Nazi propaganda was available for sale for a day at the Supanova festival in Sydney before the stall owner was booted.
According to an artist and Twitter user who wishes to be anonymous and has set their Twitter profile to private, a stall set up at booth 54 of the artist hall was spotted during set up on Friday evening with “rising sun flags and swastikas, fascist statements and shirts being proud of ‘Christian, heterosexual, pro-gun, conservative identity.’”
“Immediately people in the alley were upset and uncomfortable, and upon alerting staff [were] told that [they, the owner behind the stall] was apparently banned and have apparently applied under a new name,” they wrote in a thread about the stall at Sydney’s Supanova.
“We were then told they would be removed and the situation dealt with.
“The next day? Still there. Swastika gone, rising sun flag down but still visible. Alternate violent propaganda? Remaining and proudly displayed.”
In photos shared in the thread, the stall featured shirts with army imagery, a flag with the words, “Pink fascism out of oz” and a bloody middle finger, and a giant Eureka Flag. The Eureka Flag, in particular, is a common symbol for nationality and radicalism used by all sorts of political groups including communists and neo-Nazis alike.
While it has original grassroots in worker’s rights organisations, its sybolism has recently been co-opted by radical right-wing groups after parts of it were used in a banner in an anti-Chinese riot, which is where it became a radical and racist connotation in the public view, according to the NSW Migration Heritage website.
So, yeah, it’s extremely yikes energy for this to be seen at an anime and comics convention.
The person on Twitter also added that attendees have also been allegedly harassed by the stall owner after asking what the flags meant, and targeting attendees of colour.
“Well are you going to buy them,” he allegedly told them before refusing to explain.
“The next thing we find out is they’ve been harassing attendees. A friend with others were there, one asking out of curiosity what their flags meant and were told, ‘well are you going to buy them?’ [The] stall owner refused to tell them. Immediate alarm bells.
“They then targeted one in the group, asking their nationality and denying they’re Australian being they were dark-skinned. They proceeded to take photos of the attendees without permission and then lied about it.
“When notifying staff and security, we were told this isn’t the first complaint. This isn’t the first time it’s happened.
“…Artists in surrounding booths were extremely uncomfortable and likely lost business due to people not wanting to ever walk down there.”
In a Facebook comment screenshot in Miss Persephone’s video, Supanova Facebook moderators say they have been made aware of the booth and are “dealing with this directly as soon as possible.”
Then, on Sunday morning at 10am, organisers evicted the man and his stall from the venue. In photos seen below, you can see security wearing hi-res vests and escorting the man’s belongings via the emergency exit.
Supanova organisers have responded to the situation via Twitter.
“Hi everyone. We wanted to provide an update regarding a particular Exhibitor that was present yesterday,” they tweeted.
“We thoroughly investigated the matter with the assistance of the information provided by attendees overnight, and the exhibitor was subsequently removed from the event early this morning with security present.
“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, and we thank you for bringing it to our attention.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article falsely implied that a man pictured in photographs captured at Supanova was the owner of the stall in question. This is incorrect – he is a security guard working at the event with no connection to the stall. Likewise, a previous version of this article also gave a false description that the Eureka Flag is a fascist symbol when it was instead co-opted by right-wing groups. A previous version of this article also referenced a TikTok from someone who as the convention and related to the stall, however, we have removed the clip after the user requested we do for their privacy. We sincerely apologise for these errors.