Hundreds stand against fascism in Melbourne

2 July 2018
Michael Roberts

Ah, the fash. They just never learn. They’re repeatedly told that they’ll always lose in Melbourne, yet every so often they insist on raising their heads.

Sunday 24 June was the latest occasion. And yet again they lost. The “Aussie Pride Flag March”, organised by far right group True Blue Crew, attracted about 70 people to the Carlton Gardens at midday.

Heavily guarded by Victoria Police, they intended to wave flags and march through the city to Parliament. To their dismay, a loud, energetic crowd of 150-200 anti-fascists, mobilised by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, disrupted their event, preventing the “Master Race” from marching. The action drew cheers and applause from cafe goers along the way.

Having copped another defeat, the fascists dispersed. Some attendees went looking for someone to pick on. Blair Cottrell, infamous for suggesting that a picture of Hitler should be hung in every classroom, spent his afternoon harassing Dandyman, a popular street performer, for wearing a pink leotard.

Cottrell was caught on video declaring, “I’m a fascist, what are you going to do about it?” But he overreached. A wave of revulsion swept social media. Two days later, 200 people filled Federation Square in a show of solidarity with Dandyman.

Channel Ten’s The Project ran a segment on the incident, helping to highlight to greater numbers of people that fascists are active in Melbourne, and that there is determined resistance to them.

All up, it was an encouraging few days of anti-fascist activism.

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