Max Towns: violent teenage fascist
Max Towns is a well-known figure within Sydney's far-right scene. Even among his fellow violent fascists, Towns is kept at arm’s length due to his reputation for bizarre and unpredictable behaviour. His cowardly and obsessive crusade on the streets of Newtown involves him targeting 'lefties' (predominantly young women) by stalking and physically intimidating them. Towns’ deeply disturbing solo adventures are well documented and creepy enough on their own, but are all the more worrying in the context of his previously unpublished catalogue of hateful online vitriol and threats of serious violence.
During his one-man street patrol days and in the months leading up to his assault on a News Corp journalist and photographer at a Fraser Anning press conference in Cronulla, Max Towns strongly identified with the fascist 'patriot' group True Blue Crew (TBC). He even dropped $100+ on one of their branded hoodies, which he regularly wore while 'on patrol' hunting for anTeEefa. These vigilante patrols were a neat way of excusing pathological behaviour of the worst kind and consisted mostly of the angsty teenager stalking and profiling young women. Towns would often pretend to talk on his phone to imaginary friends, though they never seemed to accompany Towns on his sad little powerwanks.
On the surface, Towns’ behaviour is almost a caricature of the unhinged and isolated ‘lone wolf' archetype. We will demonstrate that Max Towns has long associated, both online and in person, with various far-right organisations, and has attended numerous actions and rallies before the fated press conference in Cronulla. Although Towns doesn’t seem particularly popular with other figures on the far right, he is undeniably well-connected in fascist far-right circles. In line with demographic trends among young men on the far-right, Towns is also from a background of privilege and wealth, with all the benefits of an expensive private education.
In the images above, Max Towns expresses his support for Senator Fraser Anning, ahead of Towns' now infamous assault on journalists Eliza Barr and Dylan Robinson at a Conservative National Party press conference at Cronulla on Friday 26 April 2019. Note that, next to the “Victory or Death” slogan, Towns uses the 🤚 emoji. This emoji is commonly used by neo-Nazis online as shorthand for “Sieg Heil” or “Heil Hitler”, or included alongside these phrases.
In the second image, Towns uses this same “Sieg Heil” sign alongside the “OK”/“White Power” 👌 sign, famously hand signalled by the neo-Nazi terrorist during his first court appearance following his horrific massacre of 50 people in Christchurch.
Anning's racist pilgrimage
It’s no coincidence that Fraser Anning held his NSW Senate ticket launch at Dunningham Park, Cronulla. This is the same park where the 2005 Cronulla race riots began with a gathering of 5000 beer-swilling flagwits, and escalated into violent attacks on anyone judged to be of 'Middle Eastern' appearance. These attacks were stoked by the same white supremacist discourses peddled by Anning and his supporters.
At the launch attended by Max Towns on Friday 26 April, Anning remarked “As you know, this area is the Prime Minister's seat, and there's been all sorts of problems here with the Muslim immigrants who have come in here and attacked people right here where we're standing now”. Thick irony, considering his feet were on the same ground where thousands of racist dogs congregated in 2005, before swarming the streets of Cronulla while shouting “Fuck off Lebs”.
Anning understands all too well the benefits that accrue from stoking racist fantasies among white Australians. His particular brand of incitement includes regular references to nebulous African and Muslim 'gangs', along with the odd reference to Asians 'buying our land.' A high point of this fascist frenzy was the event dubbed 'Cronulla 2.0' in St Kilda in January this year at which Anning — whose attendance was funded courtesy of taxpayers — staged photo-ops with Blair Cottrell and other neo-Nazis amidst a crowd of Sieg Heiling goons frothing for easy minority targets.
Max Towns making threats of violence on a thread about the 'Cronulla 2.0' rally, on a far-right Facebook Page.
Max Towns attended True Blue Crew's 'Aussie Pride Flag March' in June 2018, when he travelled from Sydney to Melbourne to join clusters of fellow ultra-nationalists and right-wing eccentrics. The neo-Nazi terrorist who carried out the massacre in Christchurch, was also a big fan of the TBC.
Towns appeared in Federation Square after the 'march', with over a dozen other neo-Nazis, in the also famous 'Dandyman' incident. slackbastard wrote:
Having journeyed to Transport Bar at Fed Square upon completion of the rally, Cottrell and a number of his followers took the opportunity to enforce some white shariah. Spying a street performer, ‘Dandyman’, dressed in pink, and possibly imagining himself in the role of head of an Antipodean Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Cottrell & The Gang vocally objected to the performer’s pink costume. This, apparently, was sufficient reason to demand that he remove himself from the Square, and sufficient evidence for the performer to be accused of being a paedophile(!). Requesting assistance from police, they merely delayed the Dandyman’s performance and their removal from the Square. ... Cottrell was accompanied by at least thirteen others including the sloppy seconds of Australia's ever desperate alt right scene (LadSoc) and the leftover crack lumps from Melton's TBC meth labs INC who were to assist in the great cleansing of degenerate modern art in Fed Square:
1: Luke Phipps; 2: Bayden Mottee (kicked out of the Proud Boys for lying); 3: Ian Sayer (True Blue Crew); 4: Max Towns; 5: Lee Taylor (Proud Boys); 6: Jacob Hersant (Antipodean Resistance and Lads Society); 7: Lads Society member (unnamed); 8: Kane Miller (True Blue Crew); 9: Troy Crockett (Lads Society); 10: True Blue Crew member (unnamed); 11: 'Bluebeard'; 12: Steven Hansford (True Blue Crew); 13: True Blue Crew member (unnamed).
(Troy Crockett (#9), a violent neo-Nazi member of Lads Society has not previously been named publicly. Troy uses the following aliases online: Trè Blackstone, Trè Bloodstone, Troy or Trè Targaryen and Trè Greystoke. If you have any information on Troy, please e-mail us.)
It was during this incident — in which a group of neo-Nazi thugs intimidated members of the public with impunity — that Max Towns lead an unprovoked assault on a young couple who subsquently became the next target of Cottrell's fixated band of minions.
This video shows Towns approaching the couple, probably because they looked like 'leftists' to him — or were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. This fits Towns' established pattern of victimisation. He tells the young man at the end of the assault to “Fuck off faggot”, an insult he frequently uses when trolling online. The young couple are then surrounded by over a dozen neo-Nazis who continued to abuse, intimidate and threaten them.
Between the Dandyman incident in Federation Square in June 2018 and the verbal and physical assault on two journalists in Cronulla on 26 April 2019, Max Towns has been busy. However, Towns' busy schedule does not appear to be focussed on his studies at The University of Sydney where he is allegedly still enrolled. Nor with the rugby matches he enjoyed during his days at the exclusive $15,000 per annum private Catholic school Waverley College:
Rather, Towns has been busy making himself known throughout the Inner West of Sydney in a series of attacks and intimidation efforts directed at supposed 'leftists', people he believes to be 'antifascists', or people he thinks look at him wrong or just look wrong to him.
Inner West Sydney activities
Reports of Towns' activities were sent to us by concerned Sydney locals on social media. These reports first surfaced after an incident in which he attempted to intimidate a well-known Sydney Socialist activist in Newtown while they were campaigning for the Refugee Action Coalition. The list goes on: he later threatened the daughter of another well-known Sydney Socialist activist; repeatedly egged the front of anarchist bookshop Jura Books; was spotted lurking outside the SWOP building; attacked a door person at an Inner West warehouse party and threw a longneck bottle at them; and is rumoured to have made in-person threats against a Greens MP at their home and electorate office.
On the day of Newtown Festival in November 2018, Towns, sporting his trademark “anti-Antifa” hoody, proceeded to stalk two individuals through the streets of Enmore. The following is an account sent to us from the people who were targeted that day:
On the afternoon of Newtown Festival, mid-November 2018, my partner and I were out getting groceries on Enmore Road.
When we reached Phillip Street we saw a young man was standing outside, talking on his mobile (today, 5 months later, we recognised him as the person who attacked journalists and was arrested at the Fraser Anning event in Cronulla).
We saw the slogans 'anti-antifa' (i.e. pro-fascists) and 'good night lefties' on his pristine black hoodie, so we looked at him visibly disgusted.
Without hesitation, he responded with a smile and then did the 'Heil Hitler' salute. He then aggressively and pointedly snapped up his hoodie while smiling and staring at us, and started yelling stuff like 'die commie pigs' at us as we walked away from him.
We only then realised how aggressive and fixated he was and how dangerous the situation was. We felt physically threatened and like he was a violent guy. We didn't want to turn around and engage any further, so we walked quickly away, with him following and continuing to shout at us.
We turned into Belmore Street and thought he had given up. As we got near to our car we realised he had followed us, and saw him a few cars back, across the street, watching us with his hoodie up, smiling. We got into the car and drove away as quickly as possible.
Until recently many victims of Max Towns' assaults or stalking have been people he thinks are anti-fascists or 'leftists' but who actually have no idea why he's assaulting or stalking them. He generally prefers to pick on people who he reads as smaller or weaker than him, or not up for a fight.
Prior to his abuse and assault on two journalists at Cronulla on 26 April 2019, the last report sent by Sydney locals of Max Towns committing physical assault was again in the Inner West. A young man who passed Towns in the street objected to Towns' “anti-Antifa” hoody. Towns is used to being the one who starts on someone and met his match in a physical altercation. His opponent landed a few punches on behalf of everyone else Towns has assaulted in the past year.
Then Max Towns pushed his opponent into oncoming traffic on a major road.
Towns can often be spotted in Newtown and the Inner West of Sydney wearing anti-Antifa, RA Infidel, or True Blue Crew merchandise. He has also been seen wearing a plain bomber jacket and chinos.
Max Towns was spotted at other far-right and neo-Nazi events in 2018. He turned up outside the Sydney tour of fascists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux in July 2018 without a ticket, opting instead to stalk up and down outside the venue, hoping to meet leftist counter-protesters.
Towns also turned up to “Freedom of Speech Day” in Lakemba in 2018, seen here on the far right of this group photo:
Some notable faces from left to right: Jaiden Armstrong Penney (Lads Society), John Bolton (lawyer for neo-Nazis including Blair Cottrell), neo-Nazi and violent misogynist Bluebeard (Neil Erikson's former tripod), neo-Nazi Nick Folkes (formerly Party for Freedom), Alex Annenkov and Mark McDonald (formerly Squadron 88 and Lads Society Sydney leaders), Oscar Tuckfield (Lads Society and one of neo-Nazi infiltrators of NSW Young Nationals) and Mitch van Dam (fascist leader of True Blue Crew in NSW).
Max Towns also stood awkwardly in the background of other photographs, taken at “Freedom of Speech Day”, featuring Blair Cottrell, Alex Annenkov, Mark McDonald and Oscar Tuckfield in the foreground.
Journalist Eliza Barr, the latest victim of Max Towns' rage, is familiar with stunts pulled by the far-right at Lakemba. When fascist Lauren Southern toured Australia in July 2018, she claimed Lakemba was a “No Go Zone” and filmed a video there, despite Lakemba's residents failing to live up to her expectations of a gang war or attacks on white women. Southern was instead moved on by the police for making a nuisance of herself. Barr uploaded a video to Twitter debunking Southern's ridiculous claims.
January 2019 saw Towns making his typical threats of violence on Neil Erikson's (now deleted) Facebook Page ahead of Australia Day/Invasion Day protests. He was egged on by Melissa McPhee, a Queensland member of fascist 'patriot' group True Blue Crew.
“First leftist I see on Australia Day will be eating the pavement, no ifs no buts”
“everyone has a plan until they're punched in the face”
“You don't 'negotiate' or 'be civil' with communists”
On that day, Towns was reportedly spotted in his best Infidel Brotherhood shirt outside the Woolworths at Town Hall station a few blocks from the Sydney Invasion Day rally. Perhaps intimidated by the size of the crowd, on this occasion his big plans amounted to yelling at a few confused commuters.
Towns regularly trolled posts about the March 2019 Mardi Gras in Sydney and ended one long comment thread with:
Privately educated misogynist and racist
Unsurprisingly for someone who abused a female journalist for doing her job, Max Towns is also a violent misogynist. Towns is a supporter of unhinged conspiracy theorist and misogynist Andy Nolch, who vandalised the memorial for rape and murder victim Eurydice Dixon:
Andy Nolch is a pet of both Neil Erikson and the Lads Society, with Nolch serving as an unofficial avatar to represent their hatred of women as they encourage his behaviour.
Max Towns has made threats against feminist Clem Ford online:
Threats towards women and journalists are of course a major feature of the fascist far-right discourse. On the rare occasions that Max Towns isn't spotted sad-boy stalking by himself, he is usually seen consorting with other violent misogynists like Blair Cottrell and 'Bluebeard'. Cottrell shares a common trait with Towns of stalking women and has himself been involved in the harassment of women journalists, the best-known case being a rape threat against Sky News reporter Laura Jayes.
'Bluebeard', like Max Towns, has committed public assaults against female 'leftists'. He remarked to The Feed at the 2018 March for Men:
[Because being a man] sucks! I get in a relationship with a woman, she sucks my dick a couple of times, we get a divorce and she gets half – fuck that! I hate women. Well, a lot of them. There’s a lot of fucking dumb women. There’s a lot of dumb guys out there, too, but nobody complains about misandry. Men have to be tough. Life’s a bitch. Everybody asks stupid questions like, What do women want? It depends on the time of day! Women and men are different. You know, we want different things. I’m 48 years old. Don’t tell me what to do – unless you want to go home in a body bag.
These sentiments are worth placing in connection with Anning's own efforts to stoke a specifically gendered form of racist ire among his supporters.
Far from being inconsistent with the behaviours of Towns, Cottrell, and 'Bluebeard', Anning's own efforts play up to the same sense of superiority and entitlement towards women that is a major feature of misogynist organisations in general and, of course, the fascist far-right in particular. This was born out on Friday in the way that Anning referred to one of his own female candidates, a 54-year-old woman, as a 'good girl'.
Not to be found wanting on JQ ('Jewish Question') front, Towns has also been clocked spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories:
In a now ironic comment on a thread about Eggboy, Towns stated “the left get away with murder in this country and it has to stop”.
On the day after Max Towns' arrest at Cronulla for assault, Jesse Nguyen, a former high school acquaintance of Max Towns, shared Facebook posts discussing his history with Towns. Nguyen described exclusive private schools such as Waverley College as a 'fertile breeding ground' for far-right politics.
Nguyen detailed a physical assault Towns perpetrated on him for attending a pro-Palestine protest and stated the only action Waverley College took was to send Jesse to a counsellor — not Max Towns.
Nguyen shared screenshots from a Facebook chat called 'Right Wing Waverley' Towns created in 2017 to harass left-wing students and discuss far-right politics. The screenshots from this chat that Jesse shared on Facebook have been archived by us in this gallery.
Another former high school acquaintance of Towns, Rose Donnelly, described how Towns personally demeaned, threatened and abused her over a span of several years.
The Towns family live in Randwick, in the Eastern Suburbs. Max Towns' father is Michael Towns, who also played Australian Schools Rugby for Waverley College in 1988. Michael Towns works in IT support for Sydney's children's hospitals. Rugby may not be all Max has in common with his father. Michael Towns' Facebook Likes indicate Max's far-right politics may run in the family. Max and Michael Towns both share a hatred of Muslims, something else they have in common with Senator Fraser Anning. Michael Towns' Facebook profile was deactivated a few hours after his son's arrest on Friday 26 April 2019.
Towns was picked up from the watchouse by his supportive mother and grandmother, who tried to help him avoid the waiting media. Towns was again captured smiling smugly outside the watchhouse. He was also photographed a few hours earlier with a self-satisfied smile during his arrest at Cronulla. Those who viewed the full livestream of the neo-Nazi terrorist attack in Christchurch will recall the gunman's calm as he gunned down 50 innocent people at prayer; he was laughing.
It would be a mistake to dismiss Max Towns as merely a dangerous individual trying to make a name with the “big boys” of the fascist scene. He clearly sees himself as some sort of warrior, intent on policing those he deems to be undesirable elements: women, queers, Muslims, reporters, “lefties”, Jews. When violent young men start taking such action, we should all be worried.
Max Towns has shown himself to be a fixated stalker and a dangerous and violent young man. He is not simply a danger to journalists, but to anyone who deviates from his strict, fascist world view. Even though Max Towns usually acts alone on his violence, he is clearly no “lone wolf”, having enjoyed the company and support of the same cross-state network of neo-Nazis with whom Senator Anning has actively sought to associate and align himself with.
We encourage you to e-mail us in confidence if you have any further information about Max Towns — or if you have been targeted by him personally.
We also encourage you to e-mail us if you have further information on the individuals shown above who were in Federation Square during the Dandyman incident. We are particularly interested in #9 Troy Crockett, a violent neo-Nazi member of Lads Society who has not been named until now. Troy uses the following aliases online: Trè Blackstone, Trè Bloodstone, Troy or Trè Targaryen and Trè Greystoke.