Last week, Muslims in Melbourne called for a Sunday protest against the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims. Not to be outdone, a group of angry bogans circulated a spicy text message calling for Australians to “come ready for battle.” It had all the makings of a second Cronulla... until the Muslims cancelled.
Wary of courting more public scrutiny/violent backlash, they decided to forgo the riot police, capsicum spray, hospitalizations and arrests experienced in Sydney last weekend.
The others, however, remained keen as mustard. Which is cute. Sadly it takes two to tango, and when an army of crackpots finally descended on the State Library to whinge about shit, it was a bit of a fizzer. Here’s what went down.
Plaid shirts were out in force, outnumbering police uniforms.
Atheists tried the ‘little kid with placard’ technique to limited effect. Maybe they should have gone with ‘Behead All Those Who Insult Richard Dawkins.'
Nationalists smoked cigarettes and did their best to look menacing.
Virgins protested their virginity through song.
This chap went to great lengths to explain that he had left a “hot missus” at home so he could come and rally against the Muslims who are “carrying on” and “fucking up our way of life."
In all, if you subtract the press, you’re looking at a crowd only slightly larger than the Gangnam Style flash mob held at the State Library the day before.
Translation: "Fuck off back to your own country."
The lack of action may have been due to this exhibition about food. Melburnians can’t protest properly when they’re packing gastro-cultural boners.
Still, some scintillating soundbites were gotten from these guys.
And the nationalists got to chant ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi!’ (Non-Australians: we use this to both barrack for our sports teams and convey virulent racism.)
White male eating sushi was nonplussed.
The day climaxed when a socialist and a nationalist butted heads in a polite and respectful exchange of words. It was horrifying.
“Where are ya?…Yeah, I’m at the riot.”