More than 100 protesters attempted to disrupt a secretive fundraiser for the far-right group Q Society in Melbourne, where Liberal defector Cory Bernardi and Nationals MP George Christensen are speaking.
The Melbourne function comes hot on the heels of a controversial Q Society fundraiser in Sydney on Thursday night, at which former Liberal MP Ross Cameron – who who has a television show on Sky News – was criticised for his references to homosexuality during his speech.
“The NSW division of the Liberal Party is basically a gay club,” he told guests.
“I don’t mind that they are gay, I just wish, like Hadrian, they would build a wall.”
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) February 10, 2017
Cartoonist Larry Pickering, who also attended the Sydney function and donated one of his own works depicting the rape of a woman in a niqab by her son-in-law, was also blasted for saying: “Let’s be honest, I can’t stand Muslims. If they are in the same street as me, I start shaking.
“They are not all bad, they do chuck pillow-biters off buildings.”
The location of the Melbourne dinner, called Defending Freedom of Speech, was kept private and organisers transported attendees on buses. Several media organisations were invited to attend.
The Q Society is vehemently anti-Islam, and has described Halal certification of food as a tax that benefits terrorism.
The fundraisers were organised to fund a defence against a defamation case brought against a member of the group by the president of the Halal Certification Authority.
Protesters chanted and held signs that read “Muslims are welcome racists are not”.
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) February 10, 2017
Greens leader Richard Di Natale called on the Prime Minister to prevent Mr Christensen, part of the Coalition party room, from speaking at the Melbourne dinner.
“Malcolm Turnbull needs to pick up the phone and instruct George Christensen not to attend the hateful Q Society event,” he tweeted.
NSW Liberal statement on Ross Cameron. He is also likely to be evicted from the party later this month. pic.twitter.com/cK9KGlDzsR
— Kylar Loussikian (@kloussikian) February 10, 2017
South Australian senator Cory Bernardi, who quit the Liberal Party this week to start his own political group, has regularly voiced his disapproval of Islam.
He is also against birth control and in 2012 questioned whether gay marriage would lead to bestiality.
– with ABC