Victory! Gavin McInnes' visa has been denied.
Nov 30, 2018 — We did it.
Early this evening, we learned that "Gavin McInnes has had his visa application blocked by the Home Affairs Department, failing the character test to enter Australia" (ABC News, 30/11/18).
This has happened just 24 hours after we took this petition to Canberra where opposition immigration spokesperson Shayne Neumann received it, and later delivered it to Immigration Minister David Coleman along with another formal request to cancel McInnes visa.
I want to thank Shayne Neumann for his support, and offer my credit and thanks to David Coleman for listening to 81,000+ people who shared my hope and belief that Australia is not the place for violent extremism.
I also want to thank leader of The Greens, Richard Di Natale for writing to David Coleman, as well the many Labor MPs who stood with me yesterday: Mark Dreyfus, Ged Kearney, Andrew Leigh, Andrew Giles, and Senator Claire Moore.
To my friend Prof. Marcia Langton AM, thank you for journeying with me yesterday to Canberra as we took a stand against violent extremism.
Thank you also to the incredible coalition of intersectional supporters who have championed this cause and stood with me yesterday in Canberra: Melanie Poole from National Association of Community Legal Centres and the Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria; Cheryl Axleby from Change the Record; Ivan Hinton-Teoh from just.equal, the Change.org team, and all the community members who turned up to yesterday's petition delivery.
Finally, thank you to all of you: for signing this petition and lending your voice to this important issue; for sharing the petition with your communities and making #BanGavin trend on Twitter; for your many, many phone calls and emails to the immigration minister; and for your countless messages of support and encouragement.
This has never been about free speech. This has been about the violent, extremist incitement by Gavin McInnes and the well-recorded history of criminal activity by his Proud Boys, which has lead to them being classified as an extremist group by FBI and a hate group by Southern Poverty Law Centre.
Today is a small but significant win against the rise of far-right groups and their damaging rhetoric and actions becoming normalised in the Australian political and media landscape. Media outlets across the political spectrum published articles and commentary calling for McInnes to be prevented from touring Australia.
As I said, I could not have done this without you. This is the Australia we are working so hard to maintain, the Australia that unites instead of divides. The Australia that does not turn a blind eye to violent extremism, but instead looks it square in the eye and says: no.
Today, Australia has said no to rolling out the red carpet for a violent extremist.
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