successful Anarchist territories cited by ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia Spain, Ukraine, Shinmin, etc all had workers’ states of some kind set up, even if their proponents in ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia deny this. An organised force to secure working class rule and oppress counter-revolutionary elements unquestionably existed in all these territories.

    Same is true of the Paris Commune, the Zapatista territory, and all the other places ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia claim are fucken awesome. So yes ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia do have bad theory and bad practice and the only times they have good practice is when they violate their theory, abandon Anarchism, and adopt statist socialism.

    These are factors that ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia need to address. The same is true of statist socialism in Australia as well just look at all the different Trotskyite sects and tendencies of their pseudo-Leninism. I agree it’s a problem but I don’t think it is a catastrophic because situation as Stalinism has had a lot of successes throughout history and with the emergence of an Anarchist political party in Wikileaks.

    Fuck all Authority, No Gods No Masters Thanks Even Those Who Parade as Anarchists

    There’s also the issue of discipline and centralism in ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia that aligns itself with the ‘democratic centralism’ of statist socialism. For ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia to claim to be fighting ‘All Authority’ they seem quite willing to apply their own brand of ‘democratic centralism’ upon members. Statist socialists, particularly Stalinists place a lot of emphasis on discipline, which helps keep the movement together as well as making it more powerful force in Australia than ‘organised’ Anarchism.

    Because of ‘organised’ Anarchism’s pseudo-disdain for authority and hence their rejection for a workers’ state, this ensures that for organised workers engagement with anarchism is suicidal. Authority is needed to protect the revolution and start the transition to socialism and is this respect ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia does not show a means for leadership for organised Labour in Australia.

    We used to be members of an ‘organised’ Anarchist group but we eventually realised that anarchism as a political theory of any type cannot work as it requires all people to be socially altruistic at the time of the revolution, and that is never going to happen. But the main thing that pushed us away from ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia s was mainly the religious cult like perfectionism required from self imposed leaders.

    We completely agree that he biggest flaw in ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia is lack of clear strategy. Yes, it would be great if the state wasn’t needed, but just because it seems like a great idea doesn’t mean it’s possible or even logical.

    After a while of being hardline Anarchists it all started to seeming like a far-left wet dream. We have no personal problem with Anarchists only with ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia. The study of Anarchist literature we believe is essential success of a working class revolution in Australia.

    The hearts of most Anarchist’s are certainly in the right place, with the exception we believe of a small kabal in Melbourne who are have been corrupted into serving the state as ‘insiders’ in return for study scholarships.

    ‘Organised’ Anarchism in Australia needs a little sorting out when it comes to organising against Capitalism and the State and which is the true enemy of the working class. The petty bickering initiated by this small kabal in Melbourne needs to stop and they need to either give up their attempts to impose their attempts to impose their own petit-bourgeois leadership upon other aligned and non-aligned Anarchists in Australia. They also need to stop splitting the Anarchist movement and help leading authorities to Anarchists through writing distorted articles in the mainstream press and on through publishing blogs which is counterproductive to Anarchism in Australia.

    All histories of successful revolutions that succeeded in taking power show they were always attacked by counter-revolutionaries and/or imperialists! The Soviet Union, Spain, Cuba, Vietnam, Grenada, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Chile, etc. have all had that problem and had to use military and state power to fight back to defend that people. This does not mean I support these societies or defend the obvious deformities and oppressive decisions they made, but we can learn from their mistakes and successes.

    One thing activists need to learn about ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia is that for a revolution to be a success you have to take state power and to be prepared for the obvious counter-revolutionary attack. That doesn’t mean you have to silence all opposition and crush critics like some of those countries listed had done, but you need to be ready to fight, and organised’ Anarchism in Australia does not prepare society for that. As a result the Black Rose Syndicat has had to step in and school activists on how to challenge the legitimacy of the state through it high jacking of popular culture and of the headlines in the mainstream press.

    Invitation for Engagement

    The current blow-up in the mainstream media surrounding the Black Rose Syndicat show that ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia is irrelevant outside the internet and has failed in both its strategy and in its ideology. The Black Rose Syndicat has stepped up to fill this void and in less than a year through its ‘online only’ activity as emerged as greater threat to the legitimacy of state than all of the ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia combined.

    We at the Black Rose Syndicat are correcting these errors of ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia and invite all self-styled Anarchists in Australia to shake of the ideological shackles of the hive mind being imposed upon them by the leaders ‘organised’ Anarchism in Australia.

    We are not an ex-anarchist group, but we would be interested in conversing with other ‘organised’ Anarchist groups and activists in Australia but only if it is done on terms on the mutual respect and Anonymity.

    The Black Rose Syndicat February 2014

  3. Well written and in my view essential reading.

    You’re spot on regarding S11 and your observations are logical and make a sour breakfast of Williams and ASIO.

  4. Like we said from the start :P

    For lawsuits, police investigations and moralistic complaints please contact:

    Jon Turner
    Island Records Group
    22 St Peter
    London
    England
    W6 9NW
    United Kingdom
    RoyaltyHelp@umusic.com
    Telephone 44 0181 9103333
    Fax 44 0181 9103227

  5. Whinge, whinge, whinge. An inter-anarchist spat is all I see. ‘Andy Fleming’ gives support by publicising Anarchist terrorist bomb attacks in Greece and Spain but when a home grown Anarchist starts spruiking about what he is going to do then ‘Andy’, the anarchist intellectual soils his pants and hides under his bed whilst blaming ASIO. Black Rose Syndicat is without a real manifestation of the hare brained idiocy that constitutes Australian anarchism.

  6. Another nice article by Australia’s chief conspiracy theorist Andy Fleming trying the flame the Melbourne v Sydney tensions between Anarchist groups in Australia. If the Black Rose Syndicate are such a fraud why are you wasting so much of your time posting trying to expose them all over the internet, maybe you could provide a tin foil hat design to help protect the masses from their indoctrination.

    Fleming however does provide evidence of his own ‘investigation’ in the presence of the Syndicate within the Australian Anarchist movement and cites the refusal of Sydney based Anarchist groups to respond to his inquiries as evidence of the Syndicate’s non-existence.

    So here is Fleming providing non-evidence of a groups non-existence and when using a mathematical formula two negatives equals a positive with the only answer being that it’s a scam being perpetrated by Big Brother all watching eye.

    Fleming’s accusations accusing ASIO of using the Black Rose Syndicate as a front to gather people details are without merit or any academic evidence and they just dont stand the test of academic credibility. If this is the case how is the Syndicat’s presence an online scam. Which one is it online scammers from Nigeria or clever ASIO plot against Anarchist plans to do nothing at the G20?

    If this was an university paper passed to me for marking I would be forced to send back to the student for resubmission with a note stating that he has failed to stay on task, hasn’t used any reliable sources to support his claims and makes outlandish statements without providing any source material.

    If forced to grade this paper I would grade it 1 out of 10 for effort. The only good thing I can see in this paper is Andy’s passion for politics which is rare in young people today. Buying into the whole Sydney v Melbourne debate does not help build a movement which he claims to support. Fleming with his series of articles has probably inflicted more collateral damage upon himself than stated target in Clive Williams.

  7. Yes, Russ, a group that accuses Australian anarchists of being ineffectual, rants about the importance of maintaining state power for a revolution, and compares anarchism unfavorably with Stalinism is clearly a bunch of bona fide anarchists.

    Will you be writing about the success of legendary jam band Electric Apricot next?

  8. Raphael, there is no “Melbourne vs Sydney tension” within the anarchist movement. There is a purported group in Sydney which claims involvement in all sorts of apparently fictional activities, and there is a blogger in Melbourne pointing out that those in the mainstream media who take them at their word are risking ridicule.

    If this piece was passed to you for marking, I would wonder which course or unit it was part of and which institution would employ you to do such a bad job evaluating others’ writing when you yourself emit such phrases as “inflicted more collateral damage upon himself“.

    And yes, anyone who says anything like the following:

    History has proven that revolutions will always be crushed if the revolutionaries do not seize the power of the state. Were still pretty sympathetic to Anarchism because we like the ideals, punk music and the fashion…

    There is no anarchist “political theory” as far as we know… In contrast, Marxism-Leninism has both great theory and practice

    The attachment of ‘organised’ Anarchist groups in Australia to “anti-authoritarian” crap has seen them fail utterly…

    …any logical strategy to reach communism will involve utilising the power of the state…

    Stalinism has had a lot of successes throughout history and with the emergence of an Anarchist political party in Wikileaks.

    Yes, it would be great if the state wasn’t needed, but just because it seems like a great idea doesn’t mean it’s possible or even logical.

    Is quite obviously not an anarchist, and describing the author of such phrases as “without a doubt a real manifestation of… Australian anarchism” is akin to describing Barry Humphries as a former housewife turned globetrotting glitterati public speaker of renown.

    Black Rose Syndicat’s writings read like they are the product of a teenage self-styled radical with a poor understanding of Marxist theory and an even poorer understanding of anarchism, as demonstrated above. If the author(s) has read more than a handful of Wikipedia articles on radical history and praxis, I would be greatly shocked.

  9. Strewth.

    @Antonia Hildebrand:

    Yes, a more sensible concept of ‘national security’ would be one in which social justice occupies a central place.

    @Miss P:

    Cheers.

    @Rose Black/Black Rose Syndicat:

    You’re silly.

    @Raphael Mendez:

    A few points.

    1. Re my ‘subsequent investigation’, in reality I don’t cite ‘the refusal of Sydney based Anarchist groups to respond to [my] inquiries’, nor use this ‘as evidence of the Syndicate’s [sic] non-existence’. I have of course communicated with comrades in Sydney — including but not limited to those in groups such as Black Rose and Jura — all of whom agree with my analysis.

    2. I haven’t accused ‘ASIO of using the Black Rose Syndicate [sic] as a front to gather people [sic] details’. As I wrote, I understand the Syndicat to be the work of one man from Canberra. He is not an anarchist but a phantasist.

  10. We are a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued with ERIS
    GODDESS OF CONFUSION and with Her Doings

    I Tell You: One must still have chaos in one to give birth to adancing star!
    -Nietzsche

    IT IS SO WRITTEN! SO BE IT. HAIL DISCORDIA! PROSECUTORS WILL BE TRANSGRESSICUTED.

    Courier Mail: Are you really serious or what?
    Black Rose Syndicat: Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant.

    CM: Maybe you are just crazy.
    Preview full version
    -Operation Mindfuck- Black Rose Syndicat interviews
    Sat 15 Feb 2014
    By Anonymous

    Australia
    Global/International

    We are a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued with ERIS
    GODDESS OF CONFUSION and with Her Doings

    I Tell You: One must still have chaos in one to give birth to adancing star!
    -Nietzsche

    IT IS SO WRITTEN! SO BE IT. HAIL DISCORDIA! PROSECUTORS WILL BE TRANSGRESSICUTED.

    Courier Mail: Are you really serious or what?
    Black Rose Syndicat: Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant.

    CM: Maybe you are just crazy.
    BRS: Indeed! But do not reject these teaching as false because I am crazy. The reason that I am crazy is because they are true.

    CM: Is it true?
    BRS: Everything is true.
    CM: Even false things?
    BRS: Even false things are true.
    CM: How can that be?
    BRS: I don’t know man, I didn’t do it.

    CM: Why do you deal with so many negatives?
    BRS: To dissolve them.
    CM: Will you develop that point?
    BRS: No.

    CM: So what am I supposed to print as a response to my questions the article is going to print tomorrow?
    BRS: Print whatever you want you usually do anyway in Murdoch Media, just make sure you get the name right.

    -Operation Mindfuck- Black Rose Syndicat interview with Robert Anton Wilson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzG1Xy6NB0U

  11. If the Black Rose Syndicat are nobodies saying nothing decipherable or useful why is it you are conducting such a nasty and spiteful obsessive campaign against them Andy the Anarchist from Melbourne.Why is it that you have a go at them on blogs and social media saying all sorts of nasty stuff that them that you end up contradicting yourself about in your next rant? Why all the homophobic rants about them and why is it you cast such wild accusations about them but can not take it when the same accusations are then lobbied right back at you? Why is it you keep changing your story about who they are and what is wrong with them could that you are jealous of the media attention they get or are you deliberately trying to run a campaign to discredit them? Why is you think you have the right to define what Anarchism s or isn’t or who has the rights to call themselves Anarchists? Do you also think you have the rights to determine who and who doesn’t use the name Black Rose, a name with has been used by many different movements and organisations. With all this ranting and raving about the Black Rose Syndicat your starting to sound like someone who thinks he has a right to Police the Left as he sees fit and decide who is and who isn’t an Anarchist or a Leftist you are acting like a spiteful schoolchild with your online campaign against them. Is that your scared of them because they raise some salient points about the ineffectual activism of Anarchism or could it be that their is something inside yourself that you haven’t come to terms yet and they remind you of what that is you are trying to repress so you strike out against them. I just think you need to get over yourself and realism that anyone can form any group they want, call it whatever they want, issue whatever statements they want whether you can understand it or not is not a case of a major national emergency. Maybe you should think about informing the copyright police that their is a group running around Australia calling itself by a name that wasnt approved by Andy the Anarchist from Melbourne.

  12. @Rose Black/Black Rose Syndicat/Neil Lees SWP UK:

    Q. ‘Why write about the Black Rose Syndicat?’

    I’ve written two articles and three blog posts which refer to the Syndicat (two of which are simply refs to the articles). I first wrote about the Syndicat in December. That was in response to the fact that some journalists for the ‘Courier Mail’ had written a front-page beat-up which was being used to justify repressive measures ahead of the G20 meeting. The article above is partly concerned with the Syndicat but is a broader-ranging piece which is a direct response to Clive Williams’ article in ‘The Canberra Times’, published in January, which simply repeats the bogus claims made in December.

    I identify as an anarchist, and the uses to which a fictitious anarchist group was being put I thought noteworthy, especially given their adoption of a name and location associated with an actual anarchist project: Black Rose infoshop.

    Q. ‘Why all the homophobic rants about them?’

    As we both know, I’ve engaged in no homophobic rants. This allegation is simply the latest in a growing number of false allegations made by you, presumably in the hope that if you throw enough mud, some of it might stick. I think it constitutes evidence of desperation on your part, as is the tiresome tactic of making comments employing various pseudonyms.

    Q. ‘What is the Black Rose Syndicat?’

    The Syndicat is the fictional creation of one man, not an anarchist, who resides in Canberra, not Sydney, and has no association with any anarchist group, including Black Rose.

    It’s a banal observation to make that any individual is free to post to indymedia, to claim to belong to a fictitious anarchist group, and to issue statements in its name. A problem emerges when these statements are given credence by journalists and academics and used to justify political repression. At which stage, it’s reasonable for an anarchist blogger such as myself to point out these facts. If what I write has the advantage of swaying public opinion it’s because, unlike yourself, I make sense.

  13. Another nice article… trying the flame the Melbourne v Sydney tensions between Anarchist groups in Australia.

    There is no tension.

    Why is you think you have the right to define what Anarchism [is] or isn’t or who has the rights to call themselves Anarchists?

    Anarchism has a history, theory and practice. Claims of being an anarchist can be measured against these. ‘Black Rose Syndicat’ fails to meet any of the criteria. It speaks to Clive William’s academic abilities that he could not or did not investigate the claims of an isolated fantasist, and used it to justify repression.

  14. Let’s add Discordianism to the list of philosophies Black Rose has a poor grasp of, then…

    And, “Neil”, if you’re going to use a different handle to appear as a different person (a sockpuppet, to use the proper parlance), try using a different writing style too. Unintelligible and whiny is quite identifiable.

  15. Thanks Andy for your excellent work. Your analysis seems sound to me.

    I’ve been heavily involved in anarchist organising in Sydney for around a decade, mostly as a collective member of Jura Books – an anarchist bookshop and organising space in Petersham that has been going strong for 36 years. I can confirm that the ‘Black Rose Syndicat’ are a recent fabrication that do not have any existence outside cyberspace, and certainly do not represent any significant part of the anarchist community in Sydney.

    The Syndicat have no relationship with our fellow anarchist space, Black Rose infoshop in Newtown. The Syndicat has appropriated Black Rose’s name without any prior discussion.

    The Syndicat’s incoherent ramblings are of no use to anyone except those trying to discredit or attack anarchism.

    Contrary to popular myth, most anarchists do believe in organisation. In fact, we are hosting a forum on ‘Anarchism, Socialism and Organisation’ at Jura Books on Sunday 23rd March. All are welcome to attend the discussion, including anyone from the ‘Syndicat’. We will be happy to outline anarchist principles of organisation and provide examples from the long and proud history of anarchist organising against the tyranny of capitalism and the State.

  16. Just like to say a big thanks for everyone for supporting our work and for helping us get our ideas out the easy way.

    The central tenet of what we do here at Teh Black Rose Syndicat as part of The Kopyright Liberation Front is to take other people’s idea and creative work copy, paste and download them rework them and claim them as our own.

    Your response to our calls for a campaign to return the world to it’s nature state of Anarchy and Chaos by pirating other people’s ideas has been overwhelming.

    We love your cutting and pasting of @ndy the Anarchist from Melbourne disinformation about us and your claiming it as your own ideas. How very Black Rose Syndicat of you.

    None of our ideas are original, none of our ideas are thought out, we are internet pirates cutting and paste online. Welcome aboard the good ship Eris.

    We believe in freeing the world from ideas and politics and returning the world to its natural state Total Anarchism and welcome your support in this endeavor and from the overwintering support of members of Anarchist groups in Australia who want to be a part of this online campaign.

    I know some people are confused by our mixed messages but as an internet piracy groups we have no members and everyone is free to post from or about Black Rose Syndicat and write whatever they like.

    It about spreading the news of an idea not about the promotion of a brand.

    Here are some slogan you may like to use in your help in promoting the ideas of The Black Rose Syndicat.

    Say no to all authority.

    Anarchy and chaos are the natural order of things.

    All flags are false flags.

    All information is disinformation.

    Don’t ask me work it out for yourself.

    Reject all politics and embrace the chaos.

    Download it, copy it, paste it and claim it as your own.

    The Black Rose Syndicat does not exist it says so on their website.

    Sorry about the creating confusion, not.

  17. I think it pays to keep in mind that Clive Williams read these sort of rants, evidenced in the comments, and decided that it was legit.

    As far as I know, he still hasn’t made any attempt to correct the record.

  18. To be fair to Williams he obviously gets the Black Rose Syndicate is a prank as he doesn’t actually site them as a potential threat. I think what he was actually trying to do was spruik his wares as an expert on the matter in bid to pick up a lucrative contract for his private consultancy business. What he was warning about was the use of Black Bloc tactics which the link between the Black Rose Syndicate and the use of these tactics wasnt made.People should read the antics of the Black Rose Syndicate and their previous stunts such as the Johnny Hammerlock and Dole Liberation Army fiasco’s as a statement the role of media in our society and as a criticism of the organizational techniques of the left to change this. For this reason the use of Murdoch Media tabloid style expose journalism by people like Fleming only adds justification to Williams agenda and degrades the writers of such piece.

  19. @Rose Black/Black Rose Syndicat/Neil Lees SWP UK/Joseph:

    You are a liar and a phantasist.

    • Williams did not describe or understand the Syndicat as a prank but a real threat, and did so in both The Canberra Times, The Courier Mail and on 4BC.

    • He does not have a private consultancy. He is an academic at ANU and Macquarie.

    • He explicitly linked the phony Syndicat to ‘The Black Bloc’, describing it as an “affiliate”.

    • The Syndicat (ie, yourself, a/k/a ‘The Canberra Guy’) is not Jonny Hammerlock (a reference to another tabloid beat-up at the time of the WTO protests in Sydney in 2002. See my New Matilda article).

    • You had nothing to do with the Dole Army prank (see http://anarchy.org.au/dole-army/).

    • You have accused me of being homophobic, a police informant, and more besides.

    Making such accusations is very silly.

  20. The reason people like Andy Fleming and Clive Williams are running a campaign of disinformation making up lies and insults and trying to contribute other peoples online postings to us is because they are scared. They are not scared of us because they fear what we may do but they are afraid because we present a series of ideas that encourage other to think for themselves, understand the nature of repression not only at happens at the level of the state and to work out for themselves how they wish to respond to this, which others have obviously done and it is the people thinking and acting by themselves that is the truly rebellious action. Not matter what lies you make up about us Andy & Clive and no matter what types of disinformation you try to peddle of behalf of the establishment people will make up their minds for themselves.

    See… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-OfTjDcOyc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>