Victoria Decapitates Free Speech

Three members of the United Patriot’s Front (UPF) have been charged after posting a video on Facebook depicting an alleged mock beheading in front of the Bendigo council offices. The video was filmed over a year ago and was made to protest a new mosque development in Bendigo. They face charges brought against them by the Victorian Police, including behaving in an offensive manner in public, and serious religious vilification under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001. The Act makes it illegal to act in a way that incites or encourages hatred, serious contempt, revulsion or severe ridicule against another person or group of people because of their race and/or religion.They are due to appear in court in March and face maximum penalties of six months jail or a $6000 dollar fine.

The video shows three men beheading an effigy made of pillows that spouts fake blood, the ‘head’ is then thrown against the council chambers wall making a mockery of executions carried out by extremist Islamic group ISIS. Nobody was verbally or physically attacked. Despite claims that charges of serious religious vilification against the three UPF members ‘sends a strong message to people that this type of behaviour is not going to be passively approved or supported or condoned’, the message it is sending may not be the intended one. It is highly unlikely to negatively affect support for the UPF and is more likely to up the ante in the minds of their followers and turn these three protesters into martyrs and heroes of their cause. It may well increase their support base. Take one look at the comments under the UPF’s video describing the charges that have been laid. The video itself has been shared nearly 10,000 times. Their followers are angry, and numerous.

Evidence of this ‘blow-back’ phenomenon can be found in the Netherlands after the recent conviction of Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) and staunch campaigner against the Islamisation of the Netherlands. He is labelled in the media as ‘extreme right’ and was convicted on November 23 of hate-speech charges for ‘inciting discrimination and giving group offense’. Since then Wilders has enjoyed a surge in polling. Before the conviction, the PVV was polled to win 27 out of 150 seats in the Netherland’s Parliament at their coming elections in March, and now post-conviction the PVV is polled to win 36. They currently hold only 12. And this is all ‘despite’ his conviction for hate-speech crimes per the media, not ‘because of’. When will they ever learn?

Looking back to Germany in the 1920s and 30s, hate speech laws were implicated in the rise of the National Socialist German Workers Party. In Weimar Germany insulting communities of faith resulted in up to three years imprisonment and was used by the Jewish community to combat anti-semitism. Leading Nazis including Goebbels were prosecuted under these laws, with the result that they managed to garner public sympathy and fan the flames of anti-semitism in the community. We all know how things progressed from there. Charging the UPF with offending Muslims will not serve to protect Muslims or reduce anti-Islamic sentiment in the community. If anything, it will inflame it, as UPF members and sympathisers grow resentful about the treatment of the protesters.

No matter what your thoughts are of the UPF, they deserve to be heard and they deserve to express themselves in any manner if they are not hurting anyone or damaging property. There is an implied right in the Australian Constitution to freedom of communication about government and political matters, but it is very difficult to discuss immigration, especially if you are opposed to Islamic immigration without offending some Muslims.

Defending free speech and free expression in Australia doesn’t mean agreeing with the UPF’s stance on immigration, or liking their video. It means being willing to stand up for expression that you don’t agree with, even forms of expression that some would find offensive. Defending free speech means realizing that shutting speech down using ‘hate-speech’ laws generally backfires. The best way to combat racist or xenophobic speech or expression is with more speech and expression. It means speaking out against views you don’t agree with, not shutting them down, punishing the ‘offenders’ and making heroes out of them. Censoring speech creates extremists.

If there is anything that Brexit, Trump and now Geert Wilders have taught us, it’s that telling people from on high that their opinions are wrong and ‘racist’ without engaging with their concerns backfires. An absolutist free speech position is one that allows freedom of expression only up until the point that violence is incited, protecting everyone’s right to live free from physical attack or aggression. In a free and open society all forms of expression should be protected and ‘hate-speech’ laws that try, but ultimately fail to protect people should be repealed.

A version of this article was published in The Spectator Australia, 16 December 2016.

Nicola Wright
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148 Comments on "Victoria Decapitates Free Speech"

  1. Can I make a video of a mock attack by Israeli F-16s against innocent civilians, or US Apaches against innocent journalists, not to mention NATO strikes against Libya, Yugoslavia, etc, or US napalming of children in Vietnam. What say you UPF?

  2. I think I’ll find that video of someone burning a Koran, Under the Commonwealth Constitutin I have an express Right to freedom of religious expression.

  3. Good onya fellas… Stick it up the evil liar Muslims (terrorists at heart.) The lefties with their sick political correct bullshit, can get stuffed..

  4. Don’t falter patriots, one day there’ll be a patriot’s court and heads will roll !

  5. Can only say, ‘Onya boys, (and girls).

  6. What about an Islamic preacher with multiple wives, on welfare and inciting violence against “all infidels” – When will they be charged

  7. good onya guys i reckon a few of our fucktard pollies need decapitating

  8. I find people burning the Australian flag offensive.How come no one gets done for that?These guys said nothing racist.They made a political statement.The Quran has many verses telling followers to to behead, cut off fingertips and slay infidels. So these guys were making a political statement that they do not want a mosque in which these verses may be preached in Bendigo.

  9. The thought police in their finest hour. The hypocrisy is monumental. Our Democracy is being further eroded every day. The tolerant Left- give me a break.

  10. The United Nations tell our government what to do, not the Australian people..
    They have been giving our country away for the last 40 years

  11. time to take free speech back and tell the lunatics that think these thing up to go to hell what and who gave them the right to tell us what we may say

  12. Honestly, no wonder political correct ness should be axed.

  13. United Patriots Front. Didn’t I see them in the Life of Brian? Or was that the Patriots United Front or the Peoples Front of Victoria. Can’t quite remember

    • Agreed. And even they thought Stan was an idiot for wanting to be called Loretta. But apparently the Vic gov is dumber than that…

  14. So the Cronulla riots were not inspired by hate speech? Look at what was said leading up to the violence and tell me the UPF are not doing the same.
    Free speech in this country comes with responsibility, you can say what you like but be prepared to argue your case as those who oppose your views also have the right to free speech.

  15. I don’t think hate speech stops hate speech.
    Usually when fire is fought with fire, the situation gets much worse.

    • So in your mind free speech = hate speech. It’s not possible for someone to say, “I found your protest really offensive”, without threatening send them to gaol.

    • No, in your mind hate speech is good because it’s free speech, and you want to combat someone’s hate with your own.

    • Adam Daniel John Thompson That’s crap

    • Well this post is about the right to use hate speech and threats of violence to combat hate speech and threats of violence by a different group of people.
      In the end they are just all really the same group.

    • Adam Daniel John Thompson no, it’s really not.

    • So staging mock beheadings (something ISIS also do) is good if it’s done by people who hate all Muslims?
      But extremist Muslims who hate all white people and stage mock beheadings for propaganda videos of their own.

    • Adam Daniel John Thompson from the article (seeing as you must have missed this bit):

      “Defending free speech and free expression in Australia doesn’t mean agreeing with the UPF’s stance on immigration, or liking their video. It means being willing to stand up for expression that you don’t agree with, even forms of expression that some would find offensive. Defending free speech means realizing that shutting speech down using ‘hate-speech’ laws generally backfires.”

      Nowhere in the article do we say that ‘staging mock beheadings is good’. Don’t waste your time arguing against a point that we haven’t actually made.

    • Defending their right to do the same as terrorist organisations?
      You can’t defend one mock beheading but not the mock beheadings performed by Islamic terror groups.

  16. As long as I’m allowed to call a traitor a traitor I will be happy

  17. Ever wonder why genocide is happening in west Papua, as Indonesia has so far killed 300 thousand indigenous people and that’s the documented figure, ever wonder why our government is told to shut its mouth about the genocide. Ask
    the u.n the answer is right there.

    Drain the swamp
    One flag one people one law
    A nation of nations
    One nation.

  18. We are told we need to have our freedom of speech eroded because of FAKE racism..

    And that is then used to tell us we must shut up because of ACTUAL racism and genocide.

  19. the left and muslims have now made it against the law to tell the truth—yet when muslims ranting there hate speech that’s ok ,so what does this prove is left-greens and muslims are racest and our government gives them the ok

  20. UPF are a far cry away from”mums and dads” voicing opinions of free speech when they’ve incited violence in our streets, Antifa aren’t really much different also incited violence, protest… Counter protest all different sides of the same fascist coin, implied free speech works just fine, you just need to be prepared to cop the consequences of your actions if that said speech causes injury or loss.

  21. Blair Cottrell

  22. Poor Blair… Just standing up for what’s right….

  23. I am an article paid for by conservative think tank lobbyists. Please treat this article as if it is an opinion piece written by Gina Reinhardt for the Australian.

    • Sincerely yours. Literally anyone willing to see propaganda when it’s right in front of them.

    • “I am a person who comments on articles without having read them, or understood the arguments presented. Because I have no arguments of my own, I just use ad hominem and hope that it will make me look smart.”

    • I thought it was a pretty objective and sober article. I guess Luke is used to leftist garbage dished up by the mainstream media especially the ABC, so maybe he isn’t used to facts.

    • I think Mark Rabich should understand the meaning of objective and sober. A far right hate group got punished for partaking in an offensive reactment of a ignorant stereotype. Next article should be about a hero imam that re-enacts a traditional Christian “abuse on a child”. This article is written to glorify horrible acts towards a already marginalised people.

  24. Come up with an actual argument against the article or piss off.

    • No point in trying to change willing stupidity mate. Let them show the Country what vacuous, shallow and impaired individuals these people are.
      They don’t and can’t present a decent argument because there is no substance TO their arguments. So they act like schoolyard bullies. Let em at it mate.
      Just makes them look stupid.

    • Is my comment untrue?

    • Don’t know and don’t care. It is the argument within the article that is the point of debate here.
      All you are doing is the classic lefty “insult and discredit” play instead of presenting a real argument.
      I could jump on Tumblr and argue that these feminists themselves (and the left in general) are merely tools for promoting the NWO.
      Whether that is true or not is not I am not presenting an argument- merely playing at deflection from said argument.
      It is utterly retarded that I even have to point this out. The world we live in today.

    • Well, we are a liberty loving do-tank and proud of it.

      Gina if you’re reading this please donate to us! We need help getting this renewable energy target abolished.

    • Honestly mate the only way I would be concerned about anyones’ donors left or right is if elitist NWO promoters like Soros are involved.
      The reason being that they always expect something BACK i.e. pushing their agenda.
      While I am not a fan of Gina at all who gives a toss if she donates to an already existing entity?
      Just saying….

    • Seriously at this stage we’re a passion project. But we’d gladly accept help provided no strings were attached.

    • As is my own little project Doing great work my friend and please keep it up.

    • LibertyWorks Are you insulting people to get them to donate money?

    • All the left do are ad-hominem attacks. Can’t debate the actual point – rather favouring to discredit and insult the other person with the opposing view – as if they are somewhat invalid or incapable of having one.

    • I could make a video pretending to be LibertyWorks, showing all the stupid and racist things you do, but you would be offended, in the same way Trump is offended by SNL representation of him.

    • Adam Daniel John Thompson please do. We’d love to see what these racist things are that we are supposed to be doing.

    • Case in point above. Just sling shit back like a child. Adam Daniel John Thompson, take Liberty Works to task by debating them ON THE ISSUES AND THEIR CONCERNS. If they are any good, they’ll welcome being held accountable.

      But no, you can’t. Just deflect and divert.

    • Adam Daniel John Thompson why don’t you do a video on all the things the greens have achieved in the whole time they have been a political party and l will do a video on all the stupid things sarah hanson dumd has said. yours should go for about 2 seconds and l will probably die before l finish mine.

    • You could have an entire production team and every one of them would be dead. How these people get platformed is beyond me at times….

    • Promoting division and hate is the work of the ruling class so we never ask why they don’t pay taxes. If liberty works promotes division and hate for free. Lol. Maybe we should just hate everything foreign, anything different. Let’s hate scientists that measure climate. Let’s hate boat people (refugees). Let’s hate anything that isn’t exactly like us. If you think holding up these morons as the epitome of free speech. You clearly have no capacity to be objective.

    • Like that Labor idiot Terry Butlers hate speech against the student and she has had to pay a massive amount in damages for her hate speech and bigotry….

  25. Funny how. Mock beheading, is offensive, but they do business, with Saudi Ararbia, and other middle eastern cultures that behead, thousands of its population, yearly, this is a part of there culture, never see them stop there business with these animals….good on you to point this fact many of the middle eastern. Agree with it so who has it offenered…????

  26. So you feel mock beheadings fit within the framework of a free and democratic society like ours? Tell me again that if a hardline Muslim group chose to do the same…a mock beheading that is, that it wouldn’t be on the front page of every newspaper across the country, yet we clearly here have racist extremists who endorse and engage in violence being charged for just that an act that was inspired to terrorise people and enrage other to the point they take to the streets to protest the building of mosques. Ffs dude UPF and Antifa are far right and left respectively not representative of mainstream society and something had to be done about their using our towns as a playground. This is hardly an argument against free speech, the implied free speech we have is quite good enough it prevents thugs like these blokes saying whatever they like without consequences, they can speak their minds but if a line is crossed to harm others they pay the price.

  27. So are you a defender of free speech or a supporter of the UPF Leigh McGilp? Im all for freedom of speech as long as it doesn’t cause any harm. That video is not the most intelligent way to make a point. The UPF IS causing harm by inciting hatred and fueling racism in Australia. I haven’t ever seen them condemn any of the abusive shit their posts attract.

    • Try your very hardest not to judge me Yas and read the entire article. All the way to the bottom. Then ask me that question again.

    • I read the whole article. I’m just confused as to why you appear to be supporting freedom of speech in this article which makes some balanced and considered points…yet you’ve ‘liked’ the UPF Facebook page, an organization that clearly incites hatred and fuels racism and uses freedom of speech as an excuse. So I will ask you again. Are you a believer in freedom of speech or a supporter of the UPF?
      I’m just standing up for an expression that I don’t agree with. And I don’t like UPFs obvious agenda and I’m offended and disappointed you would associate yourself with that group.

    • Like Labors Terry Butlers extreme hate speech on Q&A where she has had to pay massive damages for her extreme hatred and bigotry….

  28. How was that offensive to Muslims, oh are we saying be heading are synonymous with islam?

  29. Oh the poor dears in the photo are being denied a chance to insult. They look like they are well able to look after themselves. Does free speech also incude some muslims advocating burqa wear?

    • Of course it does. It’s free speech…….

    • Sure, so long as they understand they can’t walk dressed like that into banks and other places where you can’t wear a motorcycle helmet. Is that not fair?

    • Ok Mark – how many people have you seen wearing a burqua? I have seen only 2 in my city of 180,000 people. Even in the more Araby parts of Melbourne, burqas are rare. If adult women choose to wear them, why is this anyone’s problem?

    • You must walk around with your eyes shut Rebecca Smith if you have only seen a couple , hope you don’t drive !!!!

    • I drive hundreds of kilometres a week. I have seen 2 women in burqas. Why would anyone be threatened by 2 women? Dont you ppl have anything more important to do than bully a handful of women coz you dont like their clothes?

  30. Take a Koran, pick a public corner and quote from the Koran, you will be arrested for hate speak if you quote the 109 verses of hatred and violence that the Koran instructs its followers to carry out.
    Ban the Koran it’s a manual for civil unrest and warfare.

  31. Yeah guys. That was wrong. You maybe should have had a mock rape of a nine-year-old or a mock female circumcision ?

  32. Ahhh good old VICTORIASTAN no crimes to be concerned with nothing to see here let’s charge some people defending their country.


  34. OK so they broke the law and have been charged, good break the law you get tried, so were are the imans inciting violence being tried????????

  35. Since there are no Imans is Islam, never.

  36. At great risk of being arrested for being offensive to certain ethnic type groups I will say this,,,,,,,,,,,,, Merry Christmas .

    • No one is going to arrest you! Why do you people insist on saying things like this. There is NO controversy here. It’s all a massive Beat-up!

  37. Offence!!! Offence!!!

  38. I hear some people are offended by people saying Happy Holidays. Well if it bothers you then… Happy Holidays and Happy Holidays again!

  39. I’m offended by people being offended.

  40. Certainly men of action

  41. Muslim get offended by Christmas because JC was a jew & they hate jews
    Merry Christmas

  42. get done for mock beheading, not a word about the 60 beheadings a day in Saudi the Human Rights capital

  43. Andrews is currently one of the most powerful Men in Australia and he decided [successfully] to make an example of you guys to shut alternative view points down. The question is what can be done about it?

  44. Well done Blair!
    Support for you.

  45. Looking forward to all the court cases that will arise from this.. the first muslim who calls you an infedile or goes on about alla or anything will be heading to the courts..also the muslim hate preachers will now be sensored.. lets see how they handle that.. this law is for anyone right. They are opening up the flood gates to this..i find everything offensive.. the madness continues in Victoria..

  46. Of course this is true….18c IS RACIST…it ENDORSES & Legitimises “division” …& their “us & them” Groups….and it CRIMINALISES folks from challenging this “us & them” attitude…or even having an OPINION….It’s outrageous…and most all great men in History have warned of it’s dangers!

  47. I get offended when Pauline Hanson opens her mouth, can i have her charged with intellectual vilification?

  48. Yet we have mufti’s going from mosque to mosque preaching and inciting violence,,,,,,

  49. so much for freedom of speech, freedom of choice n freedom of expression!!!!

  50. Freedom of speech is just that. Do we penalise people if even just one person is offended by something they do or say ? Offence is subjective. One person can be offended by something others would shrug off. We’ll have to ban comedy because 90% of most comedy is about taking the piss out of somebody. It’s a joke. You’re offended ? Gee sorry. Suck it up princess.

  51. You need to Change your terminology. You see attacking the person( being Muslims) will get you in trouble. Now I don’t want that to happen but I don’t want Muslims to continue to destroy my wonderful country,culture and way of life with their evil ideology. It is evil as any cult that demands pure evil and get it willingly, is evil. They must do what their Koran tells them to do. Teaches and demands of them. And that is what will defeat them and their supporters. They must do jihad,have done for 1400 continuous years. 670 million murdered innocents 200 enslaved, proof enough. You my dear friends are ” antijihad activists” a counterjihad movement. Now the problem is theirs. Do they believe what’s in their Koran or not? If they do they are terrorists, if they don’t they are apostates( lowest of low in Islam) merry Christmas.

    • Many Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God, and have stolen this country from it’s Owners.

    • Graeme Taylor thanks for your reply. I am aware of this verse and would point out that it’s Old Testament. We live under grace due to a major reform, a new set of laws. If you like. But your post has raised a good point. All religions have at sometime undergone reform and for many reasons some two ” fit the current place and time” others through “intervention” and lastly ” culture change” and ” political reasons”. I for one think that Islam has but to options one. Reform. Two. live apart from other cultures. I’m not sure of your reference about ownership but you may be talking about Israel or Islam so I’ll offer my humble opinion on both. Israel is the land god gave them. Islam ” take” their lands through jihad, always have always will. The issue for you to ponder is the time frame. Israel 100-500 BC. Islam 700 AD. In Christianity our reform was pre told 500 years before it was done, Jesus Christ.

  52. It was a ‘mock’ beheading. Would the government have preferred a real one ? they only have to turn the tv on to see that. Soon it will be against the law to even ‘think’.

  53. Nothing good ever comes out of islam

  54. The outcome of this will be more consolidation of the conservatives! One Nation will fix the cancer and drain the Snowflakes!

  55. yeah theirs two laws one for them and one for us .but there days are numberd

  56. No to Islam No to refugees.

  57. The analogy is flawed. Free speech has not been ‘decapitated’. They were able to exercise their right to free speech by posting the video. But free speech doesn’t mean free of the consequences from that speech. They are now experiencing the effects of that free speech.

    • Their speech isn’t free as they have been charged. Free speech according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights holds that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

      The key is ‘without interference’.

  58. These guys are just presenting a mock version of what will become a reality if we continue to lie about Islam. Islamic scripture and the example of the “prophet” justifies and inspires terrorism, this is FACT. This FACT must be discussed if we are ever to combat it effectively. Good on you UPF for standing up for Australia, I hope the courts see that this was done only in an effort to advise the public on what will happen if Islam is allowed to continue expanding in Australia.

    • Wow, I wonder why all this hand-wringing about the dread Islam or whatever doesn’t seem to be having any positive effect. I mean it’s not like I can’t pick up my King James and turn to a passage that tells me it’s okay to commit genocide on my enemies, to murder even their children and take their young girls as sex slaves, but apparently it’s only Islam that preaches atrocities. Oh well, I’m sure if we continue to cast blame and prejudice upon a single particular religious group, surely a bunch of psychotic terrorists will get bored and take up knitting or something, instead of pointing to our discriminatory reprisals as evidence of our continued heresy against their god – because that makes sense.

  59. Ban all religion until a god shows up which they won’t because they are all IMAGINARY

  60. Just another day in Commisar Dan’s socialist republic of victoria.Hopefully they wont be sent to the gulags at Geelong or the salt mines at Bairnsdale. They must have really upset Comrade andrews and his marxist cronies.


  62. So what about the Jalal jokers? Mock beheadings, throwing backpacks fake guns. The difference is?

  63. Merry Christmas ALL Australians! 🙂

  64. political correctness has gone to bullshit level like our government.

  65. Adolf got his way by enacting repressive laws.

  66. This Government is becoming totally redundant and is in its death throes.

  67. So if some people dress as priests and act out raping a pillow dressed as a kid in front of the local church, I hope the UPF support them to the hilt.

    • So.marrying a ten or 11 year old girl by muslims is acceptable to you????

    • Louise did you know that sexual abuse of children occurred across all institutions in Australia and not just Catholic ones? It happened in private foster homes and government run orphanages and shelters? A terrible time in our national history.

    • Scott Capell no it isn’t acceptable at all; child abuse is appalling regardless of what religion (or not) the perpetrator follows. Nicola Wright I didn’t mention the catholic church. My point related to UPF’s stance on free expression, that logically it should extend to any group being the object of confronting public role-playing.

  68. I may have missed something in the article, but are we all in agreement that public (or private) beheadings are a bad thing?

  69. The socialist leftards in controll of Australia have been exposed and are running scared and in irrational damage controll. They are now at their most dangerous and will introduce all manner of freedom denying legislation. Down with the traitors.

  70. You can speak freely, but in your free speech you are not allowed to threaten… I see alot of Muslims talk of taking us down.. This is a threat,, ps it won’t happen we will stand up if pushed to far

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