After Protests Against Drag Shows, Neo-Nazis Perform Hitler Salute At Melbourne Lookout
Members of a far-right white supremacy group founded by neo-Nazi Thomas Sewell, whose group was reportedly behind protests against drag shows in Melbourne, were photographed performing a Nazi salute at a popular beach lookout near the city.
Shocking photos emerged earlier this week of Sewell’s European Australia Movement organising a meeting of neo-Nazi members at the popular Elwood beach. A young child was also seen in the photo of the white men performing the Nazi salute at the Point Ormond lookout.
Sewell, 29, is also the founder of the National Socialist Network, which was reportedly behind protests against drag shows last year.
In September 2022, suspected members of the National Socialist Network targeted a family-friendly youth festival featuring drag performances to celebrate the end of school holidays in the inner Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds. In December 2022, a drag event scheduled to be held at the Victorian Pride Centre was postponed following threats of protest from suspected Neo-Nazis and Proud Boys members.
‘We Can’t Be Silent’
It is racism.
It is divisive.
And it is frankly not welcome here.
As a proud Jew and a proud Australian I will always stand against this bigotry.
— Josh Burns (@joshburnsmp) January 17, 2023
Sewell was recently convicted of punching a Channel 9 security guard but avoided a jail term after the judge sentenced him to 150 hours of community service.
“Reports of a group Neo-Nazis congregating and performing a Nazi salute, goes against everything this community stands for,” Josh Burns, Federal Labor MP for Macnamara said in a statement.
“I know this group of far-right extremists are doing this to provoke a reaction from people like me. However, we can’t be silent and let this happen without calling it out for what it is.”
“It is racism. It is divisive. And it is frankly not welcome here. As a proud Jew and a proud Australian I will always stand against this bigotry,” added Burns.
‘We Must Take This Threat Seriously’
Fellow Labor MP for Higgins Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah responded to the post on Twitter. “Abhorrent. This behaviour has no place in modern Australia. The triumph of our diverse country does not happen by luck. Our social cohesion must be defended from the forces of division. And that only happens when we stand in solidarity against hate.”
Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratman said that photos of the Neo-nazis openly meeting in Elwood were of “grave concern”.
“These groups are clearly getting more emboldened. We must take this threat seriously,” said Ratnam in a statement.
Last year, Victoria passed a law that makes it an offence to display Nazi symbols in public.