Nazi salute to be banned in Victoria, Australia after ‘disgusting’ gesture seen at anti-trans rally
Politicians in Victoria, Australia have said they will ban the Nazi salute after anti-trans protesters were seen making the obscene gesture at a Melbourne rally on Saturday (18 March).
Extremists joined an event hosted by British anti-trans campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, better known as Posie Parker, chanting “white power”, throwing Nazi salutes, and shouting slurs at LGBTQ+ counter-protesters.
Around 30 members of the far-right National Socialist Movement attended the “Let Women Speak” event, which The West Australian estimated attracted a total of around 400 people.
The group were seen dressed in black and carrying a banner that read “destroy paedo freaks”.
Following appalling scenes where the Nazi salute was performed in front of Parliament House in Melbourne on Saturday, the Victoria government has said it will now move to ban the hateful gesture, a proposed law that the state’s attorney general claims will take “some work” to get right.
“The behaviour we saw on the weekend was disgusting, cowardly – a sense of sadness, outrage and disbelief all at once,””attorney general Jaclyn Symes told ABC Radio.
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“It’s clear this symbol is being used to incite hatred against a variety of people, a variety of minority groups … it’s being used as a recruitment tool.”
Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews added that the group had appeared at the event to oppose trans rights because “that’s what Nazis do”.
“Their evil ideology is to scapegoat minorities – and it’s got no place here. And those who stand with them don’t, either,” he said.
Opposition leader John Pesutto has confirmed that the Coalition is open to providing bipartisan support for a ban on Nazi salutes, The Guardian reported.
Dr Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the anti-defamation commission, backed the proposed law, but added that the wording could be “complex” and would have to allow for certain exceptions – such as the portrayal of Nazis in plays and films.
“For example, artistic settings or educational settings where you are showing a play or a film. That is a question the government will need to navigate,” he told The Guardian.
The proposed ban will follow Victoria becoming the first Australian state to outlaw the public display of the Nazi swastika in December 2022.
Posie Parker has made appearances across Australia in March, with a tour including events in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart.
The anti-trans activist is now planning to bring her ‘Let Women Speak’ rallies to New Zealand, though the country has said it is reviewing whether it will permit her to enter the country after the events of Saturday (18 March).
Parker told PinkNews in a statement that none of the neo-Nazis pictured at the rally in Melbourne were attending her event.
“No men dressed in black block who gave nazi salutes were at the Let Women Speak rally,” she said.
“Standing For Women campaigns for rights of women and the safeguarding of children. Nazis are abhorrent, no right-minded person sides with Nazis, they have absolutely nothing to do with Let Women Speak.
“It’s a real shame, although not surprising, that the focus of our amazing rally with courageous and articulate women has been sidelined by the media who are focusing on what men, who weren’t even at our rally, had to say and do.”
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