The comment that has people so angry was highly offensive not only to the ANZACs and to all who have served in the Australian and New Zealand Armed Forces, it was offensive to people of both nations as well. At the same time, regardless of its offensive nature, the comment may well be within the realms of protected political speech.
The response to Catherine Deveny’s comments has been outrage, sometimes crossing over into serious expressions of hate. Her Wikipedia page was defaced with content that may be defamatory. Some of the comments expressed online by the public may themselves be unlawful. The administrators of the Facebook page “Keep ANZAC Day in its current form” have been run off their feet moderating comments and removing many that were entirely inappropriate.
The response of some members of the public to Deveny’s comments has at times not been in the spirit of the ANZACs. It is not in the spirit of the people of Australia and New Zealand. Catherine Deveny has missed the point about ANZAC Day which is not a celebration or glorification of war, but rather a day to remember all Australian and New Zealand armed forces personnel who served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. It is a day recall the “spirit of ANZAC” which is based in “courage, mateship, and sacrifice” and is a fundamental part of the national identity of Australia and New Zealand. See more at: http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/
Catherine Deveny is not the only one to use ANZAC Day to get attention. In the lead up to ANZAC Day OHPI also document a number of hate pages on Facebook attacking the ANZACs. These were created by one individual for no purpose other than getting attention and trying to get into the media limelight. Australians and New Zealanders have a right to express our disgust with people that would attack a day sacred to our nations purely for attention.
We call upon fair minded Australians and New Zealanders to sign this petition to show that they regard these attacks on ANZAC Day as a disgrace. By signing we also ask people to commit to rising above petty reprisals and the promotion of online hate. We call on the Ministers for Veterans Affairs, the Hon. Warren Snowdon (Australia) and the Hon. Michael Woodhouse (New Zealand), to note our utter disgust at the online attacks on ANZAC Day and our strong support for ANZAC Day and the place it holds in the heart and spirit of both Australia and New Zealand.
This petition is organised by the Online Hate Prevention Institute and the Administrators of the Facebook Page "Keep ANZAC Day in its Current Form". This petition will be open for one week only, until May 4th 2013. Please sign, then invite others to join you.
- The Ministers for Veterans Affairs, Australia and New Zealand
I regard the online attacks on ANZAC Day as a disgrace. I sign this petition and commit to rise above any petty reprisals and the promotion of online hate. Instead, I call on the Ministers for Veterans Affairs, the Hon. Warren Snowdon (Australia) and the Hon. Michael Woodhouse (New Zealand), to note my utter disgust at these online attacks on ANZAC Day and my strong support for ANZAC Day and the place it holds in the heart and spirit of both Australia and New Zealand.
Online Hate Prevention Institute started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,980 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.