The antisemitic underbelly of Australia’s anti-lockdown groups

24 Australian anti-lockdown groups share antisemitic or neo-Nazi views and openly seek endorsement from right-wing politicians.

In the wake of Melbourne’s turbulent anti-lockdown protest in August, a string of stickers appeared in the CBD accusing Jews of responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The stickers were confirmation that online hate movements are shifting to physical-world political activity.

Today’s anti-lockdown movement combines a widespread enthusiasm for extremist right-wing politics and antisemitism.

An investigation by Plus61J has identified 24 Australian anti-lockdown groups that espouse antisemitic or neo-Nazi views.

Together, these groups have approximately 98,000 followers.

And in an alarming development, they are now promoting outspoken federal parliamentarians Craig Kelly, who left the Liberal Party last month to lead Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party (UAP), and National Party MP George Christensen.

While both men insist they have no control over these groups’ activities, Labor’s Shadow Home Affairs Minister, Kristina Keneally, told Plus61J that the groups’ expressions of solidarity with elected politicians have helped legitimise them by taking their extreme views from the social media echo chamber to the floor of parliament.

Unlike the hard-right groups of old, which struggled to recruit more than a few hundred followers, today’s anti-lockdown extremist channels have attracted mass support. One of them, Wake Up Australia, has 17,000 subscribers – a membership figure exceeding that of the NSW Labor Party.

Read the article in The Big Smoke.