9 June 2023

Federal Government to ban display, sale of Nazi symbols

| Andrew McLaughlin
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The Federal Government will soon introduce the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill into parliament. Photo: Telegram.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the Federal Government will legislate to ban the display and sale of some Nazi symbols, in the wake of an apparent increase in far-right fascist hate groups.

The government says it will soon introduce the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill into parliament. The bill will outline a public and online ban of flags and clothing that display symbols relating to Nazism, specifically the Hakenkreuz (or swastika), and Schutzstaffel (SS) symbols.

The introduction of the bill follows a March anti-trans rally at the Victorian State Parliament in Melbourne which was disrupted by a neo-Nazi extremist group. Following the protest, Labor attacked the coalition for not condemning the rally which was addressed by UK activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull and a Victorian Liberal politician.

READ ALSO ACT prepares to outlaw public display of Nazi symbols

Introduced by Shadow Attorney General Michaelia Cash, that private member’s bill proposed that people who knowingly displayed Nazi symbols without a reasonable excuse would face criminal charges and punishments of 12 months in prison or fines.

While the Labor and Greens majority of the committee thought the bill had merit, it was voted down because it was found to have not adequately defined a Nazi symbol.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton criticised the decision, and urged the government to quickly come up with its own bill. “The government has the full resources of the Attorney-General’s department, they have scores of lawyers, they can come up with a bill today,” he said on 19 May.

“Frankly, they could draft a bill in 24 hours – they haven’t done and I would encourage them to do it. I don’t want to see any encouragement given to people who are preaching hate and those who are worshipping at some ideology which is twisted and sick.”

Mr Dreyfus said the Federal Government’s moves were a start and may not be the end of what they would ban, but would go some way towards aligning with similar laws already passed by NSW and Victoria.

However, he said the federal legislation would not ban the Nazi salute because this was better managed at the state and territory level.

READ ALSO Lidia Thorpe clashes with police at anti-trans rally at Parliament House

The Victorian Government passed its laws in April 2022 which came into force in December; NSW followed soon after. As with the Commonwealth, although swastikas on flags and clothing are banned, allowances are made for genuine educational, scientific or artistic purposes, as well as in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism where it symbolises prosperity and good luck.

The ACT Legislative Assembly introduced similar legislation on 23 November 2022 to make it a crime to display the swastika at an event, to post it on social media, or to wear the symbol.

It is hoped the banning of the symbols will go some way towards stifling the recruitment of marginalised or disenfranchised people to hate groups, for which these symbols are commonly used, as well as for the purposes of intimidation and threats.

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And yet that 3 year old article states that the image was hanging on the Community and Public Sector Union’s office wall, which the candidate unwittingly stood near when the photo was taken. A bit of a stretch to link this instance to use of the swastika by neo-nazis…

Stuart, not a stretch at all, both are symbols used by totalitarian regimes.

So many people leaving comments here who are completely missing the point.
The swastika is being used by current-day neo-nazis as a symbol of their extreme rascist beliefs, and are being incited by it to spread hate. This is an abuse of “freedom of speech”, and banning the symbol is a step to diffusing its power for them.
Further, there is still a generation of people who migrated to Australia after WWII (Germans were the largest migrant influx for many years) and who still remember the attrocities commited under the swastika, and their stories have been passed down to subsequent generations. The symbol is a source of horror and pain, and even shame, for many of them.

It’s the exact same swastika the Hindus use as a symbol of peace!

Labor won’t put their comrades offside by banning the hammer and sickle.

“The introduction of the bill follows a March anti-trans rally …”. Oh really? Nice little smear you sneaked in there. I’m pretty sure … no, quite certain actually, that Posie Parker is an activist for women’s sex-based rights. There’s nothing to be gained from your moral pomposity.

I’ll be reporting every Hindu swastika I see. It’ll give the police something to do seeing as they aren’t investigating crimes and require self-service forms whenever there are thefts and burglaries.

They aren’t investigating crimes? How is the prison full? Do they have like a self check in service or something?

Who investigated that? Or,


Or, https://the-riotact.com/man-to-front-court-after-3-5-million-worth-of-meth-seized-at-act-border/669100

These criminals just handing themselves in? Or are you just disgusted with them as they didn’t turn up to a noise complaint that you definitely would have reported?

They aren’t banned. And yes, there is a difference.

Are they going to ban symbolisms of the Khmer Rouge or Communist regimes that slaughtered many people ?

Good idea but it is only a start as Hitler was only one of the 3 biggest mass murderers of the 20th century. His murders were committed under the swastika flag. Stalin was another of the big 3 murderers and his murders were committed under the hammer and sickle flag of the Soviet Union. The other mass murderer was Chairman Mao of China with his Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. His murders were committed under the current national flag of Communist China.

I hope the government is consistent in its approach to all flags and symbols of mass murderers.

Another example of the government tackling the “big” issues.

Ummm, I get that a guy is doing a fascist salute, but the three lions is not a nazi symbol. These morons have just tried to co-opt it for their purposes. Maybe a different pic with an actual swastika would illustrate the authors point more effectively.

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