Discussing Nazi salutes with The Guardian

Following the neo-Nazi rally with Hitler salutes on the steps of the Victorian Parliament over the weekend (see more), the Victorian Government, with the support of the opposition, are moving to amend the law. The public display of Nazi Swastikas were banned last year, yet the Hitler salute remains legal resulting in the absurd picture of a police cordon protection neo-Nazis as they engaged in these salutes on the steps of parliament. As we explained in a submission to the government before the last ban, trying to ban individual symbols will not be effective. What we need is a more general ban that allows police and the courts to exercise their own judgement.

In today’s article we discussed why banning the glorification of Nazism would be a better approach. It is a practice used overseas, and there is no reason it can’t work here.

Extract of comments by Dr Andre Oboler, our CEO, to The Guardian:

“You can then leave the question of whether something is glorification or not to police and the courts. It is what we do for section 18C [of the Racial Discrimination Act]. With racism, we don’t get and prohibit every individual racist gesture.” He explained that doing this would result in other symbols being used, as occurred overseas, and that, “Once they ran out of those ones, they would just make up new ones. If we have to go back to parliament to change the legislation every time that happens, it’s just not practical.” 

The article can be seen online: Adeshola Ore, “Victoria to ban Nazi salute after ‘disgusting’ scenes at anti-trans protest“, The Guardian, 20 March 2023.