Neo-Nazis plaster Melbourne street with vile “Happy AIDS Month” posters
Police are investigating neo-Nazi posters which say “gays are a walking disease.”
The messages, which were put up by self-confessed “21st Century Hitler Youth” group Antipodean Resistance, appeared in Melbourne on June 23.
Australia has seen a rise in anti-gay rhetoric and actions since the start of the postal vote over same-sex marriage, which led to its legalisation in Parliament last year.
In April, a 36-year-old gay man in Victoria called Brendan was left unable to open one of his eyes after a vicious attack in which he was called a “f**king faggot” before being punched in the left eye and left unconscious.
The posters in Melbourne seemed to be timed to throw hatred in the direction of Pride Month, with a rainbow background and a top line which reads: “Happy AIDS Month.”
Below that is a caricature of a gay man with pockmarked skin, coughing and spluttering above a line calling gay people “a walking disease.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dr Dvir Abramovich told the Star Observer that the posters were “deplorable.”
He added: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this virulent strain of homophobia that is polluting and violating our streets.
“There should be no room in Victoria for such contempt and hatred by a neo-Nazi group which is determined to vilify our diverse and vibrant LGBTIQ community, and send a message of fear and intimidation.
“These kinds of deplorable attacks will certainly shake many to the core and warrant priority response from the police and government,” he continued.
“It is also a grim reminder that unchecked bigotry and incitement can ultimately lead to violence.
“Unfortunately, over the last few years we have seen a surge in racist rhetoric and white-supremacist activity across our nation, and we call on all good people to stand together and to say that we can turn back this dangerous tide.”
Police reported receiving a number of complaints about the posters, with a spokesperson adding: “Police are investigating after a number of racist and homophobic posts on poles along Chapel Street, Prahran, on June 23.
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“The posters have now been removed and police will review CCTV in the area as part of their investigation.”
The neo-Nazi organisation taking responsibility for the posters – which have now been taken down – tells visitors to its site that “we’re the Hitlers you’ve been waiting for.”
It also writes about “abstaining from degeneracy such as alcoholism, drugs and race mixing” and calls Sydney Mardi Gras a “faggot STD trading holiday.”
Other posters on the group’s site include one depicting Death killing off LGBT people, Jews and black people with AIDS, under the message: “They’re here, they’re queer, but not for much longer.”