Inner West Council Votes to Keep Australia Day Under the Watchful Eye of Cooks Convicts

The Inner West Council in New South Wales has narrowly voted to retain Australia Day celebrations at a council meeting on Tuesday night. The meeting took place under the watchful eye of the newly established New South Wales branch of the True Blue Crew and Cooks Convicts which was recently founded by Melbourne patriot activist Neil Erikson.

Cooks Convicts is a rebranding of Patriot Blue after streaming service Stan threatened legal action as it is the same name used in their Romper Stomper TV series for their fictional patriot group. It has established both a website and Facebook page in addition to the Nationalist Uprising Facebook page of Erikson’s. True Blue Crew NSW is part of the national rollout of the patriot group which has gained national recognition in the past month for its Victorian crime crisis meetings and its Australia Day barbeque.

The motion to change Australia Day was put forward by Greens Councillor Tom Kiat who believes that Australia Day must change from a day celebration to a day of commemoration. The federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale had stated that changing Australia was his top priority for 2018 and he would utilize elected Greens Councillors to push for it.

The Inner West Council is a newly created amalgamated council in inner city Sydney. It has five Greens Councillors, five Labor, two Liberal and three independents. It is located in a very left area of Sydney as it takes in the Greens state seats of Balmain and Newtown as well as the federal seat of Grayndler held by Anthony Albenese.

Erikson posted a vlog on the Cooks Convicts website warning the council that he would be coming after them if they decided to cancel Australia Day as he has done with the councils in Melbourne. Last year Erikson interrupted a Yarra City Council meeting and two Moreland City Council meetings which included once bringing in a coffin draped in the Australian flag. He also visited Moreland Council on Australia Day to give information on being Australian to new citizens and warning them of the communist nature of the council.

As a result the council hired eight security guards to oversee the meeting. The exact wording of the motion “January 26 marks the beginning of the British invasion of the lands of First Nations people … and is therefore not an appropriate date for an inclusive national celebration.”

The motion was defeated only just in 7-8 vote with all Labor and Liberal Councillors voting against as well as one independent. However Labor continued to offer half hearted defence of Australia Day with Labor Mayor Darcy Byrne putting forward a compromise motion to have January 26th “reflection and commemoration” but that was also defeated 6-9. Byrne was still eager to point out he was in favour of changing the date “I do believe the nature of January 26 must change and I welcome the growing public sentiment for the date to be reviewed”.

In his post council meeting video Erikson along with fellow Cooks Convicts member George and leader of True Blue Crew NSW Mitchell claimed their presence at the meeting helped persuade the council to vote down the motion. They did not interrupt the proceedings of the meeting.  They also mocked Mayor Darcy Byrne for labeling them white supremacists on Radio 2GB. The finished by stating they would continue to confront councils who put forward anti-Australia Day motions.

Australia Day 2018 saw the attacks on it reach new heights which culminated in Melbourne Invasion Day organiser Tarneer Onus-Williams telling protestors “F**k Australia, I hope it f**king burns to the ground”. Despite Australia Day 2019 still 11 months away it is clear that push to change (or the mind of some activists abolish) Australia Day is going to continue throughout the year. But it would appear given the fact that Erikson flew all the way to Sydney just for the council meeting that the patriot movement is going to continue to be vigilant defending Australia Day

 

Tim Wilms

Tim Wilms is Editor-in-Chief of The Unshackled and host of The Unshackled Waves podcast. He is based in Melbourne, Victoria where he also does field reports.