Neo-Nazis, Far-Right Turn Up At UK Anti-Trans Activist Kellie-Jay Keen’s Melbourne Event

Neo-Nazis, Far-Right Turn Up At UK Anti-Trans Activist Kellie-Jay Keen’s Melbourne Event
Image: Neo-Nazi protesters face-off with transgender rights supporters outside Parliament House in Melbourne, Saturday, March 18, 2023. (AAP Image/James Ross).

Neo-Nazis marched in the heart of Melbourne chanting “white power” and performed the Nazi salute on the steps of Victorian Parliament on Saturday morning as British anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen’s held her ‘Let Women Speak’ event in the city. 

LGBTQI community, allies and student activists who were part of the counter-protest clashed with far-right and anti-trans activists. ‘Posie Parker you can’t hide, you’ve got Nazis on your side’, shouted the activists, referring to Keen’s online handle. 

Victoria Police tried to keep the two groups apart. In a statement provided to Star Observer, a Victoria Police spokesperson said that three persons were arrested. 

“A 22-year-old Point Cook man was arrested for allegedly putting a female officer in a headlock and taking her to the ground. A 23-year-old Thornbury woman was also arrested for allegedly slapping a police officer on the neck. Both are expected to be charged with numerous offences including assaulting police. The two police officers were not injured,” the police said.

“A third person, a 22-year-old from Preston, was also arrested for unlawful assault. Police will review CCTV, body-worn cameras and social media footage to determine whether any further offences occurred,” the police added.

Videos uploaded to social media showed police tackling anti-fascist protesters who had turned up to support transgender rights activists.

Star Observer has reached out to Victoria Police for comment on if any action was taken against neo-Nazis performing the salute. 

Neo Nazis perform the Nazi salute outside the Victorian Parliament on March 18, 2023. Image: Victorian Socialists/Facebook.

Posie Parker Against Young Women

Keen, who is on her Australia-wide tour with her ‘Let Women Speak’ events, has been met with protests in other cities, including Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.

On Saturday, March 18, 2023, at her Melbourne event, Keen was joined by failed Warringah Liberal candidate Katherine Deves and Victorian Liberal MP Moira Deeming. 

Keen railed at the women who were protesting against her. “These stupid young women have no idea what they give up. And can I just say to these young women, you hate us, but you will become us,” ranted Keen, who was interrupted multiple times by protesters. 

Star Observer is not claiming that either Keen or Deves are associated with the Neo-Nazi group. 

Neo-Nazi And Far-Right Threat

Around 30 men from the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Network turned up, dressed in all black, wearing masks and carrying banners with offensive anti-LGBTQI slurs. They marched on Spring street chanting vile slogans and performed Nazi salutes at the transgender rights activists.

There were sporadic clashes between the groups as the police tried to keep them on separate sides.

Victorian Socialists accused the police of facilitating the anti-trans groups. “Their rally is being facilitated by Victoria Police who as usual are focused on holding back anti-fascist protesters (including Victorian Socialists members) who are there to stand up for trans rights,” the organisation posted on social media.

“Another reminder of the threat the far-right poses in Australia today and the need for us to organise and actively counter them. Today’s display cannot be allowed to pass without a determined community response,” the Victorian Socialists said. 

The Victorian government’s new law banning the public display of Nazi Swastikas and other hate symbols came into force in the state on December 29, 2022. The offence is punishable with a jail term of up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $22,000. However, actions including Nazi salutes have not been outlawed.

Neo-Nazi groups have increasingly targeted LGBTQI events. Last year, Neo-Nazi Thomas Sewell and his National Socialist Movement targeted a youth festival featuring drag performances. The group also protested outside the Victorian Pride Centre, which was scheduled to hold an event with drag performances. 

Labor MP Slams Neo-Nazis, Anti Trans Activists

Labor MP and Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights Josh Burns condemned the Neo-Nazi and anti-trans groups.

“The ugly alliance between anti-trans bullies and neo-Nazis on display in the city today was extremely confronting,” Burns, the Member for McNamara, said in a statement. 

“Both groups seek to bully and blame minority groups in their dark ideology. Scapegoating minorities is their business model, and it has no place in Australia. History showed that minorities, including the LGBTIQA+ community, have been targeted before. It’s nasty, it’s bigoted and it should be called out.”

The MP said it was time to relook at laws to prevent vile incidents like the one that occurred on Saturday in Melbourne CBD.

“The brazen marching with neo-Nazi salutes in front of the Victorian Parliament is unacceptable. This is a time for us to consider whether tougher laws are needed,” added Burns.

You May Also Like

One response to “Neo-Nazis, Far-Right Turn Up At UK Anti-Trans Activist Kellie-Jay Keen’s Melbourne Event”

  1. Unfortunately banning a salute will not stop hatred. Hatred starts in the heart.