A Stop the Far Right protest was held on November 20 in response to the growing presence of far-right protesters on the streets of Melbourne in recent weeks. Rally organisers Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF) said more than 1000 people attended.
The protest had a clear anti-fascist, pro-public health and pro-union message. Chants during the march included “Anti-vaxxers, you can’t hide, you’ve got Nazis on your side!”, while some protesters carried placards that read, “The far right has no place in Australia”.
Protesters gathered at the Eight Hour Day Monument to hear speakers, before marching to the Park Hotel in Lincoln Square, where 42 refugees are imprisoned.
The rally coincided with the latest far-right “freedom” protest in Melbourne, which met at state parliament. Some far-right activists attempted to disrupt the anti-fascist protest, sparking brief clashes between opposing demonstrators.
Utilising jingoistic rhetoric and playing on people’s distrust of governments, the far-right “freedom” movement has mobilised anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists and neo-Nazis in rising numbers. In the absence of a credible and strong anti-fascist opposition, this dangerous movement could continue to grow.
CARF has pledged to continue organising anti-fascists and make clear that the far right will not be tolerated.