The media seem unwilling to use the word, but the St Kilda demonstrators are Nazis, plain and simple.
Let’s just call it. The rally in Melbourne’s St Kilda this weekend was attended by Nazis. They weren’t “far right protestors” because that belittles and villainises the act of protest. They weren’t just “right-wing activists” because that sanitises what they are. They are Nazis. They’re carrying Nazi insignia, as well as throwing up Nazis salutes. These are self-identifying Nazis. So let’s call them by their name.
One Nazi was wearing a t-shirt for the Australian yob-rock band the Cosmic Psychos while holding up an SS helmet, which was emblazoned with the infamous lightning bolt logo. The Cosmic Psychos released a statement condemning the man.
“The Cosmic Psychos do not condone any form of racism, exclusion, violence or hate,” the band said. “Nazi’s , there’s a place where you belong.”
Below the comment was a link to their song “Fuckwit City”. Too right.
Even more disgusting was that sitting senator Fraser Anning, who famously made his parliamentary debut by demanding a “final solution to the immigration question”, was in attendance to the “political gathering” over the weekend, being pictured alongside known Nazi Blair Cottrell. PM Scott Morrison has condemned the rally, but stopped short of denouncing Anning by name, for some unknown reason.
Anning, whom it is necessary to once again point out is a sitting senator in Australia’s parliament, said that only the “far-left extremists” were using Nazis salutes, which is in direct opposition to evidence from the rally. He said there were “no skinhead” attendees, only “ordinary working people who’ve had enough”. This not only is a blatant lie he is attempting to tell the public, but undermines the danger of Nazis marching in Australia. Nazis which, apparently, Senator Fraser Anning sympathises with.
And to add insult to Nazi injury, Anning has the gall to charge the public the more than $2,800 for his flights down to attend this Nazi rally. Yes, those hard-working people who have had enough will be absolutely fine with paying for your prestigious attendance to their Nazi rally, Senator Anning, have no fear.
We have a Nazi problem in Australia, but we seem to find it very difficult to call it by its name. Pedants might shout that these aren’t “real” Nazis because they aren’t an organised political party or part of a Nazi regime, and to them, I say you’re almost deliberately missing the point. Calling these people Nazis does not diminish the largesse of the term, it is simply putting the correct label on them.
Don’t want to be called Nazis? Perhaps they shouldn’t wave the flags, carry the helmets, wear the shirts and throw the salutes. There’s no reason to do any of that unless you are actively telling everyone around you, “I agree with the politics that these objects represent.”
Also on The Big Smoke
- An unpunished Nazi salute punishes us
- There goes the neighbourhood: Confronting the fascist fight club next door
- We’re talking more about the Nazi’s disguise than what’s behind it
- “Oh, you’re a Jew?” – My experiences facing Antisemitism
- The rebirth of antisemitism: New time, same old tropes
These are the same people stickering swastikas around Jewish areas in Melbourne and around Ashfield, and what these people are, is Nazis. The media has a fondness for calling them “protestors” or “activists” or “extremists” and only the latter does these Nazis any justice. They are extremists, but what they need to be called is Nazis. The media has an obligation to call it as they see it, and if a group is rallying carrying Nazi symbolism, and is met by a counter-protest of anti-fascists, then they have an obligation to call the rallying group Nazis.
Yes, the point is being repeated over and over, but it needs to be for each time the media and our leadership do not. Our government needs to condemn them in these terms, that includes the PM and his cabinet; each Premier, including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews; Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan, and every other leader who doesn’t want to see themselves as cozying up to the Nazis in this country and those who support them. Across the board condemnation of the Nazis who rallied, as well as the Senator who showed up on the taxpayer’s dollar to support them.
This is not a grey area issue, this is black and white: Nazis are bad. Nazis have always been bad. When we’ve seen them pop up time and time again, we’ve always called them Nazis and condemned them in the strongest of terms. Why is it different? Do we want to include Nazis as a part of who we are? Because I don’t, and you shouldn’t. Nazis are villains. They are the basis for almost every comic book supervillain since the medium’s inception. They are our go-to bad guys, and these people are waving their flags with criminal glee and throwing up their salutes. This is a slap in the face to any decent human being who lives in this country, as well as a threat to every minority group that calls this country home, including me.
Australia wants to see itself as a fair country for one and all where everyone can “have a go”, isn’t that right Prime Minister? Well, the Nazis are having a go, and they are one group that shouldn’t get a go. Because they already had one, and we all know how that turned out.