Right now violent hate is on the rise globally.

Minorities and women are being targeted by the far right and religious extremists. Jews, Muslims, and Christians have been murdered in their houses of worship; First Nations people continue to face extensive discrimination, hardship, and bear the brunt of a broken justice system; the LGBTIQ+ community has come under sustained attack; and there is an organised, concerted push to roll back women’s rights.

Locally, we’re seeing this hate manifest in repulsive ways – anti-semitic graffiti and the running of a racist, divisive political party in our area being two recent examples of this.

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As white supremacy and the emerging neo-Nazi movement are taking a foothold around the world, too many governments are failing to take this threat seriously or they are fanning the flames of hatred and bigotry themselves.

Extremists are a threat to everyone. They combine deadly disinformation with a love of violence. This danger needs the strongest possible response but our government is missing in action.

At best, the major parties in Australia have been offering platitudes with no real action. At worst, they have spread far right talking points themselves.

The Liberals voted for the white supremacist slogan, ‘It’s OK to be White’. Peter Dutton spread the lie of white genocide in South Africa. The Nationals allowed themselves to be infiltrated by neo-Nazis.

And both major parties demonise refugees, fuelling baseless fears contributing to racism and bigotry.

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‘Thoughts and prayers’, is not an appropriate response to violent extremism. There must be real action against hate. Leadership is desperately needed and it’s time we demand better of our Parliamentarians.

That’s why the Greens have been at the forefront of tackling extremism and hate.

This was evident at the neo-Nazi rally in St Kilda at the beginning of the year. While other politicians and candidates issued condemnations from the comfort of their homes and offices, we were there, on the ground, standing with anti-racism activists against neo-Nazism.

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Change isn’t achieved by inaction and I’m so proud my party doesn’t just talk the talk.

Representation and actions matter. We have a woman leading our Victorian party, and we’re running an all-women team for the Senate because it’s the best guarantee against those who seek to rob women of their safety and hard-won gains.

In the same vein, we’ve always stood with groups like our First Nations people and LGBTIQ+ community. And not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because we can’t create a future for all of us without including all of us.

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I feel a deep responsibility to make sure every resident in Macnamara feels accepted and included. The Greens will not allow extremists to spread their message of hate unchallenged. We are the only party to have policies which address this growing threat head on.

Only the Greens have a plan for a united, respectful and decent society that welcomes and celebrates difference, and recognises that we are one common humanity.

We will:

  • Lead a national strategy to counter violent extremism
  • Strengthen gun control
  • Make hate speech illegal
  • Stop politicians speaking hate

While the other parties worry about keeping corporate donors happy, the Greens are a grassroots party, unique in putting the needs of ordinary Australians first. And the first priority for ALL Australians is staying safe.

This is why, when it comes to hatred and bigotry, the Greens say, ‘Enough is enough!

We stand with the overwhelming majority of Australians, united against hatred and against the hate-speech that has dominated our politics and our public spaces for far too long.

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For more information, you can view the policy initiative here.