Legal warnings have been sent to a Reclaim Australia offshoot after the group shared an image owned by Australian Geographic, provoking a public rebuke from the magazine and mockery from other onlookers.
The United Patriots Front recently split from anti-Islam movement Reclaim Australia after a leadership fallout, and is now trying to build support for its own rally, billed to take place on the same day as a pre-organised Reclaim event.
The splinter group is being spearheaded by Shermon Burgess, who was busted shortly before the original rally in a vicious rant against Aboriginal people.
Clearly not content with being roundly derided by most of the mainstream press, Burgess and co have now put nature, culture, and wildlife magazine Australian Geographic offside by sharing an image owned by the outlet to promote their new social media page.
But Australian Geographic were having none of it.
The magazine is attempting to contact Burgess with a formal legal complaint.
Others who saw the post noted a slight irony. The image was part of Australian Geographic’s ‘100 Aussie icons’ series and includes a prominent depiction of ‘The Ghan’, the Darwin-Adelaide train named after Afghani Muslim cameleers.
Worse perhaps, the mural also includes a jar of vegemite, a product which has politely rebuffed anti-Muslim groups obsessed with the fact it is halal certified.
Despite the legal warnings and the apparently multicultural imagery, the post had not been taken down by the United Patriots Front page at the time of publication.
Since holding rallies around the country in early April, the Reclaim Australia group has been divided, with Burgess and some other prominent backers defecting.
“I got sick of all the behind the scenes infighting, page hijacking, bickering, going around backstabbing, doing things behind peoples’ backs,” Burgess said in a video on the new Facebook page.
While the various anti-Muslim groups and networks coalescing around the Reclaim Australia movement have been able to leverage social media to get their message out and promote their activities, they’ve also faced blowback.
Labor MP Tim Watts couldn’t help himself when angry reclaimers started lashing out on his Facebook page.
Meanwhile, and much to the joy of Burgess and co, Senator Cory Bernardi is forging ahead with his inquiry into food certification, including halal.
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