Ballarat leaders have been quick to condemn a spate of Nazi-inspired vandalism after racist stickers and posters were suck up in locations across the CBD at the weekend.
The vandals who claim to be part of the Antipodean Resistance group attached the racist material to signs and buildings across the CBD as well as buses.
Ballarat Hebrew Congregation president John Abraham said the vandalism “runs very much against the Australian way of tolerance for all sorts of beliefs”.
“There are people in the community who are very hurt by those sorts of things, and not just Jewish people ,” Mr Abraham said.
The group posted a video of themselves defacing public property throughout Ballarat in broad daylight to social on Monday. The self-described Nazi group recently held a ‘radicalisation camp’ in the Grampians in August.
The Courier has chosen not to publish the video and the faces were already blurred in the video.
Sergeant Paul Fitzgerald said while the vandals could face property damage offences for attaching the material to public property, they could also face more serious charges given the offensive nature of the vandalism.
Meanwhile police are also calling on witnesses to come forward after a house in Canadian was defaced with Nazi-inspired vandalism at the weekend.
The property on Joseph Street was covered in bright red swastikas and other anti-semetic messaging on Friday night. The vandals also took to the footpath and a nearby NBN box.
The abandoned weatherboard home was next door to a house which burned down in late October.
Ballarat City Council Intercultural Advisory Committee chairman Cr Belinda Coates said the graffiti “doesn’t have a place in an inclusive and diverse city such as Ballarat”.
“It’s really disappointing but we know the majority of people in Ballarat are much more fair minded and accepting of diversity,” Cr Coates said. “It does really represent such extreme racism and a diminishing of democracy and human rights and we’ve moved a long way away from that at all levels of government and society.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich also condemned the activity, saying “it is very worrying that this unabashed neo-Nazi group is further expanding its hateful activity”.
“The Nazi swastika and this blatant display of intolerance have no place in our nation and in Ballarat.”
Sergeant Fitzgerald encouraged anyone with information about the vandalism to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au or contact Constable Hughes directly at the Ballarat Police Station.