White power activists arrive on Coast
April 17, 2010
ULTRA right-wing activists have arrived on the Gold Coast for a controversial white supremacist music festival which will be closely monitored by police today.
Last night a suburban steakhouse was the unlikely setting for a gathering of activists ahead of the Hammered festival.
At least 30 heavily tattooed, shaven-headed men, wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan ‘Blood and Honour’ dined in a secluded corner of the Ashmore Steak and Seafood restaurant.
A handful of women, clad in black dresses, joined the group, which ranged in age from teens to mid-40s.
The group has travelled from New Zealand, NSW and Victoria to attend today’s event, which is organised by the Southern Cross Hammer Skinheads.
While cagey about what they were doing on the weekend, several group members confirmed they were on the Coast for a ‘few days’.
One woman said they would check out Dreamworld on Monday.
Diners gawked as the group, marked out by their shaved heads, swastikas and tattoos, arrived at [the] restaurant in separate vehicles about 7.15pm.
“One had a shirt with a swastika on it,” said one restaurant patron. “They were tattooed — heavily tattooed. Most of them had shaved heads and some had tattoos on their heads.
“They were a mix of men and women.
“They certainly looked out of place in a suburban steakhouse.”
The maitre-d’ at the restaurant selectively seated patrons away from the group, who were well mannered and kept to themselves throughout the dinner.
Today’s controversial concert was supposed to be held at a secret location on the Gold Coast but senior police confirmed they knew the festival’s location and would conduct an operation to monitor proceedings.
Southern Cross Hammer Skinheads is the local arm of an international white pride network.
It is co-sponsored by race-hate group Blood and Honour, which was banned by German authorities in 2000 for spreading Nazi ideology.
The music festival — billed as a week of ‘sun, surf and radicalist music’ — is expected to attract activists from across Australia and overseas.
Both police and the Gold Coast council have said they are unable to stop the festival from going ahead on private property.
A counter rally has been organised for today.
Sand, Sea and Diversity Coalition said the ‘Gold Coast Say No! To Racism’ rally would take place at The Spit from 10am.
A rally spokeswoman said they wanted to show that Queenslanders valued cultural diversity.