Acts of hate should be firmly condemned | editorial

THE news this week that neo-Nazi group, Antipodean Resistance, used the Grampians National Park – our own backyard – for a “radicalisation camp” turns the stomach. 

Antipodean Resistance documented its camp via pictures posted on social media and a brief YouTube video.

The video shows at least eight young men or teenagers hiking in the Grampians and marching while carrying a flag bearing the Nazi swastika. The sound has been removed and faces of the Nazi group members blurred before the video was uploaded to the internet. 

The last few seconds of the video declare: “This could be you! Join your local Nazis.”

The group also placed swastikas on Parks Victoria signage in the Grampians.

Its website contains a statement, claiming “Hitler did nothing wrong” and jokes about the Holocaust. 

“We are a literal neo-nazi group in that we believe in what Adolf Hitler stood for and we fight for the National Socialist cause,” a group spokesperson told Fairfax Media this week.

Little history is available on the group prior to 2016 – but it has previously claimed responsibility for putting up posters at universities in Melbourne telling Chinese students they would be deported if they entered certain areas and uploaded images of its members putting up posters in Melbourne claiming legalising same-sex marriage would lead to paedophilia being normalised.

“You might be surprised at how many people in western Victoria are sympathetic to our views,” the spokesperson said. 

The story is so shocking that many people on social media questioned the validity of the report.   

The community is, rightfully, united in condemning the hateful and truly sickening messages this group promotes. 

Many people have also made comments insinuating physical attacks – some insinuating harm as extreme as the death penalty – should be performed on the group. This is not helpful, nor is it productive. 

Victoria Police have condemned people or groups who incite violence and their advice is sound: “We respect the right of the community to express their views peacefully and lawfully, however, urging violence and hatred is not a form of free speech that the community, or Victoria Police will tolerate.”

Hear, hear. 

Jessica Grimble, editor