A group of neo-Nazis disturbed families at a youth festival in Melbourne by holding racist signs and performing the Hitler salute.
About a dozen men attended Youth Fest in Moonee Ponds in the city’s northwest holding an anti-Semitic sign reading ‘Demon Flesh’ with the Star of David, and another saying ‘Drag Pedos Groom Kids’.
The so-called ‘protest’ was held during a drag performance at Queen’s Park, with one of the performers writing about the horrific scenes on Facebook.
‘We were having an absolutely fab time at Youth Fest today, until neo-Nazis showed up to protest me,’ the performer said.
‘They had a wonderful time screaming ‘are there any Jews here’, giving the good ol’ Nazi salute and screaming at me for being ‘demon flesh’ Assistance with reporting them would be super appreciated.’
It comes as NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet called for the Hitler salute to be outlawed in his state following ugly scenes at a recent soccer match in Sydney where fans performed Nazi salutes and jeered during the Indigenous Welcome To Country.
A group of neo-Nazis disturbed families at a youth festival in Melbourne on Friday morning by holding offensive signs and performing the Hitler salute
Police confirmed they attended the neo-Nazi protest – which was held at the festival celebrating the end of the school holidays
Rose Iser, a Moonee Valley councillor, praised the work of local police who prevented the situation from unfolding further.
‘Unfortunately, the inclusive values embedded in the entertainment attracted hate-speech and intolerance in the form of a handful of extremist protesters,’ Cr Iser said.
‘The Moonee Ponds police did a magnificent job keeping everyone safe from intimidating chants from people who really should have had better things to do on a sunny Friday.
‘Thank you to all of the families and staff members who ignored the hate and filled the park with love and laughter, and stayed loud and proud.
‘Everyone, of any race, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation, is welcome in the Valley of Moonee.’
Police confirmed they attended the neo-Nazi protest – which was held at the festival celebrating the end of the school holidays.
‘Police were called to an event about 12pm after a group of 12 protesters attended and caused a disruption,’ Victoria Police said in a statement.
‘A counter protest group attended and police were there to ensure no breaches of the peace occurred. The event concluded and all parties left the area. No arrests were made.’
Another performer at Youth Fest posted about the interaction on their social media page, saying the protestors had been attempting to tear down her community
Mr Perrottet is the latest to condemn the behaviour of Sydney United fans after supporters booed the Indigenous Welcome to Country and even flashed Nazi salutes
Another performer at Youth Fest posted about the interaction on their social media page, saying the protestors had been attempting to tear down her community.
‘On Friday I had the absolute pleasure of attending Youth Fest at Queens Park where I performed my bubble act and planned to perform some jazz and lipsync numbers,’ the performer said.
‘Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of face paint, glitter, puppies and bubbles. Neo-N*Zi white supremacists even went to the effort of printing a custom banner for me (totally misspelling my surname) whilst screaming about my drag acts.
‘My community has been so essential at this time and the outpouring of love and support has been phenomenal. Hate won’t divide us and this act of hatred has only affirmed me in what I do.
‘When I started drag I wanted to become the person I wish I had growing up. Standing as my authentic self in the face of those who’d seek to dismantle that makes me feel I’m one step closer to being that person.’
Sydney United supporters lash out at rogue members of the fanbase for leaving a ‘nasty stain’ on the community (pictured, a fan appears to raise his right arm in a Nazi salute)
Meanwhile, Mr Perrottet condemned the behaviour of Sydney United fans after supporters booed the Indigenous Welcome to Country and even flashed Nazi salutes.
‘My position is that if they are caught, there should be life bans in place,’ he said on Monday.
‘This behaviour is not acceptable in our great country.’
NSW Police are now investigating the incident and will be speaking with the clubs involved.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark condemned the display of Nazi symbols and salutes ‘in the strongest possible terms’.
‘These vile symbols and salutes have no place in modern Australian society. They represent the ultimate manifestation of evil – an evil which led to the murder of millions of innocent civilians during WWII, including six million Jews and thousands of Australian diggers who lost their lives fighting against the Nazis during WWII.
‘Reprehensible conduct such as this causes immense distress to the victims of Nazi crimes and their descendants, whilst undermining our cohesive multicultural society.
‘The fact that the Welcome to Country and national anthem was also booed last night underlines the contempt these people have for Australia and our diggers.’
Mr Bark added: ‘The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies commends Football Australia for calling out these displays, and urges the governing body to take strong action against any fan who participated in these acts, including implementing lifetime attendance bans. Football Australia should also work with Sydney United to address the concerning views which are venerated by some of its fans.’
Lucy Zelić, who was most recently a sports presenter for SBS, was the latest in a string of high-profile presenters, athletes and commentators to slam the disgraceful display witnessed by tens of thousands of fans on Saturday night.
Lucy Zelić, who was most recently a sports presenter for SBS, is the latest in a string of high-profile presenters, athletes and commentators to slam the disgraceful display from some Sydney United fans during the Australia Cup Final on Saturday
Some followers of United, formerly known as Sydney Croatia, were heard singing Za Dom Spremni (For Homeland – Ready), a chant used by the far-right Ustase movement in the 1930s and 1940s, at the game.
Distressing images and videos that did the rounds on social media also appeared to show fans performing fascist-style salutes during the match.
Some could also be heard singing and allegedly booing during the national anthem and the traditional Welcome to Country ahead of the game against Macarthur.
Zelić took to Twitter on Sunday to call out the behaviour of ‘so-called fans’ whose disrespect overshadowed the match held at Sydney’s Commbank Stadium.
Pictures of fans with their right arm raised in what appeared to be a Nazi salute quickly went viral on social media during the game and has seen been widely condemned
‘What happened at last night’s @AustraliaCup Final was shocking and simply devastating, and I didn’t want to believe it,’ she tweeted.
‘It was the first time I felt embarrassed by the actions of my fellow countrymen, and I wasn’t alone. Their beliefs and behaviour aren’t a true representation of Croatians, just as the actions of fans aren’t ever representative of a football club.
‘What’s worse, is that many of them appeared to be teenagers who simply don’t know how deeply the ramifications of their actions run.’
Zelić added that she knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of racism and was often told, ‘f**k of back to Croatia wog’.
She said this had made her confused, because Australia had always felt like home.
A section of Sydney United fans allegedly started booing and sang chants during the national anthem and the Welcome to Country
The journalist said the fans found guilty of the Nazi salutes should be hit with lifetime bans from future games as well as ‘face the full arm of the law’.
More importantly, she said fans should be made to complete an ‘education course on history’ and be confronted with photos from Nazi concentration camps and listen to stories from holocaust survivors.
‘I’m so pleased that our football community stood up to condemn the actions and hold people to account, but the language around this is also important and can be as divisive as it can be unifying,’ she tweeted.
‘Celebrating our culture and heritage will never supersede that because, as the game of football has taught us – there is a seat at the table for everyone.’
United supporters were also accused of booing during the Welcome to Country performed by Erin Wilkins (pictured), who seemed visibly shocked
The presenter’s condemnation of fans who ‘disrespected’ what was meant to be a historic moment in Australian football comes as supporters lash out at rogue members of the fanbase for leaving a ‘nasty stain’ on the community.
‘This has become a common occurrence at matches featuring Croatian teams, see Dinamo fans in Milan just recently,’ one user replied to Zelić’s tweets.
‘It appears to be normalised behaviour amongst football fans. It needs to be called out, but unfortunately prominent sports journalists do not.’
Football Australia said it has no tolerance for racism and has launched a full investigation.