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Humiliation for neo-Nazis on Australia Day

The group of men can be seen boarding a train dressed entirely in black, one carrying an Australian flag. Picture: Supplied
The group of men can be seen boarding a train dressed entirely in black, one carrying an Australian flag. Picture: Supplied

A group of neo-Nazis has suffered a humiliating setback after police cornered members of the balaclava-clad group on a Sydney train on Australia Day, banning its leader from events in the city.

Police swarmed North Sydney station on January 26 after the group of about 61 men – dressed head to toe in black and wearing balaclavas – was seen boarding at another station headed for the city.

It is understood the men are members of the National Socialist Network (NSN), an Australian neo-Nazi group headed by self-appointed leader and convicted criminal Thomas Sewell.

Pictures uploaded to X (formerly Twitter) show the group being met with a crowd of officers at North Sydney.

The group of men can be seen boarding a train dressed entirely in black, one carrying an Australian flag. Picture: Supplied
The group of men can be seen boarding a train dressed entirely in black, one at the back seen here carrying an Australian flag. Picture: Supplied

Another – shared to a Telegram group affiliated with the NSN – shows the group walking through Artarmon station, some brandishing Australian flags and one with a flag.

It is understood the group was en route to a planned protest, with Mr Sewell part of the group.

NSW Police said they were alerted to the “heavily disguised” group at Artarmon and met them at North Sydney station.

“On arrival, members of the public were directed to leave the train while officers boarded and contained the group of approximately 61 to a few carriages,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.

“The group all had their faces concealed and were carrying a number of items, including shields and a flag.

“The items were seized by police.”

Six people were arrested and taken to Chatswood Police Station where they are assisting police with inquiries, the spokesperson said.

Two men have since been released and issued infringement notices for offensive behaviour.

A further 55 men were handed rail infringement notices for offensive behaviour.

“While the police operation has concluded, police are continuing to investigate the incident,” NSW Police said.

In a video uploaded to the group’s encrypted Telegram profile, Mr Sewell, from Melbourne, is seen being spoken to by officers who served him with a public safety order, telling him not to go to any Australia Day events in the City of Sydney.

“I believe your presence in the Sydney City local government area poses a serious risk to public safety,” a NSW Police officer tells Mr Sewell.

“This is based on your ideological links, including your associates, your previous attendance and ideologically motivated public order incidents, your criminal history of assaulting members of the public and your goal of intimidating and provoking people.”

NSN leader Thomas Sewell is stopped by police at North Sydney station. Picture: Supplied
NSN leader Thomas Sewell is stopped by police at North Sydney station. Picture: Supplied

In response, Mr Sewell is heard complaining: “We can’t publicly celebrate Australia Day”.

In another video he approaches waiting media and continues bemoaning the national holiday is “under attack”.

Mr Sewell and another prominent neo-Nazi, Jacob Hersant, were both spared jail time after they were last year convicted over a violent attack on hikers in Victoria’s Cathedral Range State Park in May 2021.

Members of the NSN and European Australian Movement confronted a separate group of six friends after they began filming the men, many of whom were wearing shirts emblazoned with a white supremacist symbol.

The group, including Mr Sewell and Mr Hersant, began kicking and punching the hikers’ vehicle as they attempted to leave – smashing windows and taking their mobile phones.

Police stopped the man at North Sydney station and are currently holding them there. Picture: Supplied / X (@JaseAURunner)
Police stopped the black-clad men at North Sydney station and are currently holding them there. Picture: Supplied / X (@JaseAURunner)

Mr Sewell also avoided jail in early 2023 for violently assaulting a security guard outside Channel 9’s Docklands headquarters in March 2021.

He was attempting to confront A Current Affair journalists over a program centred on him.

Earlier in the day, NSW Police said a “police operation” was under way at the station but did not reveal any other details.

Passengers were diverted to buses away from the area.

 Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-chief Alex Ryvchin said it was shocking to see the group “boldly” roaming the streets.

“The police were right to restrain them to prevent any possibility of violence,” he said.

“They want to destroy our country and they are obsessed with anti-Jewish conspiracies.

“This incident reminds us how fragile our social order is and the need for vigilance in the face of violent movements intent on spreading lies, hatred and fear.”

Police stopped the man at North Sydney station and are currently holding them there. Picture: Supplied / X (@JaseAURunner)
NSW Police confirmed an operation was underway at North Sydney station but did not explain what the nature of the operation was. Picture: Supplied / X (@JaseAURunner)