New South Wales’ premier Chris Minns has vowed tighten anti-vilification laws in response to a neo-Nazi group which attempted to hold a rally in Sydney’s North Shore on Sunday.
Between 20 to 30 men clad in black masks and clothing gathered in Artarmon Reserve on Sunday morning but were quickly moved on by police.
Chris Minns was upfront in declaring the actions of the group to be “fascist”, “ridiculous” and “pathetic”.
“This is obviously distressing for many people to see this fascist, ridiculous behaviour on New South Wales streets,” said Minns.
“I think most people, the vast, vast majority of people that live in New South Wales at least, think that they’re absolutely pathetic,” he said.
Minns also warned that police had the power to unmask those “attempting to menace people in an anonymous way”.
“So in front of your family, your friends, your employers, your co-workers, you’ll be exposed as a massive racist,” he said.
“New South Wales Police are not going to be tolerant of this obnoxious and appalling behaviour by any stretch of the imagination, and the message to racists, particularly those from interstate, is that you’re not welcome here.”
Minns also asserted his intention to strengthen anti-vilification laws to outlaw the Nazi salute and associated symbols.
This comes just days after a similar group boarded a train in Artarmon station with intent to stage a rally, reportedly masked and chanting racist slogans.
The group was intercepted by police, where six were arrested and 55 were fined for offensive behaviour, however, no charges were laid.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was “horrified” by the group’s actions on Friday.
“I don’t want to see people in balaclavas dressed in black from head to toe who are engaged in Neo-Nazi activity in this country,” said Albanese.
“It has no place, and it is rightly being condemned by all decent people.”