31 August 2023

Nazi symbols banned in ACT under new laws

| Ian Bushnell
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Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury: “Strong message we do not tolerate the public display of symbols intended to incite hatred.” Photo: Region.

The public display of Nazi symbols such as the swastika is now a criminal offence in the ACT, after new laws were passed in the Legislative Assembly.

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said both physical and online displays of Nazi symbols in public were now banned, with police given the power to remove the symbols.

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Under the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, offenders could face a maximum $19,200 fine or 12 months in prison, or both.

“The new offence sends a strong message to the ACT community that we do not tolerate the public display of symbols intended to incite hatred,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe and live their lives in our community free of intimidation and threats.

“The offence protects ACT community members including Jewish people, people with a disability and LGBTIQ people, from the harm caused by public displays of Nazi symbols.”

The new offence also applies to people in the ACT who broadcast a Nazi symbol to a public audience beyond Canberra’s borders, such as on social media.

People will still be able to publicly display swastikas for legitimate reasons, such as people of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu faiths, teachers, artists and protesters.

Under the proposed laws, the symbol would still be allowed to be used for cultural or educational purposes, including “for a genuine academic, artistic, religious, scientific, educational or cultural purpose”.

It would also still be allowed to be used in opposition to fascism or Nazism.

For example, a bookshop could display the symbol on the cover of a textbook about World War II.

Introducing the bill to the Legislative Assembly last year, Mr Rattenbury said the laws were intended to reduce opportunities for racism and vilification and send a strong message that the ACT Government and the community would not tolerate the display of Nazi symbols and the “hate they represent”.

“The new offence will support the right of minorities, including the right to culture under the Human Rights Act by reducing the likelihood that members of the community will feel intimidated or threatened and therefore unable to engage in their own religious beliefs or culture,” he told the Assembly.

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The ACT bill follows similar laws in other states, moves by the Albanese Government to ban Nazi symbols and the sale of goods-for-profit featuring Nazi symbols.

In NSW, waving a Nazi flag or displaying memorabilia bearing swastikas can land a person in jail for up to a year, along with a fine of $11,000.

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So does that mean the “Black lives matter” fist clenched arm stretched action similar to the Nazi salute is also banned.

In over 38 years living here in Canberra, I’ve never met a neo-Nazi. The only extremists I’ve met and seen that want to destroy our way of life are the socialists aka communists!

Just ban all socialist symbols…oh wait, that’ll mean Labour and greens would be banned.

I suppose collecting, buying and selling Third Reich stamps featuring a swastika is ok, but what do police do with someone who has a swastika tattoo?

HiddenDragon7:34 pm 01 Sep 23

“Under the proposed laws, the symbol would still be allowed to be used for cultural or educational purposes…”

Just when we thought there might never be another amateur production of The Sound of Music (or The Producers) in Canberra.

On the point raised earlier by Futureproof, the pre-Nazi version of the symbol was used as a decoration on pre-war editions of the works of Rudyard Kipling – obviously reflecting the Indian connection – and would sometimes be seen as a good luck symbol on the exterior of Australian homes of that era.

ACT Government hitting all the pressing issues as usual. Maybe get out and do some weeding and clean this place up Rattenbury.

This is what happens when you have nothing to do, SOP for ACT pollies

Another silly knee jerk reaction by governments. This will mostly affect innocent collectors of WWII artifacts who are most certainly not neonazis or hate filled white supremacists.
Should we not then also ban the Australian flag because the regime slaughtered indigenous peoples, the American flag because they killed innocents in the Vietnam war & plenty of others & why stop there – ban the collecting of any Roman items as they most certainly slaughtered their fair share of peoples over the centuries. Ban too the collecting of any Japanese items because of the murdering of POW’s et al….
Total BS.

At first I thought this legislation is trivial and easy points, because of all the mass-murdering ideologies of the 20th century only the nazis were ever called to account. We all know it’s evil, but yet its murderous ideological opposite still has an extraordinary number of admirers, such as the ABC’s Phillip Adams.

But then I remembered a superb conversation I had recently with an ultra orthodox Jewish elder from Elsternwick, who regarded nazism with a very present sense of horror. So yes, good, those symbols should die.

Violence-attracted “antifa” should also not wear them as clothing patches, no matter coyly with a diagonal line through them. However, there the legislation fails. Antifa still get to wear swastikas.

Yet Australia still gives money to the Nazis in Ukraine. Oh the irony.

I have no doubt there are some Neo-Nazi’s in Ukraine but they have them in Russia too. This concept is propaganda spread by Russia to win over support for the invasion of Ukraine but that’s not the point. Wait….Putin, is that you? LOL 🤣

Will the hammer and sickle also be banned?

Yeah….that’s actually a good question considering it’s also a symbol of oppression.

The Nazis used a religious symbol and rotated it to produce one of the most hateful movements in history. Having been to India, I have seen the original religious symbol on temples and structures, particularly in the far north of the country

I practice Sahaja Yoga and we have an Ashram where you can see the Swastika there. I’ve also seen it in Chinese restaurants, Buddhist temples…ect. It’s also an ancient European symbol but you can find it nearly all over the world.

Peter Graves11:44 am 01 Sep 23

You put your finger on it. The arms of the religious swastika swing anticlockwise and the arms are perpendicular. The Nazis reversed the direction of the arms, which are/were at 45 degrees.

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