Freedom of Speech was the essence of Australia’s ‘Bendigo Three’ case

by Dr. Jim Saleam

“I believe our member Chris Shortis has correctly articulated on ABC’s 7-30 report the issues raised by the decision of a Melbourne magistrate to convict the Bendigo Three of inciting severe contempt and hatred against Muslims.

The ABC 7.30 programme item (reproduced in transcript for the record, below) should be viewed by all concerned Australians (click link below).

It is noted by Australia First Party that the ABC also opted to suggest a connection between the Bendigo Three case and a matter in July 2015, when persons connected to a group ‘Squadron 88’ were joining a busload of supporters going to a United Patriots Front / Reclaim Australia rally – and later tipped off the bus part way between Sydney and Melbourne.

The ABC knows that there are dark questions hanging over the neo-nazi grouplet Squadron 88 and its connections to a Liberal Party dirty-tricks operator, other Liberals and the Ziopatriot Party For Freedom (whose representatives attended the Melbourne court hearing).

Any attempt by the media to try to muddy the patriotic and democratic stand of the Bendigo Three in general and Chris Shortis in particular, should be deprecated and denounced as fake news.

The cause of democratic liberty will receive a boost when this case is appealed.”

‘White nationalists found guilty of inciting serious contempt of Muslims’

September 5 2017 by Reporter Louise Milligan, 730 TV Programme, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC),


“A (famous) street theatre stunt pulled by white nationalists opposed to the building of a mosque in country Victoria finally reached court today. The three accused used the hearing to claim free speech was on trial. But the court rejected their argument, convicting all three.


CHRISTOPHER SHORTIS, FMR UPF MEMBER: Today a red line has been crossed. I want to make it very clear – if there was a Muslim that was actually offended and that he actually put in a complaint, the whole dynamics of the case would have been different.

CHRISTOPHER SHORTIS: We’re going to give you a bit of a taste of our own religious culture. Carry on, brother.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: This was the video at the centre of a two day hearing.  It was October 2015 and the men involved were members of the United Patriots Front.  The mock beheading was a rallying call against plans for a mosque in the regional city of Bendigo.

Members of the United Patriots Front and other far-right groups travelled from around the country to voice their objection to Muslims being allowed a place to worship in Bendigo.

PROTESTOR: Going to kick the Muslims out and the Jews and everyone who gets out in our way, we’re going to kick them out.

REPORTER: The Muslims and the Jews, you’re going to kick them out?

PROTESTER: And Asians, yeah. We’re going to take Australia back for the white man.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: The mock beheading resulted in police action.

CHRISTOPHER SHORTIS: Fellow Nationalists and genuine patriots out there, you’re already aware that I have been charged under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: Chris Shortis, Neil Erikson and Blair Cottrell were charged with defacing property, wilful damage and serious religious vilification.

CHRISTOPHER SHORTIS: And I call upon other patriot groups, if you will, to communicate with me, because this is bigger than myself and my two other fellow accused.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: The men argued that it was extraordinary that the state had charged them with an offence when no Muslim had complained, that effectively the state has taken offence on the Muslims behalf and they said that the video didn’t incite hatred or contempt against Muslims in general but terrorist members of Islamic State.

The broader argument for free speech has been defended by the Commonwealth Attorney-General.

GEORGE BRANDIS, ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, Mr President, people do have a right to be bigots, you know. In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.

CHRISTOPHER SHORTIS: The Muslim population is around 10 per cent in France and look at the havoc that is wreaking there.

I would not like to see that happen to Australia and the fact is, there is a correlation between the percentage of a Muslim population in a non-Muslim country and the increase in terror attacks.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: Chris Shortis explained his views to 7.30 after a court appearance in May.

REPORTER: Are you a white nationalist?


REPORTER: Are you a racist?


REPORTER: Are you a neo-Nazi?


REPORTER: Do you understand the concerns …

BYSTANDER: You’re a scumbag, you know that. You’re a (bleeped) scumbag, you know that. Get the (bleeped) out of here. You’re a (bleeped) scumbag.


LOUISE MILLIGAN: The case sparked public controversy every time it came to court.


It finally reached its conclusion today.


REPORTER: What do think of the conviction?

BLAIR COTTRELL: Excuse me. Actually, you’re the lady that just wrote that very informative article, aren’t you, from the Australian?

REPORTER: I saw your tweet, yeah.

BLAIR COTTRELL: Yeah, I’ll speak to you. What’s up?

REPORTER: What did you think of the Magistrate’s decision?

BLAIR COTTRELL: Who else is here?


BLAIR COTTRELL: Where are you from?



REPORTER: Australian Associated Press.

BLAIR COTTRELL: Who owns that? Fake news, is it?

REPORTER: They’re the wire service.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: Magistrate John Hardy found that through the video the men incited serious contempt or engendered severe ridicule of persons of the Islamic faith in an effort to induce as many people as possible to attend their rally opposing the Bendigo mosque.

He fined each man $2,000.

SAM NORTON, LIBERTY VICTORIA: There’s a real balance to be struck between freedom of speech and protecting people from racial hatred and it’s important to understand that that line or the balance is tipped if people are inciting violence or hatred towards a particular group.

That’s what needed to be guarded against. That then becomes an issue that goes beyond free speech. It’s an attack rather than anything else.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: None of this has changed the men’s strident views.

CHRISTOPHER SHORTIS: The court of law is not a place for hurt feelings. Where do we draw the line? The goal posts have shifted once again, and as a nationalist, as someone from the Australia First Party, right, this is the fruits of ending the White Australia policy because we didn’t need this crap before multiculturalism came along.

ADEL SALMAN, ISLAMIC COUNCIL OF VICTORIA: I would like to think that this would be a precedent. I would like to think that this would make people more aware of the issues that we face. I like to think that it would give Muslims and other minorities some piece of mind.

But I fear that it won’t because the broader picture is still pretty grim from the perspective of hatred and incitement against Muslims and other minorities.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: Christopher Shortis tells 7.30 he, Cottrell and Erikson plan to immediately appeal the Magistrate’s decision and are determined to take the case as far as they can.

CHRISTOPHER SHORTIS: What we done today together was effectively war of ideas. That’s what happened in the court. That’s the war that I fight.

ADEL SALMAN: It’s not a question of free speech, it’s the question of the right for people to express hatred and vilification and we believe that that’s not in keeping with the principles of free speech.’

Note the ABC falsely quotes Muslim Adel Salman, despite not being a party to the case. No Muslim was a party to the case, only the Labor Party in Bendigo (secretly). Typical of ABC Trough Woman’s biased fake news.

And since when did Islam recognise Free Speech?  The Lefties are dancing with the devil.

Bendigo does not want a Mosque and they told Bendigo councillors so.