Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes of Victoria in southeastern Australia, the country’s second-smallest state, announced on Monday that local anti-vilification laws will now also ban the Nazi salute, The Age reported. It should be noted that Victoria bans displaying swastikas in public, but somehow neglected to also make “Heil Hitler” illegal. This lacuna was exposed on Saturday,
The law is slated to be toughened after a group performed Nazi salutes on the steps of Parliament House during a protest on Saturday, where British anti-transgender rights warrior Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, founder of the group Standing for Women, was speaking.
Are you against transgender politics? I don’t blame you, and I, too, think it’s gotten out of hand, however, we should also acknowledge that the neo-Nazis love Keen-Minshull and hate transgenders, and about 30 black-clad and masked neo-Nazis from the National Socialist Network were on hand to support Keen-Minshull by “repeatedly performing the salute and holding up a sign using offensive anti-trans language,” according to The Age.
A spokeswoman for the state of Victoria condemned the neo-Nazis’ salute as a “cowardly act of hatred and intimidation,” and explained: “Not only have Victorians made it clear they have zero tolerance for these disgraceful beliefs, we’ve made it clear in law with the ban of the Nazi hate symbol.”
Attorney-General Symes said on Monday that “it’s clear this symbol is being used to incite hatred, not just towards Jewish people but our LGBTIQ+ community and other minority groups,” and announced: “Victorians have zero tolerance of this behavior and so do we. That’s why we’ll expand our nation-leading legislation banning the Nazi Hakenkreuz (hooked cross, or swastika in German) to include the Nazi salute – because everyone deserves to feel safe, welcome, and included in Victoria.”
Anyone who intentionally displays a Nazi swastika in Victoria in public faces a year in prison or 22,000 Australian dollars fine (that’s 14,700 USD).
Jewish Community Council of Victoria President Daniel Aghion KC tweeted about the neo-Nazi protest outside the Parliament, saying: “The thugs that stood outside Parliament today are peddling hate and bigotry. There is no place for them or their vile ideology in Victoria.”
JCCV President Daniel Aghion KC has spoken about today’s protest outside Victorian Parliament.
“The thugs that stood outside Parliament today are peddling hate and bigotry. There is no place for them or their vile ideology in Victoria.” pic.twitter.com/UoYGKT8kTw
— Jewish Community Council of Victoria (@jccvic) March 18, 2023
I checked Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull on Wiki: in October 2019, she appeared in a video interview with Jean-François Gariépy, who advocates for a “white ethnostate” and who has made videos with neo-Nazis Richard B. Spencer and Mark Collett, as well as former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Keen-Minshull has also given an interview to Soldiers of Christ Online but denied knowing they were a far-right network.
It appears anti-trans politics bring strange bedfellows together, but I wonder if the fact that her politics attract neo-Nazis means her message is wrong. For instance: Keen opposes laws and policies that allow transgender people to be legally recognized as the gender they switch to, the use of public bathrooms by transgender people according to their chosen gender, the participation of transgender people in sports that align with their chosen gender, and drag shows. She also is against the use of puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy on children.