Neo-Nazi skinhead gang in Eureka flag shirts try to kick in the door of an anti-racism campaigner’s home and shout ‘terrifying’ threats while police take half an hour to respond
- Prominent anti-racism campaigner becomes target of neo-Nazi skinheads
- Paddy Gibson said three men tried to kick his door in shouting ‘terrifying’ threats
- He also claims it took police officers about 30 minutes to arrive on the scene
- Far-right extremism recently surged, making up 50 per cent of ASIO cases
A gang of neo-Nazis tried to kick in the door of a prominent anti-racism campaigner’s home, demanding he come outside and shouting ‘terrifying’ threats.
University of Technology Sydney researcher Paddy Gibson, who is also an activist with the Solidarity socialist movement, claims three ‘skinheads’ tried to break into his home about 7.30pm on Saturday while he was with his partner.
The attackers began to smash in the front door before ripping the security grill off a window frame, then shattering the glass window with a chair.
Paddy Gibson (pictured) claims three ‘skinheads’ tried to break into his home at about 7.30pm on Saturday while he was with his partner
Mr Gibson (pictured at a media event in 2020) works as a University of Technology Sydney researcher and is an activist with the Solidarity socialist movement
‘Three skinheads with Eureka flag shirts came to the door, shouting my name, demanding I come out. It was terrifying,’ Mr Gibson said.
‘Thankfully my kids were at my parents’ place.’
The attackers were eventually scared off after about five minutes when he threatened to call the police and as neighbours started noticing the commotion.
Mr Gibson said he’s grateful the community rallied to his side because officers didn’t show up for about 30 minutes.
‘The police are aware that I have received death threats before in the lead up to major Black Lives Matter rallies due to a prominent organising role, but this is a significant escalation from the far right,’ he said.
‘I can only assume that some sections of the far right are feeling emboldened by the situation here and overseas to go on the attack like this.
‘But we won’t be intimidated and are even more determined to organise against racism.’
The attackers began to smash on the front door before ripping the security grill off a window frame (pictured) and then shattered the glass window with a chair
Mr Gibson said he’s grateful the community rallied to his side because police didn’t show up for about 30 minutes. Pictured: The window that skinheads smashed
The protest organiser said people in his multicultural community were ‘outraged’ that Nazis groups could be so brazen.
‘There is no place for Nazis in this community and there will be an even greater organised response to any attempt by the far right to threaten or intimidate anyone,’ he said.
Australia’s spy chief, Mike Burgess, warned a Senate estimates hearing in May that far-right extremism now made up about half the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s caseload.
‘Our investigations [into] ideologically-motivated violent extremism, such as racists and nationalists, are approaching 50 per cent of our priority counter-terrorism onshore caseload,’ the director-general said.
‘This reflects a growing international trend, as well as ASIO’s decision to allocate more resources to the threat.’
The Nazi gang were wearing Eureka flag shirts when they attacked the protest organiser’s home
Adjunct Professor George Newhouse, the chief executive of the National Justice Project, said authorities must take stronger action against far-right extremists.
‘Governments around Australia have failed to take the threat of violent racist and militant groups seriously and this is the end result,’ he said.
‘In the US, we have seen lives lost because of the demonization of the Black Lives Matter movement by the right.
‘It’s time for our leaders to heed the calls for racial justice and protect those who are calling for change.’
WHAT IS THE EUREKA FLAG?
The Australian Gold Rushes began in the 1850s and saw a huge increase in Chinese migration Down Under.
In 1861, 38,258 people, or 3.3 per cent of the Australian population, had been born in China. This number was not to be equalled until the late 1980s.
Chinese miners often worked in groups of 30 to 100 men under the direction of a leader, which resulted in their gold digging efforts being very successful.
European miners became jealous of Chinese success, which resulted in violent anti-Chinese protests, most notably the Lambing Flat riots in NSW from 1860 to 1861.
An illustration of European miners attacking Chinese miners in a historic sketch by John Thomas Doyle. European miners became jealous of Chinese success, which resulted in violent anti-Chinese protests, most notably the Lambing Flat riots in NSW from 1860 to 1861
Chinese miners also faced higher taxes, social segregation, publicly-sanctioned racism and were often looted or ‘claim jumped’ by their white counterparts.
The Eureka Rebellion culminated in the Eureka Stockade battle in 1854, which killed at least 22 diggers and six soldiers.
After the Stockade, a royal commission report suggested Chinese immigration be heavily restricted, which resulted in Victoria’s Chinese Immigration Act in 1855.
The gold rush was also a second wave of dispossession for Indigenous Australians, many of whom had already been forced from their land by pastoralists.
The massive influx of diggers onto their land and the ensuing environmental destruction resulted in terrible hardships for the Indigenous population.
Since the Australian Gold Rushes, the Eureka flag has become a national symbol that is associated with unions, the working class, anti-imperialism and republicanism.
The flag itself is blue with a white cross and white stars in the centre and on each point. It is often a candidate in debates about changing the Australian national flag.