Independent senator Lidia Thorpe says the Australian Federal Police (AFP) failed to protect her after she became the target of far-right racist abuse.
- Victorian senator Lidia Thorpe tagged in video of neo-Nazi burning Aboriginal flag while giving Nazi salute
- AFP says it is investigating the video and takes the protection of elected officials seriously
- Senator says police failed to protect her
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The Indigenous senator was tagged in a video this week showing a masked neo-Nazi burning an Indigenous flag while performing a Nazi salute.
In Melbourne on Thursday, she stood outside the Royal Exhibition Building and called the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum “an act of genocide against my people.”
Senator Thorpe claimed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the AFP were not doing enough to protect her from the far right.
“His violent forces that he sent to protect me cannot even protect me, refuse to protect the female ruler Blak because the police are part of the problem of this country,” she said.
“You want to portray me as an angry black woman, well you’re about to see an angry black woman.
“For four months, I wasn’t allowed to stay at home, because people wanted to kill me there.”
The AFP said it did not provide specific details on protection matters “involving senior Australian civil servants and parliamentarians”, but that it took their protection very seriously and was investing “in a manner significant” in their safety.
The AFP said it became aware of a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, referencing Senator Thorpe on October 3 and immediately contacted the social media platform to have the video removed.
The post has since been deleted and the account that posted it has been deactivated.
13YARN, a national crisis support line for First Nations people who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping, reported a 108% increase in callers reporting abuse, racism and trauma between March and June.
“Nazi baby men”: government
Asked about the video, the Prime Minister said people needed to be “respectful” during the Voice to Parliament referendum debate.
“I have seen the video referred to which is threatening to Senator Thorpe and the government, and the kind of Nazi rhetoric contained in that video has no place in the discourse of life Australian,” he said.
Mr Albanese refused to respond to Senator Thorpe’s praise because he had not yet seen it.
Labor MP Bill Shorten also condemned the video as “cowardly and courageless”.
“It’s cowardly and disgusting. I don’t know what it is about these Nazi man-babies who wear a hood so no one can see you. They think they’re so tough,” he said. told Channel 9.
“To send him out and try to pressure one of our senators and abuse him, I think it’s cowardly and courageous and I just wish this guy would take off his hood so people could see what he’s a real joker.”