TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains information and imagery that can be disturbing.
Right-wing, extremist groups are creating noise at universities across Australia with their most recent attack on Chinese students in Melbourne.
Students returned to university last Monday to discover anti-Chinese flyers posted in several locations around the campuses of The University of Melbourne and Monash University.
Covered in university logos from leading student groups including the National Union of Students and each university’s Chinese association, the posters declared in poorly written Mandarin: “Attention! This is a place that prohibits Chinese people to enter. Any offence is subject to prosecution or possible deportation”.
— Da Cheng Liu (@liu_da_cheng) July 24, 2017
A Melbourne-formed, white supremacist group called the ‘Antipodean Resistance’, proudly claimed responsibility for the posters via a series of Tweets saying “non-whites get PRANKED”.
The group, which heralds itself as Australia’s “premier National Socialist Youth Organisation”, first gained attention back in October of last year.
Since then, the Antipodean Resistance have made headlines from the circulation of other unwelcome posters throughout Australian universities with some saying, “Stop the Hordes” and “Keep Australia White”.
The majority of the group’s social media posts comprise of photos of swastika’s splashed across public places, some of which include synagogues and Indigenous spaces. One tweet celebrates Hitler’s birthday.
Former University of Melbourne student and blogger, Cheng Liu, said social media has allowed racism to flourish as individuals are able to sit behind their computers and ‘internet troll’ minority groups and races.
“It purposefully normalises the issue”, he said. “By calling it a prank, it makes it seem like there are less serious implications.”
I don't know who would do this on the very first day of the new semester. Even it's a joke IT IS NOT FUNNY AT ALL!
— Ting Lu (@lisatinglu) July 24, 2017
Cheng Lui’s blog post on the anti-Chinese posters even garnered racist and condescending comments from other ‘nationalist’ groups with one saying: “This is OUR country. We do not lay claim to China like you demand a status in our land. Go away.”
While this all may seem like it stays within Australia, some Australian white supremacist groups have even been in contact with nationalists from overseas like American neo-Nazi news and commentary site, The Daily Stormer.
In an interview presented on The Daily Stormer’s website, The Antipodean Resistance said they were inspired by a number of global nationalist groups and that Melbourne was the perfect place to take action as it’s “well known in Australia for being a cesspit of all kinds of filth, whether it be the swarms of non-whites…”
As a result of these intolerant and hateful messages, Cheng Lui said some Chinese students are now fearful and questioning their place in Australia.
When it gets to this point, the only thing we can and should do is take a public stand against racism.
One approach taken has been the introduction of inclusive and multicultural posters across Monash University and the University of Melbourne following the harassment.
What are you going to do?
For any help, contact beyondblue at 1300 224 636 or call Lifeline at 13 11 14.