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To: State & Federal Governments

We need a royal commission into the organised far right in Australia

Victorian unions are calling for a royal commission into the organised far right in Australia.

Our state and federal governments have a moral duty to show leadership in condemning far right agitation, sending a clear message that fascists and fascism will not be tolerated in our country.

Left unchallenged, we are losing friends, family & workmates to conspiracy theories and authoritarianism. It’s time to deal with this problem.

Unionists have always stood up against fascism, and together we will stand up to protect our communities again. Add your name to the petition now to join the call for a royal commission into the organised far right.

Why is this important?

The organised far right in Australia is tapping into fear in our communities. They are sowing uncertainty and doubt in public health messages, and co-opting democratic values to spread conspiracy theories among everyday Australians.

Although the riots in Melbourne appeared chaotic and disorganised, pulling in a mix of anti-vaxxers, white supremacists and others, the common thread was authoritarianism.

They targeted a union office to force their fringe agenda onto the whole construction industry by threatening the union’s democratically elected leadership. They assaulted journalists who were there to cover the protests because they object to independent scrutiny of their actions.

They converged on the Shrine in the hope of appealing to nationalist militaristic sentiment – desecrating, in the process, a sacred monument that commemorates tens of thousands who died fighting fascism. They marched on Parliament, an obvious target to those who decry the legitimate health directions made through democratic process.

Despite their use of anti-authoritarian rhetoric and appeals to “freedom”, what unites these disparate groups is an interest in undermining trust in democratic institutions.

We have seen how social media companies have a financial incentive to promote misinformation, whose algorithms feed a cocktail of conspiratorial content, sowing division and right-wing extremism. We have seen how mainstream politicians are loath to call out far-right violence without equating it, nonsensically, with anti-fascist activism.

Tragically, when a white-supremacist terrorist gunned down dozens of New Zealand citizens in mosques, we saw how far-right extremism in Australia can pose a violent threat to Australia’s neighbours. And while major news investigations and even a formal police inquiry have highlighted the dangerous rise of the far-right in Australia, we have yet to see any coherent public policy response.

That's why unions are calling for a royal commission with powers to investigate links to foreign influence, social media, commercial interests and media platforming of known far-right agitators.

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Reasons for signing

  • i pooped my pants
  • For safe friendly society
  • We don't need this sort of fascism

Updates

2021-10-14 16:22:16 +1100

5,000 signatures reached

2021-10-14 11:02:11 +1100

1,000 signatures reached