Activist refused visa

December 2, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Far right activist Gavin McInnes has been denied entry to Australia ahead of a planned tour by The Proud Boys, the nationalist group he co-founded.

Gavin McInnes and Tommy Robinson in The Deplorables” web site adverting the proposed event

The Proud Boys is a far-right white nationalist extremist organization which admits only men as members and promotes political violence. It has a presence in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Canadian McInnes was due to tour Australia early next year together with UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson. No visa application for Australia has been received for Mr Robinson. Their “The Deplorables” tour of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and the Gold Coast had already been delayed a number of months.

Critics of UK-born Mr McInnes have been urging the department and Immigration Minister David Coleman to ban him from travelling to Australia for their tour next year, as they are concerned about his extreme views and promotion of violence.

It is understood that Mr McInnes was notified a few weeks ago that the department was likely to block his visa application because he was judged to be of bad character and the formal window for him to appeal closed on Friday.

Mr McInnes cut ties with the Proud Boys group earlier this month. The group, which Mr McInnes has previously labelled a “gang”, describes itself as a men’s organisation, committed to upholding “Western chauvinist values”.

The FBI designated them as an extremist organisation.

Melbourne lawyer Nyadol Nyuon organised a petition to have Mr McInnes denied entry to Australia. The petition with 81,000 signatures has been delivered to Parliament House in Canberra. “More than 80,000 Australians … refuse to turn a blind eye to this clear record of violence incitement, and the violence of the Proud Boys,” petition organiser Nyadol Nyuon said.

Ms Nyuon said Mr McInnes could not possibly have met the character test for entry to Australia.

“I’m happy that women, non-whites, certain members of the LGBTI communities don’t have to live in an atmosphere of fear after these individuals are allowed to come in, or from the fear of what that might suggest to them,” she said.

The Proud Boys list their values as including being against political correctness, racial guilt, and racism while promoting free speech and gun rights. They have been widely criticised for promoting violence against people who do not share their views.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Department of Home Affairs said all non-citizens entering Australia had to meet character requirements before a visa would be granted.

“For 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,” she said.

Dvir Abramovich, chairman of Australia’s leading civil rights organisation, the Anti-Defamation Commission, issued a statement praising the Government’s decision to reject Mr McInnes’s application. “I have no doubt that his visit would have cultivated a disruptive atmosphere of incitement as well as attracting hardcore extremists, and this explosive combination could have resulted in rioting and street fights,” Dr Abramovich said. “At a time when anti-Semitism and far-right activism in our nation are on the increase, we should not be providing such individuals with an opportunity to promote their divisive and dangerous agenda which runs counter to our core values.”

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