• Wednesday, May 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:05 pm

What is in the ‘manifesto’?

  • Published at 01:11 am March 16th, 2019
Tarrant’s manifesto
The cover of Tarrant’s manifesto contains the symbol black sun, often used by neo-nazis. In the photo on left from 2017, American white supremacist Taylor Wilson carries a shield with the black sun on it Collected

Entitled 'The Great Replacement', the 74-page document said the gunman had wanted to attack Muslims.

What is in the document that Brenton Tarrant posted online before going on his killing spree?

Entitled "The Great Replacement", the 74-page document said the gunman had wanted to attack Muslims. 

The title of the document has the same name as a conspiracy theory originating in France that believes European populations are being displaced in their homelands by immigrant groups with higher birth rates.

The document includes references to "white genocide" - the conspiracy theory that contends that mass migration, racial integration, and low birth rates are being promoted in predominantly white countries in order to weaken them.

Experts in internet alt right forums and white supremacy subculture have warned that the document is full of intentional misdirections.

“Media: be careful with the NZ shooter's apparent manifesto. It's thick with irony and meta-text and very easy to misinterpret if you're not steeped in this stuff all the time,” New York Times Magazine’s tech columnist Kevin Roose wrote.

The manifesto said the gunman identified himself as an Australia-born, 28-year-old white male from a low-income, working-class family.

He said that key points in his radicalization were the defeat of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in 2017 elections, and the death of 11-year-old Ebba Åkerlund in the 2017 Stockholm truck attack.

The document contains a sprawling array of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white-supremacist references, repeating common far-right talking points, and refers to President Donald Trump.

"Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?" the author of the manifesto wrote. "As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no."

American journalist Robert Evans wrote in an analysis: “This manifesto is a trap itself, laid for journalists searching for the meaning behind this horrific crime.”

Most of it is “bait”, thrown out to attract attention on social media and sow further political division, he said.

Brenton wrote that he began planning the attack “roughly two years in advance”, and chose the final location three months prior to the attack. The manifesto covered topics from taxation to white birthrates, envisaging the fall of mosques in what was one Constantinople in Turkey, while also including the Dylan Thomas poem Do not go gentle into that good night.