- The Guardian
- Issue #2045
Late last year it was revealed that a Nazi white supremacist organisation known as the National Socialist Network had held a get-together at Legacy Boxing gym in Sunshine in Melbourne’s outer west. The network is headed by a white supremacist called Sewell, recently found guilty of the cowardly assault of a black security guard.
Often when a gym is found to be hosting neo-Nazis, the gym owner expels them. In this case, the owner of Legacy apparently doubled down, and welcomed the fascists to keep using the gym as a base.
A demonstration was called inviting all anti-fascists to attend and help build the movement against the far right and show solidarity with the many people of colour who live in Sunshine. Communists are definitely anti-fascist, so when CPA Melbourne branch members heard about it, they organised and attended.
Sunshine is on the outer fringes of Melbourne’s west and has a large population of migrants from Malta, Vietnam, Sudan, Afghanistan, and other countries.
After warm-up speeches at Sunshine station, members marched as a group to the council building, where a petition was circulated to ask the council to withdraw the gym’s licence to operate. The biggest applause was for a young asylum seeker who spoke about what his family was being put through under the temporary protection visa system. This brave speaker, addressing a crowd of about a thousand, was a reminder that racism has far-reaching effects.
Although Sewell is brave when it comes to sudden assaults on security guards, his fellow Nazis stayed well away and had a small demonstration of an estimated 30 people at the gym itself, holding Nazi flags and carrying home-made shields for some reason. They left a trail of stickers along the route of the demonstration, and we took down as many as we could on the way.
Update: Apparently the gym has since lost its licence to teach MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). It has also lost most of its clients and may have to close down.