Members of the Geelong community turned out in force to stand against racism and fascism.
The rally was initiated after eight members of the far-right extremist and neo-nazi group National Socialist Network (NSN) coordinated a stunt on the steps of Geelong City Hall, and later at the front of the the local union offices of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). Images from the first stunt were given front page coverage in the Geelong Advertiser.
The rally was called by a number of community members residing in Geelong’s northern suburbs, aided by their local Councillor, Sarah Hathway.
“This project’s in response to recent media coverage of negative [and] racist actions in Geelong”, the event description said.
“We’re going to display our banners that will say “we stand together” and “you’re welcome here” in different community languages.”
In attendance were representatives from the CFMEU and MUA, as well as the Health and Community Services Union. Members of church groups, refugee action groups, queer groups and other anti-fascist and activist groups were also present.
The stunts of the NSN form part of an disturbing trend of far right organising in the Geelong region; which members of the community have pledged to ‘resist, subvert and disrupt’.