The federal Labor Party has joined a leftist campaign to have Canadian internet television personality and founder of the western fraternal organisation, the Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes banned from entering Australia for his upcoming tour.
Labor’s immigration spokesperson Shayne Neumann has written to Immigration Minister David Coleman urging him to use his discretionary powers to refuse McInness a visa alleging he would pose a “significant risk” to the Australian community. Neumann claimed that the “Proud Boys is a far-right organisation which admits only men as members and promotes political violence” and that “Gavin McInnes has repeatedly and publicly advocated for violence against women and has pledged to assassinate his enemies”.
The Home Affairs Department has stated it does comment on individual cases, but that non-citizens can be denied entry to Australia where they have a substantial criminal record or where their conduct represents a risk to the Australian community. In regard to”visitors who may hold controversial views, any risk they may pose will be balanced against Australia’s well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs, amongst other relevant considerations”.
The campaign to ban McInnes from Australia started last night with a petition on change.org last by Sudanese refugee turned lawyer Nyadol Nyuon who claimed McInnes needed to be banned because “The thought of Gavin McInnes coming to this country to spread hate is extremely concerning” arguing “his hate speech is often accompanied by violence” and that “we should not allow Australia to become the last hope of such a group”.
The change.org petition was promoted by the leaders of change.org Australia, its Executive Director and former GetUp campaigner Sally Rugg and its new Campaigns Director Nic Holas. Featured in the petition was a mash up video created by US satirist Vic Berger which takes all of Gavin’s comedic endorsements of violence and misogyny out of context to prove their thesis.
A counter petition calling on the Immigration Minister to Let Gavin McInness – Comedian and Defender or Western Values – into Australia has been started by Luke Izaak who was part of Axiomatic Events, the promotion company that brought Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux to Australia in July.
Last week Guardian columnist Jason Wilson was the first to float the idea of denying McInnes a visa claiming that the fact he “leads a violent street gang should prick some consciences in the Australian government, who seem happy to renounce visas to anyone they deem problematic”. He then went on to link the Proud Boys with white supremacy and America’s alt-right even though the Proud Boys disavow such groups.
The campaign against McInnes was assisted by a hit piece in the Australian yesterday morning by their Social Affairs Reporter Rick Morton who called McInnes the “founder of an alt-right street-fighter group” and an “ultra-right activist”. Morton also alleged Brisbane Proud Boys were at a neo-Nazi rally which was actually a rally against the Safe Schools Program organised by the True Blue Crew Queensland.
Today another News Corp publication news.com.au published a sensational story about McInnes with reporter Ben Graham calling him a “NEO-FASCIST leader” who had “triggered a fresh wave of anger after he brandished a replica sword at a disturbing rally”.
This refers to a plastic sword McInnes drew when confronted by Antifa thugs after his talk at the New York Metropolitan Republican Club on October 12th which featured a mock reenactment of the assassination of Japanese socialist Inejiro Asanuma by ultranationalist Otoya Yamaguchi. This talk has been in the news as five New York Proud Boys have been charged after they fought off Antifa attackers after the event. The charges have been used by left progressive groups to further their narrative that the Proud Boys are an “alt-right street gang”.
Gavin McInnes’ Australian tour is being hosted by Penthouse Australia run by promoter Damien Costas who has brought Milo Yiannopoulos and Nigel Farage to Australia already. McInnes is set to visit Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane in early November. Given that federal Labor has signed a letter calling for McInnes to be banned it is unclear what decision the Immigration Minister will now arrive at but to date no right wing speaker with no criminal record has been denied entry to Australia.