Counter-demonstration against Fascist rally - Federation Square, 15 May 2011

Against a background of a Buddhist festival promoting peace, harmony and enlightenment, the latest incarnation of Fascism in Australia, the so-called Australian Defence League, chose Melbourne's Federation Square to spread their message of intolerance, divisiveness and ignorance. But a counter-demonstration saw them first outnumbered, then drowned out, and finally forced to an ignominious retreat.

The theme of the ADL action was an appeal to Islamophobia, focussing on the utterly baseless claim that Muslims in Australia are set on imposing Sharia law, though some of the participants seemed most upset by what they apparently perceived as a conspiracy to force them to eat Halal meat. Initially the placards on display reflected these messages, with texts such as '70% Halal meat at Coles' and 'Domino's is Halal, so is Subway', and disclaiming racism - 'Islam is not a race, so how can I be racist?', but towards the very end another pack of placards was unveiled, one of which is shown on the accompanying photo. One of the ADL supporters also briefly unfurled a banner he had until then kept wrapped up in plastic; one of the organisers swiftly directed him to put it away, which he did, though not willingly, to judge from his expression. Unfortunately there was not enough time to get a view of what it said. Throughout most of the proceedings a lone speaker tried to make himself heard from the wall at the street side of the Square, but his words were almost entirely drowned out by the PA system relaying speeches from the counter-demonstration, not to mention the anti-fascist chants from one side of the police line. There was some pushing and shoving, and police moved in a few times to separate individuals, but contrary to some reports, there were no arrests, and as far as one can tell, no-one was hurt.

There is a report of the event on the Herald Sun (!) -

and discussion on the Facebook page for the counter-rally -

The ADL has posted its version of the event on

These photos are a selection from Melbourne Protests weblog -

See also



What a crock of crap> I saw the Protest and all I saw was your so called people of tollerance. Where agressive and Violent. The truth surley did not get told here. The Police dagged 10 of you so called peacfull people arrested for assult. Try telling the truth for once...

U need to think a bit more outside the square!
How can a religion be a race? If I said that I hate Catholics, Mormons or Salvation Army, Buddhists etc,
would that make me a racist too?
Since when is a religion a race? And don't tell me about Jews! Jews is the race (Semitic) & Judaism is the religion - there are many Jews who don't practice, same as many Christians who don't go to church.

So I wanna know - how is a religion a race?
There are 1.5 BILLION Muslims in the world - 220 Million Indonesian, 167 Million in Pakistan (Indo-Aryan),410 Million Arab (Semitic), 74 Million Iran (Aryan) 75 Million Turkey (Turkic), 300+ Million African (Hamitic/Nilo Hamitic)...
doing my research I just didn't see where Islam was mentioned as a race.

I'dve also thought that stopping people from speaking is ANTI-Democratic - Fascist & yet that is exactly what these so-called "anti-Fascists" did!
Or does freedom of speech only apply one way?
Oh yeah & it just so happens that I'm an Egyptian EX-Muslim so I think that I have a better perspective on what Islam is & isn't!
From the horses mouth. This is what the ADL were against.

I was at the counter-demonstration, and was quite surprised when over and over again the crowd would chant 'fuck off nazi scum, said fuck off nazi scum'. It really had no place at that demo, as the people we were up against were far from neo-nazis. Racists, yes, but skinheads, no. It seemed that people were looking for a cheap shock tactic, and this was it. There were even a few tourists that approached some demonstrators asking why people were yelling about nazis, insulted that in doing so, it showed some level of ignorance that you would hope that the counter-demonstrators wouldn't have (and at the same time almost cheapening the struggle anti-fascist groups have throughout europe). The chant could just have easily been 'fuck off racist scum...', and I know that we'd all have loved to be at a euro anti-fa demo, but it's generally a very different people that we're up against here in Australia, and we need to acknowledge and react to this appropriately.

Hey, I think people have this Australian Defence League a little off key. The parent in Britain the English Defence League, parades through the streets with the Israeli flag and its most prominent leader is a Jewish woman who argues that it is all about organizing people against Moslem culture and people in Britain as part of a struggle that ensures Israel's survival. Take a look at the Oz fascist type websites of "Whitelaw" and Australia First, Stormfront and the League of Rights. They all say that ADL is a Zionist operation. Before people start the usual anti-fascist actions, they should take a close look at what is being said by ADL. The far right wing fringe in Oz did split over Israel and Zionism with most of it staying in the anti camp. What the other group says (Protectionists) show they are for Israel. If ADL is racist, then who is pulling the strings?

Lots of groups are pro-zionist - including some Jewish organisations but it also includes far right Christian fundamentalists and apparently some far right Islamophobes. Is this meant to be evidence the ADL are not racist???? The whole "we are not racists we are just against a religion" is such a load of shit. It was the same arguement pulled out by far rights racists about the Jews ie "we are not racists because Judaism is a religion not a race." NEWSFLASH bigots, when we call you racists we are not entering into a semantic debate about race versus culture versus religion, we are saying fuck off bigots! We don't give a fuck whether you are promoting hatred of a whole ethnic, religious or cultural group we are saying there we are against anyone who is promoting hatred and discrimination of a group of people eg whether they are black, Jewish, Islamic, Palistinian, gay etc The debate is boring as everyone knows - YOU KNOW WHAT WE MEAN and WE KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!!!!