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Members statement: Growing far right movement

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
7 September 2021

Soon after we rose from our last sitting of Parliament, an explosive media investigation by 60 Minutes and Channel 9 uncovered the growing far-right movement in Australia and in Victoria specifically. I have spoken previously in this place about this threat on the horizon. We should all be turning our minds towards what we do to stop it.

What is patently clear is that the Neo-Nazi and fascist movements of the far right are growing in number and influence.

From reports of a training camp being held in the Grampians earlier this year, to the growing connections between the anti-lockdown, anti-vaccination movement and the far right, we should be very worried. The pandemic has understandably meant people are fearful and anxious. But these sinister groups are taking advantage of this and exploiting people’s fears for their own ends.

The media investigation found evidence that this movement wants to influence politics with a list of apparently sympathetic MPs to lobby and plans to try and get more politicians elected who espouse far right tendencies. Some members of the National Socialist Network were spotted at an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne ‘screaming anti-Semitic abuse’, according to the Age.

I was shocked to find that one of the anti-lockdown promoters who also posts Neo-Nazi and anti-lockdown propaganda was revealed to be a local musician who runs a children’s music business that I attended with my baby daughter not long ago.

To come so close to this hatred of people like me was frightening and an all-too-confronting reminder that we must fight this hatred and call out anyone who stokes and enables this type of division and fear. It is dangerous to promote the type of misinformation and manipulation that the far-right movement relies on. I call on every member in this place to denounce these racist, hateful people.

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
7 September 2021
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