How Australia’s Russophiles helped Melbourne ban the Nazi salute
Protestors clash outside Victoria’s Parliament House with counter protestors vastly outweighing the number of self-identified Nazis
(Photo: AAP Photos/James Ross)
Days after joining U.S. President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego for a trilateral press conference where they detailed the AUKUS agreement, a counter-wave of ‘peaceful’ protestors attempted to sweep across Australia's major cities.
In Sydney, YouTuber Aussie Cossack led the wave from within the walls of the Russian consulate. Speaking to a crowd of roughly 50 people on the street below, he directed them to stand in the street and create “maximum visibility” so livestreams of the event could impress those viewing from Russia.
‘Stop weapons to Ukraine’ was the event used to launch the NSW chapter of International Russophile Movement and encourage Australian officials to decrease support for Ukraine - a country that former UAP Senate Candidate, Sean Ambrose, labelled a “swamp”, and “overrun by Nazis”. The speaker then made derogatory remarks about Penny Wong and accused Anthony Albanese of being a puppet.
Outside the Russian consulate in Sydney, the Australian chapter of the International Russophile Movement was launched
(Photo: Zak Wheeler)
Sean Ambrose tarnished Australian dignitaries and their support of Ukraine during Russia’s invasion of the eastern European country
(Photo: Zak Wheeler)
Between speeches, the MC of the event, Cossack, would rally those on the street through inflammatory remarks.
“If Russia falls, what happens to democracy?” Cossack said through a speaker.
“The path to peace is through Russian victory.”
On the other side of the country, a ‘Peace Picnic’ drew just under 60 people to the Supreme Court Gardens in Perth’s CBD, where they also pushed for the government to be neutral toward Russia’s “special military operation”.
Co-organiser Aaron Clark, working with members of the WA Freedom Movement, wanted the federal government to rethink its foreign policy.
“We’re concerned about the Australian government effectively supporting a war on the other side of the planet without any form of referendum, or actually a broader tactical approach to this where they actually consider what the bigger implications of involving us in such a conflict are,”
The main aims of the Perth “Peace Picnic”, in which many protesters were all grouped together under the neutrality banner
(Photo: Gera Kazakov)
A Russian attendee plays a traditional Russian instrument called a balalaika. He said he was “playing melodies from the bottom of my heart” to the attendees. (Photo: Gera Kazakov)
Clark said that he contacted the Russian community of Perth prior to organising the event, who didn’t want a Russia-focused event. A single Russian flag was flown at the event alongside a red Australian flag.
The people gathered at the event wanted Australia to return to its former stance of neutrality and peace promotion, a sentiment Clark said was shared amongst attendees.
“We really feel that Australia should be sending our best and brightest people as peace envoys as opposed to pretty much just saying ‘Slava Ukraina’ in politics and in the parliament, and that is not really, from our position, and speaking to lots of people within the public, that’s not the general public’s position.”
In Melbourne, a city known for its often-hostile protests, an anti-AUKUS march from the State Library struggled to settle on a driving theme for the days’ event. Some there were participating in what they described as an anti-war rally, others claimed to be defending women’s rights.
The latter cause had led CARF, the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, to create a counter-protest to oppose what they viewed as an anti-trans rally attempting to deepen the stigma surrounding the marginalised group.
Police created a human wall, separating the groups before and during the anti-AUKUS rally, as well as during the 1km march from State Library to Parliament House. Mid-way through the march however, around dozen black-clad individuals co-opted the day and began leading the march.
Once at Parliament House, the small group proudly demonstrated Nazi Salutes on the steps of Parliament House for over 10 minutes, also walking circles around the Spring Street intersection, to the disgust of onlookers.
In Victoria only the Swastika, not the Nazi Salute, is considered illegal and can result in fines and arrest. The riled-up crowd watching on were visibly distressed, as police were bound to protect the authorised protest which had become Melbourne’s first known pro-Nazi protest in years.
Immediately following the protest, the Andrews Government declared that Nazis are “not welcome” in Victoria and that Parliament was now taking “active steps” to ban the gesture. Opposition leader, John Pesutto, immediately confirmed that the coalition would provide bipartisan support for the move.
Pesutto also expelled Liberal MP Moira Deeming from the party after she had taken part in the initial phase of the protest before it was co-opted by Nazis, labelling her “untenable”.
These nation-wide protests were organised by the overarching influence of Aussie Cossack who was deeply ingrained with Australia’s anti-vaccination protests and appeared alongside Politician Craig Kelly several times in the runup to the 2020 Federal Election – where the United Australia party failed to win more than one seat with Kelly at the helm.
Nazis stood on Parliament’s steps for a 10-minute period as counter protestors raged (Photo: AAP Photos/James Ross)
Originally Melbourne’s anti-AUKUS protest shared the stage with anti-trans/pro-women speakers who drew the ire of counter protestors
(Photo: AAP Photos/James Ross)
These nation-wide protests were organised by the overarching influence of The Aussie Cossack who remained in the Russian consulate (pictured) on March 18. (Photo: twitter @MavkaSlavka)