THE Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) has expressed its deep concern about the appearance of two white supremacists in Daylesford wearing Neo-Nazi clothing during Victoria’s ChillOut festival.
Ali Hogg captured photos of the pair in a Daylesford supermarket.
“I saw two skinheads,” said Hogg. “I was basically in shock because his t-shirt said ‘sieg heil, faggots’. Considering there’s an LGBTI festival on it was quite concerning. I didn’t have the confidence to say anything so I just took photos.
“The police tried to have a discussion and ask them to leave. They argued with the police briefly and the police let them be.”
Hogg said people in the supermarket were visibly afraid of the two.
“The guy seemed to be drinking alcohol out of a water bottle and he was… quite loud and aggressive,” she said. “A lot of people were just intimidated.
“Thankfully there weren’t too many of them. People were concerned that they would attack the parade or the carnival day, but thankfully I didn’t see any incidences like that happen.”
ADC chair Dr Dvir Abramovich said, “We find it absolutely outrageous and shocking that these two white supremacists, with hate in their hearts, were openly and brazenly targeting the LGBTI community with these virulently racist insignia, as well as intimidating and victimising all residents in the area.
“Wearing these shirts is an insult and an affront to the millions of innocent victims, including gays and lesbians, who were murdered by the Nazi regime. Clearly, white supremacists are becoming more visible and active in promoting their bigoted ideology, and this alarming escalation will leave many fearful.
“The ADC stands firmly with the LGBTI community in sending a clear message that ignorance and intolerance, which represents a serious threat to the fabric of our cohesive, multicultural life, do not reflect the true character of our country and have no place in our community.
“We call on leaders to swiftly decry such hateful conduct and to declare in one voice that such a vile and racist agenda will never find a safe haven in our midst. It takes all Australians working together to eradicate such prejudice and discrimination.”
“Unfortunately the right is growing internationally and Australia’s not excluded from that,” said Hogg. “We’re going to need to look at how we respond to situations like this.”
A police spokesperson said, “Victoria Police respect the right of the community to express their views peacefully and lawfully, but we will not tolerate people breaking the law or urging violence and hatred within our community.
“We ask anyone who witnesses, or is subject to discrimination or victimisation on the basis of religious affiliation, sexuality, gender identity or race to inform police immediately.”