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Issue #1696      August 5, 2015

Police watch hate group

Alice Springs police are monitoring a hate group of vigilantes that call themselves Alice Spring Volunteer Force (AVF), which is made up of 14 heavily armed “volunteers” and led by Gary Hall, an Irishman who claims to have a link with a paramilitary group.

A Facebook post on the wall of closed group “Alice Springs Community Forum” by Hall called for people to join the group.

“Ex or current military welcome. Those experienced in communications, logistics and firearms and willing to teach others. Be a part of something to be proud of,” Hall wrote.

Hall is originally from Bangor, Ireland, and moved to Australia seven years ago and now lives in Alice Springs. He claims to have been associated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a paramilitary group formed in 1966 that claimed responsibility for the lives of 33 people in bomb attacks in Dublin and Monaghan.

Hall has been vocal in his condemnation of the Aboriginal people that reside in Alice Springs, including in an interview with Irish newspaper the Belfast Telegraph. “There are basically two communities where I live – the whites and the Aborigines who are stuck in the 1700s,” he said.

Referring to claims that he is a racist, Hall stated, “The fact is that race plays no part in who the organisation targets. The Aborigines carry out their own form of punishment beatings by spearing the kneecap of someone who has wronged them. I don’t see what the big fuss is about the AVF doing similar.”

Hall has said that the group was heavily armed and prepared to use their weapons on Aboriginal people, in addition to carrying out punishment beatings. He considers that the police are not addressing the crime allegedly perpetrated by the Aboriginal community and he intends to rectify it with the use of violent force.

Not only do Aboriginal residents of Alice Springs need to be concerned of this vigilante group’s existence, but the numerous violently anti-Aboriginal posts in response to Hall’s drive for new recruits indicate that the potential for racial violence is a real threat to the community.

Supporters of Hall were encouraging attacks upon the Aboriginal community, one even going as far as encouraging an “open season” and payment of bounties; others were engaging in racial attacks on the character of Aboriginal residents and indicating that they aren’t concerned if violence is perpetrated against the Aboriginal community.

A Northern Territory police spokesperson said, “Upholding of the law is always best left to professional law enforcement officers,” and confirmed officers are “monitoring” Hall’s group.

Alice Springs police were contacted for comment amid fears of racial attacks.

“Alice Springs police have not received any reports of unlawful activity by this group. We will continue to monitor the group’s activities.”

Koori Mail

Next article – Vale Kevin Cook (Cookie) 1939-2015

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