Reclaim Australia

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Reclaim Australia
Reclaim Australia rally Sydney April 2015.jpg
Reclaim Australia rally in Martin Place, Sydney, April 2015
Australian nationalism
Far-right politics
New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory

Reclaim Australia is a far-right Australian nationalist protest group which is associated with nationalist and neo-Nazi hate groups.[1][2] The group was formed in 2015, holding street rallies in cities across Australia to protest against Islam. It has protested in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Canberra. Reclaim Australia has also been described as a loose collective of groups.


Reclaim Australia primarily opposes the practice of Islam in Australia and is considered Islamophobic.[3][4][5][6] The group has attracted the involvement of neo-Nazis in promoting and attending Reclaim Australia rallies.[3][6] Speakers at Reclaim Australia rallies have been known to express extremist views, with one speaker in South Australia warning of the risks of "Islamic barbarity" and encouraging those in attendance to "insult and vilify Islam five times a day if you want to".[5]


In April and July 2015 Reclaim Australia organised rallies in several Australian cities.[7][8][9] Speakers at these rallies included Danny Nalliah, Pauline Hanson, and George Christensen.[7][8][10] Reclaim Australia has said that the rallies are a "public response to Islamic extremism and a protest against minority groups who want to change the Australian cultural identity."[7] A number of protesters from both sides of the rally were arrested for violent behaviour.[11]

In February 2016, Reclaim Australia held nationwide rallies that overwhelmed counter protestors.[12]

In January 2017, a rally in Sydney was attended by only dozens of the approximately 400 people who had registered to attend.[13]

Reclaim Australia has played a number of popular Australian songs at its rallies. Some songwriters have requested that their songs not be played at these rallies, including: Jimmy Barnes (Khe Sanh), John Farnham (You're the Voice), John Schumann (I Was Only 19), John Williamson (True Blue), Shane Howard (Solid Rock), and Midnight Oil (Short Memory).[14][15][16][17] Lee Kernaghan said his song "Spirit of the Anzacs" should be played at public events only if these were respectful to the memory of fallen servicemen and women.[17]

Street rallies held by Reclaim Australia have faced counter-protests from human rights and anti-racism activists, anarchists, trade unionists,[18] and members of the Socialist Alliance.[19]

The Australian domestic security agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, says the group is of interest and staff have been assigned to monitor it because of the potential for further violence.[20]

Structure and leadership[edit]

According to political history lecturer Troy Whitford, Reclaim Australia is unlike previous short-lived radical nationalist groups. The movement has avoided becoming a structured organisation, draws a broader support base, and lacks high-profile leaders who become a focus for opponents.[21]

The founders of the group are Wanda Marsh, John Oliver and Liz Shepherd. Shepherd has said that she had never been politically active, but the 2014 siege at the Lindt Café was a turning point for her.[22]

After observing many Reclaim Australia rallies and interviewing participants, author John Safran described it as a loose collective of different groups such as the United Patriots Front and Danny Nalliah's Catch the Fire Ministries.[23] The UPF has also been described as a splinter group from Reclaim Australia.[24][19][25][26][27] Its members have taken part in Reclaim Australia rallies,[28] and in July 2015 police confiscated a registered firearm from a licensed gun-owner before he travelled on a bus with UPF members to a rally in Melbourne.[29] The same month, organisers of a Brisbane rally told the crowd that they had split from Reclaim Australia in order to join a group that was more explicitly anti-Islamic.[30]

In the Australian Capital Territory general election of 2016, a Canberra organiser with Reclaim Australia, Daniel Evans, ran as an independent candidate in the electorate of Yerrabi.[31] He won 0.5 per cent of the vote.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Judith Bessant; Rys Farthing; Rob Watts (2017). The Precarious Generation: A Political Economy of Young People. Taylor & Francis. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-317-28917-3.
  2. ^ Salim Farrar; Ghena Krayem (2016). Accommodating Muslims Under Common Law: A Comparative Analysis. Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-317-96422-3.
  3. ^ a b "ASIO monitoring of right-wing extremists uncovered alleged plan to attack radical left". the Age. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Reclaiming Australia: Liberalism's Role in Islamophobia". ABC News. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Reclaim Australia Rally drowns out Counter Protesters". The Canberra Times. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Truck driver who abused cyclist identified as neo-Nazi connected to United Patriots Front". The Age. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Reclaim Australia clashes with opposing groups at rallies around the country over extremism and tolerance". ABC News. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b Vedelago, Chris; Gough, Deborah (18 July 2015). "Reclaim Australia, No Room for Racism rally in Melbourne". The Age. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Five arrested as Reclaim Australia and anti-racism protesters face off in Sydney". The Guardian. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  10. ^ Christensen, George (17 July 2015). "Hell will freeze over before I pull out of Reclaim Australia rally". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  11. ^ "'Ugly scenes' as anti-racism protesters clash with rivals". 18 July 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  12. ^ Connery, Georgina (6 February 2016). "Reclaim Australia Rally drowns out counter protesters". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  13. ^ Sutton, Candace (29 January 2017). "The anti-Muslim rally by far-right group Reclaim Australia was a fizzer, with more police and media turning up than protesters". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  14. ^ Hatch, Patrick (22 July 2015). "Anti-Islam group agrees to stop playing Jimmy Barnes songs at Reclaim rallies". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  15. ^ Galvin, Nick (27 July 2015). "John Williamson on Reclaim Australia's use of True Blue: 'How about a rally for love'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  16. ^ Zuel, Bernard (22 July 2015). "John Farnham 'disgusted' by Reclaim Australia's use of You're The Voice". The Age. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  17. ^ a b Adams, Cameron (24 July 2015). "Midnight Oil and Goanna blast Reclaim Australia, telling them to stop playing their songs". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  18. ^ Oldham, Sam (24 November 2015). "Reclaim Australia Pins Working Class People Against Each Other. The Only Winners Are Conservative Elites" (Daily). New Matilda. Online. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  19. ^ a b McKenzie-Murray, Martin (25 July 2015). "Inside the strange dynamic of Reclaim Australia's rallies". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  20. ^ Lewis, Duncan (19 October 2016). "Reclaim Australia in Asio's sights, intelligence chief tells senators". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  21. ^ Whitford, Troy (24 July 2015). "Reclaim Australia re-energises radical nationalism". The Conversation. Melbourne. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  22. ^ Dye, Josh (19 October 2015). "Founders of 'anti-Islamic' group Reclaim Australia make first television appearance on Channel Seven's Sunday Night". The Age. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  23. ^ Safran, John (2017). Depends What You Mean By Extremist: Going Rogue with Australian Deplorables. Penguin Random House Australia. pp. 2–4. ISBN 9781926428772.
  24. ^ McPherson, Tahlia (20 September 2015). "Hostility to hit Albury".
  25. ^ "Violent clashes between United Patriots Front and anti-racism protesters at Richmond Town Hall". ABC News. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  26. ^ "Reclaim Australia: 'concerned mums and dads' or a Trojan horse for extremists?". The Guardian. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  27. ^ Hall, Bianca (17 October 2015). "Street fights and 'internet vigilantes': Inside Australia's anti-Islam movement". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  28. ^ Safran, John (22 July 2015). "John Safran reports from the Reclaim Australia rally, where things were even scarier than he expected". Melbourne: Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  29. ^ Lavoipierre, Angela (24 July 2015). "Gun seized from Reclaim Australia-bound protester prompts safety concerns amongst police". ABC News. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  30. ^ Robertson, Joshua; Hurst, Daniel (19 July 2015). "George Christensen welcomes Reclaim Australia split, rejecting 'anti-Muslim' element". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  31. ^ Knaus, Christopher (13 October 2016). "Anti-Islamic group Reclaim Australia linked to two candidates". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  32. ^ "2016 Results for Electorate, First Preferences Counted as at 2:04 pm 1/12/2016: Yerrabi". Elections ACT. Australian Capital Territory Electoral Commission. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  33. ^ "Romper Stomper reboot is a compelling investigation into Australia's extremist politics". ABC News. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.

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