The right-wing extremist and the anti-vax and 5G protester

Ms Magda Whale, Suffolk Park

As a resident of Byron Bay for nearly 30 years I am dismayed that Byron Shire is known as the anti-5G and anti-vax capital of Australia. My dismay is not only related to my scepticism of (potentially over-exaggerated) ‘health’ reasons stated by many opponents. It also stems from those calling for freedom of choice in health who have, wittingly or not, jumped into bed with right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis.

Little did I think that those living in Byron Shire would be potentially mingling with white supremacists at rallies ostensibly advertised as in opposition to vaccinations or new technology, but which have become linked to COVID-19 pandemic conspiracy theories.

From the USA to Australia, extremists have been weaponising the pandemic. One banner, seen in a recent American protest about government lies related to the virus, depicts a rat in a Star of David, with the byline declaring ‘the real plague’. In this country the vilification of the Chinese community is most popular.

With the anti-vax, anti-5G debate too often conflated with the pandemic, we have seen Nazi flags tied to the Chinese flag, and a spike in racist attacks on anyone with Asian features. Protests that drew anti-vaxxers and anti-5G supporters out into Hyde Park, Sydney last month were relatively small. But according to ABC Background Briefing, banners displayed included, ‘Stop the Chinese invasion’ and ‘immigration is the elephant in the room’.

I am not suggesting that all attending the protest that day signed on to all statements made. Perhaps the underlying shared reason that brings these groups together is the mistrust of government and big business. Right wing extremists are generally anti-government, as are the anti-vaxxers and 5G crowd. Many of them believe the government is purposely poisoning us through radiation or harmful vaccines. Hard to imagine that the right-wing extremists who attend the same rallies and display their fascist, racist signs, would ever have been given space as if allies of anti-vax and/or anti-5G proponents.

The confluence of these seemingly disparate groups reminds me of when President Trump commented on the violence and death of a counter-protester at the 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia, saying there were good people on ‘both sides’. Many who attended declared they did not identify as white supremacists and that they were against the use of violence. Yet they marched alongside those in Ku Klux Klan costumes and those wearing Nazi insignia. .

My interest here is not in trying to change anti-vax/5G protesters’ minds, as I believe lines are already drawn. I am however interested to see how those ardent activists in the Byron Shire, and across Australia, are actively distancing themselves from extremists; who are very adept at manipulating COVID-19 fear by linking issues, such as vaccines and 5G, to the pandemic and to hate of the ‘Other’, and at infiltrating and co-opting protests. I further look forward to seeing those who are allegedly protecting my health and well-being stand up to vilify and decry the extremists who share your rallies, instead of flying banners side by side with them.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

9 responses to “The right-wing extremist and the anti-vax and 5G protester”

  1. I would like to say that 5G (and all electrosmog pollution from wireless, but particularly the intense, close-range exposures from 5G small cells) IS harmful to the immune system AND does cause viruses to accelerate replication. As a nonprofit director working with scientists worldwide who are fighting 5G based on thousands of studies showing the harm from these frequencies, I can assure you this is not helping with the pandemic and may be related, if only causing the virus to be more virulent and our immune systems to be weakened when we most need them to be strong. See our articles at for more details.

  2. Darren Gray says:

    Agreed. I don’t need people who live in van standing up for my rights. I don’t need people who are on welfare to stand up for me. I don’t need uneducated feral looking people to protest over something that they know nothing about.
    Proof in the pudding- people are living much longer with good quality of life, Cancer rate way down and so on.

  3. Rachel Coorabell says:

    Darren what’s your point, I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Your comment is not intelligible. You like eating pudding?Or are you one of these ‘extremists’? Look forward to your clarity. Please explain.

  4. Darren Gray says:

    Rachel Coorabell, At lease I addressed the letter, you just addressed me. So is your issue?

  5. Barry says:

    Rachel, Darren is a good ol’ boy, probably an honest tradie, a quiet Australian.

  6. Liz L says:

    While Victoria is pulling out all stops to contain a destructive new outbreak of the pandemic, an outbreak that has since spread its tentacles already to the NT and NSW, The Age reports today that the Vic health minister announced 10,000 people refused testing, some because ‘coronavirus is a conspiracy’.

    It seems some conspiracy related material has been removed from social media and, while some will see this as further proof of a clandestine plot to conceal the ‘real truth’, others will despair that such censorship is necessary to protect such a gullible few against their own credulity and lack of critical analysis. A population left in isolation, with too much time to internet surf, will be prey to largely unregulated sources of dis/information and malicious manipulation.

    It is a huge concern, Magda and so counterproductive to a world fighting against a frightening pathogen at a time when we have world leaders like Trump, Johnson and Putin. A perfect storm!

  7. Mac Hawk says:

    I am not an anti vaxer but vax sceptic and I might suggest that this perfect storm has been created by the AMA lobby within government that has produced increasingly harsh punishments for pro choice people alongside less and less transparency. If there were a truly open debate, an openness to have vaccinations tested for side effects by truly independent bodies and real transparency, we might have been able to avoid this situation where the Magda right and the Romanian meme factories are influencing and exploiting the alternative left.
    The problem is excacerbated by the corporate left media who have taken it upon themselves to be increasingly spiteful towards anti-vaxers and supporting increasingly pro- draconian responses. Hence, the perfect storm.

  8. Liz L says:

    What draconian measures are you referring to here, Mac Hawk? How dare the AMA attempt to influence policy – what would they know about health? I’m all for transparency too but I haven’t found much here amongst the labels you use – ‘Magda right’, ‘Romanian meme factories’, ‘corporate left media’. I clearly don’t spend enough time on the right social media sources because I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Vaccines go through rigorous trials and have to meet rigorous safety and efficacy standards. It’s all well and good to suggest ‘truly independent bodies’ but who would you suggest beyond the peer review processes that currently exist?

    Then there is the difficulty of truly testing the alternative. We still have good levels of herd immunity to a range of devastating diseases and this prevents us seeing the consequences of everyone deciding to follow the ‘pro-choice’ advice for the sake of showing they’re not sheep! A bit like the bus that I saw advertised that asks people to drop in with their vaccination horror stories. What about the people who can attest to the horror stories from a time in history before the prevalence of vaccination? Most are past contributing!

    It is readily recognised that SOME individuals will have unacceptable side effects from vaccination but the best thing the pro-choice advocates can do for these people (including newborns) is to stop the scare-mongering, the armchair expertUse and the egotistical and uninformed ‘influencing’. Encouraging the wide uptake of vaccination that will offer them some herd protection!

  9. foolsparadise says:

    their are anti-vax and anti-5g’ers on both sides of politics, both stubbornly living in their separate bubbles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.