The man behind an infamous Alice Springs vigilante group has hit international headlines, describing Aboriginal people as “stuck in the 1700s” and vowing to carry out “beatings and shootings” against people committing crimes in the Central Australian town.
Gary Hall first came to public prominence in April this year after he emerged as the public face of the Alice Springs Volunteer Force, a small paramilitary group asking for NT residents with firearm experience to start patrolling the streets of Alice.
In a new interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Hall denied being a racist but went on to accuse Aboriginal people in Alice of committing assaults, burglaries, and rapes.
“There are basically two communities where I live — the whites and the Aborigines who are stuck in the 1700s,” he told the paper.
“It is true that the media over here (in Australia) have tried to portray the AVF and myself as racist. But the fact is that race plays no part in who the organisation targets.
“The Aborigines carry out their own form of punishment beatings by spearing the kneecap of someone who has wronged them. I don’t see what the big fuss is about the AVF doing similar.”
Hall originates from Ireland, and has claimed partial involvement in the Ulster Volunteer Force, a paramilitary group responsible for hundreds of deaths during the Irish troubles.
The emergence the Alice Springs Volunteer Force coincided with an upsurge in reported incidents of youth vandalism and rock throwing, and a corresponding upsurge in racist rhetoric in Alice, with white residents taking to social media to express their anger.
Alice Springs’ only Aboriginal councillor has linked the acts of youth anti-social behaviour to cuts to community services in the NT.
Police have monitored the activities of the AVF, while NT Chief Minister Adam Giles said the group’s activities were “not welcome in the Northern Territory”.
Despite accusing Aboriginal people of committing sex crimes, Hall has his own history of trouble with the law, with a former partner seeking to extend an existing domestic violence order against him in May.
NT Police have been contacted for comment.
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