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Feb 20, 2013

Wilders from the outside: 'here comes Nazi scum'

As Geert Wilders spoke in Melbourne last night, protesters gathered outside -- but it was less violent, and more ideological, than mainstream media reported. Crikey intern Michelle Slater was there.

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As about 100 protesters gathered outside Geert Wilders’ speech in Melbourne last night, it was not so much a violent clash with police as a clash of political ideologies.

There were plenty of angry profanities being shouted through megaphones as people arrived to listen to the Dutch anti-Islam crusader speak at the Lebanese-owned La Mirage Convention Centre.

The location of the speech was kept secret to try to stop protesters gathering, but word got out through the magic of social media. Lifts were on offer from Roxburgh Park station to shuttle activists to the gig, which was in the treeless working-class suburb of Somerton, an industrial estate about 40 minutes’ drive north of the city.

A collection of self-righteous slogan-shouters from various left-wing activist groups like the Socialist Alternative, the United Struggle Project and Students For Palestine rallied out front.

“Here comes Nazi scum!” they chanted. “Racism! No way! We’re gonna fight it all the way!”

Signs included “F-ck off we’re full — of wankers already”. Or “Fascism is not to be tolerated — It’s to be smashed.”

I attended the protest, talking to people — and I never felt threatened. In fact, I felt a jovial spirit of solidarity emanating from the left-wing comrades.

Ten mounted police guarded the venue’s high wrought-iron gates. The horses looked relaxed and stood sedately on loose reins. I gave one of them a pat.

About 60 cops formed a line to allow speech attendees to safely enter the venue by car. There was a police car to guide them into the turning lane.

One attendee — young, with a shaved head — entered the venue on foot. He gave the protesters the one-fingered salute. “Racist scum!” they yelled back.

A man from the Australian Defence League — an anti-Muslim group with 57 “likers” on Facebook — tried to infiltrate the protest and hold up a sign. His presence was not tolerated by the indignant crowd. “You’re just a crazy loon who talks bullshit about Islam,” one shouted in his face.

“That’s racism. You’re a racist. You don’t want Muslims coming to this country,” shouted another. The bloke just stood there quietly.

Ben Coggins, a 31-year-old from Coburg, from Students For Palestine, was protesting against Wilders’ support of Israel, “which is committing acts of genocide against Palestinians and using a kind of Islamophobia to justify it”.

Another perspective was provided by protester Hillel Freedman, aged 41 from East Bentleigh: “I’m here as a Jewish person. This kind of thing compares to the same kind of thing Adolf Hitler said before he rose to power,” he told Crikey. “Hitler’s original intention was to [expatriate] Jews from Europe. I draw parallels to Geert Wilders, who wants to expat Muslims to back where they come from.”

The irony of some Arabic writing on the convention centre’s entry sign was not lost on Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance councillor for Moreland City Council. “It’s no accident that the right-wing organise their meetings here in a working-class suburb with a high population of Muslims,” she said.

The crowd cheered when it was announced via megaphone that Wilders’ Perth speech (he‘s touring the country) was cancelled and money would be refunded to ticket-holders.

After a couple hours of rallying, one of the organisers announced that everyone needed to leave in an organised manner so that “we don’t have to be here all night waiting for these f-ckers to come out”. Banners were rolled up, the activists left and the police horses moved elegantly away.

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26 thoughts on “Wilders from the outside: ‘here comes Nazi scum’

  1. Charles Edwards

    Four of the five freedoms of Australians: freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of movement and freedom of assembly – rent-a-mob was trying to deny the delegates to the talk their rights as Australian citizens. They did so by hassling, jostling and in one case pushing to the ground these delegates. They were hurling the old debate-killer “racist” – exactly what race was the meeting against? Tell me? I don’t get it. The fifth freedom of course is freedom of religion. Now some would claim that those attending the meeting are trying to prevent certain persons in the population from practising their religion. Actually that isn’t the case. What they want is to stop them from stopping the rest of us from practising our religions at some point in the future, which is what adherents of Islam are commanded to do. Witness the killing, persecution or forced conversion of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the burning of Christians in Nigeria, the tax imposed on non-believers in other Islamic countries. Wilders is right, it is more than just a religion, it is a way of life, with its own code of behaviour, its own laws and cultural practices quite diametrically opposed to those of western countries, and an overarching desire to see all countries operating in the same way. Leaders of the Islamic faith in many countries have been quite open about this determination to bring this about. Western politicians have their fingers in their ears and singing na-na-na-nah-nah. Wilders is just bringing this to the attention of Australians who are not yet aware that this is starting to happen in Europe which is quite some way down the track compared to Australia. All he’s doing is telling it like it is. He has every right to do this as an invited guest to our country. And we have every right to listen, take it on board or reject it as we wish. We have that freedom. I think it’s telling that our politicians and media are singing from the same hymn-sheet in trying to vilify and ridicule him and in some cases aid the prevention of him carrying out his mission. They are attempting to remove our freedom already fearing reprisals from adherents of this faith. So you see, it’s started already. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  2. Michael Cirone

    I was there to attend the speech and was pushed around by the protesters. I wonder if you experienced the same trial at the entrance or instead you had a special pass.
    I wonder also if Jasmine Ali protest organised is just a socialist supporting the freedom of Islam or is instead a muslim supporting the freedom of Sharia aimed to curb the freedom of true Judeo-Christians and western democracy.
    I have been a social-democrat for many years but Tuesday evening I realised the gradual transition to a better human free market is unlikely to happen as not all parties are ready for a peaceful coexistence and sincere reciprocity of rights and freedom in democracy.
    I do not believe Islam is available to address the issue of persecution of Christians in its own traditional land and the over 1Million martyrs in the last decade will be left without mourning by the islamists and even by the undercover “Socialist” cocktails of Muslim and syncretistic pseudo-Chrystians.
    If Israel was at risk of extinction is now clear to me that all these protesters + cocktails + undercover theocrats would not shed a tear.
    The truth of Islam is written in its book and Sharia and therefore I do not even need to wait to be confirmed of the real cocktail agenda waiting in the incubator for the West, but one thing I can assure to the “Positivist Socialists”: if Islam succeed and Sharia will be implemented [in partnership with the Syncretistic Christians] there will not be any degree of marxism tolerated.
    Muslim scholars and Islamist have got only one way to prevent the big headaches to come: try to reform Islam and abrogate Sharia – if by miracle this is possible – and realise the eternal covenant of YHWH with Israel.

  3. Michael Cirone

    Agree with “paladin” – Western Society comes from totalitarian theocracies at war on each other. The event of the Mayflower was a miracle – assisted by the Dutch – and slowly it made possible to incorporate Judeo-Christian theocracy in the value of Grace and Freedom of Conscience in line with the NT and the Gospel. The French Revolution struggled to achieve the democratic outcome that gradually emerged from a moral majority in America.
    The mature result of this new way of life got back to Europe with the IIWW and pushed the West to an high degree of knowledge and power. The West in the meantime exaggerated with Secularism and Free Market almost to a degree of a radical deregulation.
    Islam and Socialism/Communism are not pleased with the West and use all ethical weaknesses and shortcomings to reinforce their presence in the West and aiming to a totalitarian regime which Socialism by itself cannot anymore pursue.
    China and Russia are not less plutocratic than the West, therefore I can see why the “Socialists” support Islam and hope to find a partnerships of power under the cause of Islam. Sharia nevertheless doesn’t look much promising for the positivistic ideology of Marxism and Socialism. Judeo-Christianity failed to promote and implement a global ethics in economy and lost lots of its energy in compromising with the secular world and Mammon. Now we have got issues to resolve and reply to Islam… but the West and genuine Judeo-Christianity cannot accept Sharia and further harassment killing and persecution from Islam outside and now inside our own Western borders.

  4. Michael Cirone

    The following relates to all true Western Citizens with a valid passport.

    Five Fundamental Freedoms

    All Australians are entitled to freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion, and movement.

    Freedom of speech

    Australians are free, within the bounds of the law, to say or write what we think privately or publicly, about the government, or about any topic. We do not censor the media and may criticise the government without fear of arrest. Free speech comes from facts, not rumours, and the intention must be constructive, not to do harm. There are laws to protect a person’s good name and integrity against false information. There are laws against saying or writing things to incite hatred against others because of their culture, ethnicity or background. Freedom of speech is not an excuse to harm others.

    Freedom of association

    We are free to join any organisation or group if it is legal. We can choose to belong to a trade union or to a political party. Having and debating points of view allows for a healthy and strong democracy.

    Freedom of assembly

    We are free to meet with other people in public or private places. We can meet in small or large groups for legal social or political purposes. Being able to protest and to demonstrate is an accepted form of free expression. Protestors must not be violent or break laws such as assaulting others or trespassing on private or public property. People can change governments in a peaceful way by elections and not by violence.

    Freedom of religion

    Australia does not have an official or state religion. The law does not enforce any religious doctrine, however, religious practices must conform to the law. We are free to follow any religion we choose. We are also free not to have a religion.

    Freedom of movement

    We can move freely to and from all states and territories. We can leave and return to Australia at any time. Some migrants may have conditions placed on their visa until they become Australian citizens.

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