Fascism advances



Blackshirts set up secret cells in NSW
By Frank Walker
August 18 2002

An extremist divorced fathers' group, whose members dress in neo-nazi black uniforms and publicly abuse their former wives, is setting up cells in NSW.

The leader of the self-styled Blackshirts, John Abbott, said he would make a secret trip to Sydney and NSW towns in the next few months to set up branches of his militant organisation.

Mr Abbott said he had contact with "hundreds" of angry fathers across NSW who were prepared to adopt the vigilante tactics of his Melbourne-based group.

Mr Abbott was branded a "fascist" by Melbourne magistrate Rod Crisp last week as he banned him for five years from approaching two women his group had been haranguing.

The group has terrified women by abusing and harassing them during divorce proceedings.

Up to a dozen men at a time have worn black masks and paramilitary black uniforms with swastika-style badges while they stand outside homes abusing people as adulterers and family destroyers.

"I am not perturbed being called a fascist," Mr Abbott said.

"I am here to protect the family, the sanctity of marriage and the children. Whatever it takes, even sacrifice from us, is acceptable to reinstate family values."

Mr Abbott said members of his group wore the black uniform to make an impact. They wore masks as people in Family Court cases could not be identified.

He said: "We do not intend to invoke fear. If they have fear it is only because they themselves are guilty."

Mr Abbott said his group did not break the law, it notified police of its protests and only meant to protect families.

It has among its members a man accused of domestic violence and another ruled by the Family Court to have sexually abused his son.

Mr Abbott sees himself on a crusade, comparing his 300 Blackshirts to the 300 Spartans who fought the might of the Persian empire at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC.

"They fought against incredible odds and as they did not let the enemy through to get to their families. Nor will we," Mr Abbott said.

NSW lone-father support groups condemn the Blackshirts but warned there were men in NSW who were angry and frustrated enough at the Family Court system to join the extremists.

Tony Miller, founder of the support group Dads in Distress, said some men were so desperate they would turn to the Blackshirts.

Mr Miller said: "The system is so bad and anti-father that it is driving some men to extremes. We have five suicides among divorced and separated men every day in Australia. Of course some are so fed up they will join a mob like that. But vigilante action will hurt us and put us back 20 years."

State Attorney-General Bob Debus warned that the Blackshirts faced jail if they protested in the same way in NSW.

The battle of the exes

  • In 2000, women won 70 per cent of Family Court custody decisions. Men won 2,372 custody judgments, women 8,379.
  • In 42pc of divorces women get 60pc or more of couple's assets.
  • 32pc of marriages end in divorce. Median marriage 11.6 years.
  • Divorced Australians total 1.1 million, up 63pc on 10 years ago.
  • 53pc of divorces involve children, two-thirds younger than 10.
  • Men 30 to 34 have the highest divorce rate; women 25 to 29.
  • Suicide is three times higher among divorced men than women.
  • Relationship breakdowns cause 70pc of male suicides.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/08/17/1029114031781.html