Right Wing Extremism and COVID-19 in Australia
We wrote a position paper recently where we identified a number of trends signalling the need for urgent further action, including the fact that increased time spent online and social isolation of already vulnerable people will create more opportunities for right-wing extremists to recruit new members in Australia.
Over recent months, All Together Now has identified alarming online behaviours of immediate concern, including:
– anti-Asian racism and anti-Semitism;
– circulation of hateful conspiracy theories;
– messages expressing hope that COVID-19 will spread within different countries or communities to reduce particular minority groups; and
– anti-government narratives.
We recommend the federal government takes action now to prevent the growth of right-wing extremism during COVID-19, by providing immediate support for:
– a national anti-racism campaign;
– community-focused countering violent extremism programs; and
– independent fact-checking to debunk hateful conspiracy theories.
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All Together Now works to undermine recruitment by white supremacists. The ground-breaking Community Action for Preventing Extremism (CAPE) project, formerly known as Exit White Power, was established in 2012 to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of young people who are attracted to white nationalism and white supremacy.
Since then it has gone from strength to strength and remains the only project of its kind in Australia. Since 2012, we have actively built relationships with former white nationalists, created resources for frontline workers and engaged directly with people who hold extreme far-right views to challenge their understanding of the world and help them to engage their critical thinking skills.
In 2016 CAPE was awarded funding from Multicultural NSW. As part of Multicultural NSW’s COMPACT Program, CAPE focuses on increasing community awareness of the dangers of far-right extremism, and on providing training for frontline workers across the state.