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Australia to Right-Wing Provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos: 'No Way, Mate!'

by Kilian Melloy
Wednesday Mar 6, 2019
Milo Yiannopolous
Milo Yiannopolous  (Source:Screen grab / Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Milo Yiannopoulos has reportedly been denied entry to Australia, his visa application rejected due to "character grounds," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The British Yiannopoulos worked for right-wing U.S. news outlet Breitbart until he was dismissed in 2017 following comments in which he suggested that boys as young as 13 might have "consensual" sexual relationships with older men. Australian news outlet news.com.au recalled that Yiannopoulos said that minors who had been subjected to inappropriate sexual encounters with older men were "whingeing selfish brats."

Following his dismissal from Breitbart, Yiannopoulos lost a book deal for his memoir "Dangerous," which was subsequently issued by a small press. Some reports described the memoir as having been "self-published." He was also disinvited from that year's C-PAC, an annual gathering of conservatives.

Last summer, Yiannopolous' account with PayPal was suspended in the wake of his having sent the sum of $14.88 to a Jewish journalist. The sum is significant among white supremacists and neo-Nazis. "14" is used as a reference for the sentence "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children," which contains 14 words, news.com.au noted, while white supremacists and neo-Nazis use the number "88" as a code for the salute "Heil Hitler" — the letter "H" coming eighth in the alphabet.

Also last summer, Yiannopoulos texted journalists with a message, "I can't wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight." With globally rising authoritarianism paralleling an increase in violence against journalists a global problem, some saw that sentiment as a threat.

But a right-wing Australian politician — Pauline Hanson, who heads a nationalist political party named after herself, "Pauline Hanson's One Nation" — took the Australian government to task for its reported plans to deny Yiannopoulos a visa, claiming that the government had become "an arm of Antifa," a term that's short for "anti-fascists."

Hanson declared that denying Yiannopoulos a visa made him a "victim" of a left-wing seeking to "silence" dissenting voices.

The official letter that Yiannopoulos had reportedly received from the Australian government cited riots that took place when he was in the country in 2017 and made note of the huge bill those disturbances caused — a bill that was sent to Yiannopoulos.

"The protest at the Melbourne event involved violence between those protesting and your supporters," the letter read. "You were issued with a bill of $50,000 by Victoria Police for the cost of policing your event."

Other right-wing and alt-right figures have also been barred from the country of late, including "Proud Boys" founder Gavin McInnes, whose followers have been known to engage in street violence; British conspiracy theorist David Icke, who purportedly believes that Jewish reptiles capable of changing their shape at will control the world; and far-right British provocateur Tommy Robinson (one of several pseudonyms used by Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon), the co-founder of the English Defence League, which targets and demonizes Muslims.

But Australia has also denied visas to figures on the left, such as Chelsea Manning. No defense of Ms. Manning by right-wing politicians was reported in the accounts covering the refusal of a visa for Yiannopoulos.

News.com.au reported that Yiannopoulos may appeal the Australian government's decision within one month.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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