Voice referendum: Wild scenes as ‘No’ vote campaigners rally across nation

There have been wild scenes in Melbourne as thousands turned out across the country, including known neo-Nazi groups, in support of the No campaign ahead of the Voice referendum.

In Melbourne, one group of protesters with the National Socialist Network attempted to join the main rally, brandishing a banner reading “Voice = Anti-White”.

They were ejected from the steps of Parliament House by police, with one member of the group pepper-sprayed.

At least 10,000 were predicted by organisers to join the rally’s main location at Hyde Park in Sydney.

However, the crowd in Sydney appeared to be much smaller.

There were thousands who tuned into the livestream.

Rallies were also held across the major metropolitan areas of Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, as well as regional locations including Casino and Yeppoon.

Former United Australian Party member Craig Kelly was the headline speaker at the Sydney rally, and used his platform to draw attention to the “small group of dedicated, patriotic” people behind the No campaign.

“Just look at the forces that we have against us and we’ve been up against,” he said.

“We’ve got the political parties here in NSW, the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the Greens and the TEALS all on the YES side.”

“We’ve got the big banks all on the YES side, we’ve got Coles, Woolworths, BHP and Qantas all on the YES side.

“And we’ve even got the big pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer voting for YES.”

“But lined up against that, we’ve got a small group of dedicated, patriotic Australians that are proud enough to stand up and to say no.”

The Federal Court on Wednesday dismissed a legal challenge from the UAP, which aimed to see crosses counted as a No vote on the referendum ballot.

Mr Kelly told the crowd that the UAP will be appealing this decision in the next 48 hours.

Some of the key speakers included a host of conservative politicians like current UAP senator Ralph Babet and NSW Liberal Democrat John Ruddick.

A smoking ceremony was followed by a traditional dance ceremony to start the two-hour long ceremony in Sydney.

Indigenous figures Budjiti elder Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth Senior and Ngunnawal elder Aunty Glenda Merritt also spoke at the event.

The rally was one of the last major pushes for the No campaign, as Australia is less than a month out from the historic referendum which will determine whether an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament should be established.

The rally was called the “World Wide Rally For Freedom In Support Of No To the Voice,” and was being described by organisers as a “wake-up call” to the nation ahead of the Voice referendum.

Pro-Putin commentator Simeon Boikov is understood to have organised the rally.

The official ‘No’ campaign has distanced itself from the commentator, with opposition leader Peter Dutton condemning the rallies and warning people not to get them confused with the official event.

A small contingent turned out in Melbourne to support the No vote, carrying posters and a variety of flags.

YES23 support strong at Brisbane Pride

In northern Sydney, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took a walk through the shops at West Ryde to promote the Yes campaign.

Meanwhile in Brisbane, thousands turned out for Brisbane Pride with many wearing Yes23 merchandise in support of the campaign.

Brisbane Pride announced in a statement that they are a supporter of the Yes campaign, saying they “stand alongside our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends, family and community”.

“We understand the struggles of being a voiceless minority, where decisions are made for you and without you,” the statement said.

It will be six years this December since the last referendum in Australia achieved a majority ‘yes’ vote in support of marriage equality for LGBTQIA+ people.

“So, as we celebrate Pride, let us also rally and call to action to vote YES in October,” the statement read.

Yes23 Campaign Campaign Director Dean Parkin addressed a crowd at the Pride Rally alongside Queensland MPs Leeanne Enoch and Grace Grace.

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