Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has spoken out following an anti-immigration protest in Melbourne on Saturday. Three people were arrested at the Reclaim St Kilda event, with hundreds of far-right protestors clashing with anti-racism protestors.
Video footage of some protestors carrying out the Nazi salute was shared on social media, while controversial politician Fraser Anning proudly showed his support. The former member of Katter’s Australian Party made headlines last year when he said Australia to return to a “European Christian” immigration system and used the term “the final solution” to get his point across. It was a term used in Nazi Germany to describe the mass killing of Jewish people.
He posted an videos and photos from the protest on his Facebook page, specifically targeting “African gangs”.
“Great to see the turnout at St Kilda today! The Vietnamese community has been attacked time and time again by the African Gangs so it was good to see them turn up in protest of the Victorian Government. Thanks to all who came and organised it,” he said in one post.
In another post he said: “Was a great crowd today a lot of Australians fed up with the African Gangs crisis.”
PM Morrison thanked Victoria Police for their efforts an described the event as “ugly racial protests”.
“Intolerance does not make Australia stronger. Let’s never forget, Australia is the most successful migrant country in the world today,” he said in a statement shared on Facebook on Sunday. “This has been achieved by showing respect for each other, our laws and values and maintaining sensible immigration policies with strong borders and ensuring infrastructure and services keep pace with our population. Let’s keep it that way, it makes Australia stronger. That’s my plan.”
Liberal member for Goldstein Tim Wilson shared a similar message on his Facebook page.
“I always loathe to validate racist bullies with attention, but the ugly protests in St Kilda yesterday should be condemned,” he said. “Australia is a country for everyone who shares our commitment to a pluralistic liberal democracy anchored in mutual respect. These racists don’t understand Australia, what it stands for and are irrelevant to its future and do nothing to take Australia forward together.”
Greens Senator took aim at Anning’s involvement in particular, saying his Senate vote shouldn’t be considered.
“The Government should refuse to take Fraser Anning’s vote in the Senate after he has shown again he is unfit to be in the Parliament,” she wrote on Twitter. “Hanging out and supporting with neo-nazi who are inciting violence is inexcusable.”
The Government should refuse to take Fraser Anning’s vote in the Senate after he has shown again he is unfit to be in the Parliament. Hanging out and supporting with neo-nazi who are inciting violence is inexcusable.
— 💧Sarah Hanson-Young💚 (@sarahinthesen8) January 5, 2019
Meanwhile, the Reclaim Australia Rally Facebook group claimed it was actually people from the left that caused problems at Saturday’s rally.
“The Left stole the generator and punctured the speakers of the ralliers so no microphones could work. What else can you expect from these Left-wing thugs,” a post read. “Now they are drowning out proceedings with chants that boast ‘You can’t win in Melbourne.’ Yep…Democracy and free speech can’t win in Melbourne.”