POLITICS

Plenty Of Greens Candidates Are Being Targeted By Grubby Vandals

Homophobic and sexist graffiti mars campaign.

20/06/2016 11:27 AM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:54
Jason Ball
The graffiti targeting Jason Ball's posters

The Greens are establishing themselves as a third force in Australian politics, behind the long-standing Labor and Liberal parties, and it seems some people aren't happy about it.

Numerous Greens candidates have had their campaigns targeted by vandalism and graffiti, ranging from the trivial and juvenile to totally unacceptable sexist and homophobic, and attacks are now even reaching volunteers.

As we reported on Wednesday, Greens candidate for Higgins, Jason Ball, was targeted by a homophobic slur. A gay man and Aussie Rules footballer, Ball has been widely celebrated for bringing attention to LGBTI issues and homophobia in the sport and for helping bring about the AFL's first 'Pride Game'.

That didn't stop someone scrawling the word 'fag' in black paint over some of his election posters. Ball gave a powerful response to the attack, saying he "won't be passive or silent in the face of bigotry".

But Ball is not the only Green to be targeted during this election campaign. Alex Bhathal, the candidate for Batman, was initially hit by some silly graffiti joking about the superhero-themed name of her electorate:

But, as Buzzfeed reported, her office was later targeted with far more vicious graffiti. Bhathal had the glass front of the building tagged with texta, calling her a "sell out liar" and a "Liberal bitch".

In recent days, the incidents targeting Greens have escalated further, into terrifying episodes. As Fairfax Media reported, police were called to the home of candidate for Braddon, Scott Jordan, on Saturday night after reports that six drunk men were yelling and damaging his campaign materials. Jordan claimed the men had come to his house, and after being told by his daughter that he was not home, proceeded to carry on in a threatening way.

The latest incident, reported by the Eastern Riverina Chronicle, targeted the Greens candidate for Farrer, Amanda Cohn. A car belonging to a Greens volunteer was allegedly broken into on Sunday night or Monday morning, with campaign material removed from the vehicle and found "torn up and strewn across the street."

In a statement on Facebook, Cohn said the lost or damaged papers were "the majority of our campaign materials".

We'll leave the last word on this to Scott Jordan:

I urge you, do not tolerate this kind of behaviour. Call it out. But most importantly do not give in to intimidation. I have re-erected the sign. it says "Standing up for what matters". I'll keep doing that.
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