Senator Lidia Thorpe hits back after she was targeted in a threatening video posted on social media. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)
Independent Victorian Senator Lidia Thorpe says she is not scared and has vowed to keep speaking out as she responded to a disturbing video by far-right extremists.
In the video posted on X a man in a balaclava claiming to be from neo-Nazi group Warriors for Convict Resistance reads a statement endorsing “white Australia”.
He then makes racist statements about First Nations people before burning the flag and performing a Nazi salute.
Flanked by supporters holding Aboriginal flags, Senator Thorpe on Thursday denounced the proposed Indigenous voice to parliament and said the prime minister “wants the f***ing fascists to come out and get me”.
The same neo-Nazi group created a similar video in 2022, which made a racial slur against the Blak Sovereign Movement leader while members burned an Aboriginal flag.
The Gunnai, Gunditjmara, and Djab Wurrung senator said she had been in exile for months but was not afraid.
“I wasn’t allowed to be in my own home because people want to kill me out there,” she told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.
“(But) I’m not hiding for the next nine days. You’re going to hear from me, and you are going to see me and I am not scared and I am going to fight.
“So come at me.”
Senator Thorpe called the voice to parliament an attempt to “assimilate our people into the constitution”.
“The referendum is an act of genocide against my people,” she said.
At a press conference soon after the senator’s remarks, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “the Nazi rhetoric and statements have no place in Australian political life”.
He had not heard Senator Thorpe’s comments, but he called on Australians to be respectful when discussing the voice referendum.
With the vote to be held on October 14, politicians including Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil have grown more concerned about extremists spreading racism and misinformation.
“We’re seeing over time in Australia different types of groups who pop up, selecting different ideologies … being radicalised and joining these communities online, working together and getting more violent in their radical activities,” Ms O’Neil said.
The Australian Federal Police was made aware of the video on Tuesday when it was posted. It has since been taken down and the account that posted it has been de-activated, but the AFP is continuing to investigate.
“Reports of harassment, nuisance, offensive and threatening communications against parliamentarians/electoral offices have increased in the past two years, including via social media,” an AFP spokesperson told AAP.
“Threats of harm or violence against Australian high office holders are criminal offences and will be fully investigated by the AFP.”
Other politicians also decried the video with frontbencher Bill Shorten calling its creators “man-baby Nazis” and Greens First Nations spokeswoman Dorinda Cox saying it was “an indication of the violence experienced by our community more broadly”.
“This is the unfortunate reality for so many First Nations people, particularly for women in public office and it’s simply unacceptable,” she told AAP.