Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's nephew Van Thanh Rudd donned white outfits signifying the notorious Ku Klux Klan to protest racism in the country.
Thanh Rudd and a friend of his demonstrated briefly on the Australia Day outside the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park. Thanh Rudd and his friend said they were protesting against attacks on Indian nationals in Australia and the Federal Government's support for "genocidal regimes".
AdvertisementThey accused the Federal Government of hypocrisy for rejecting refugees fleeing those regimes.
"The Australian Government is supporting governments like the Sri Lankan government, for example, in preventing Sri Lankan Tamils from escaping the Sri Lankan government," Rudd said.
"Australia funds the genocidal Sri Lankan regime and then rejects the refugees who flee. In this country you could not get away with doing that against whites. So they're the basic reasons we're having the protest today."
Van Thanh Rudd said he chose Melbourne Park as a place that would get significant attention on Australia Day.
"I'm pretty certain [the public] won't like it too much - the aim is to create a bit of a scene, not by creating any violence or anything of course, but just parade about a bit.
"And we did not ask for permission to do it, so I guess we fully knew that it may only last 10 minutes."
Van Thanh Rudd, the son of the Prime Minister's brother Malcolm and his wife Tuoi is an artist and is known for bold public statements in his artwork, including a painting which was banned by Melbourne City Council depicting Ronald McDonald running with the Olympic torch past a burning monk.
His works also include graffiti art and the $1.2 billion-priced 'Used Car from Afghanistan' - a piece containing a small piece of an Afghan civilian car, destroyed by an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) missile in southern Afghanistan.
The protest came as Kevin Rudd welcomed new Australians at an Australia Day ceremony in Canberra, telling them they were becoming citizens not of "the lucky country" but of "the country which we have built together."
Rudd and the other man removed, Sam King, are members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and another member who was at the protest said it was a peaceful demonstration against racism in Australia.
James Crafti told AAP they were demonstrating on the 222nd anniversary of "Invasion Day" when white people occupied Australia, taking it from the indigenous population.
"Australia is still an incredibly racist country and should not be celebrating but condemning racism," Mr Crafti said.
He said Rudd and King were put into the back of a police van and driven from Flinders Park to Flinders Street station and fined for inciting a riot.
He said the two men face fines of more than $200.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's office said: "It's a matter for the people involved."
Several weeks ago Victoria Police reacted angrily to a cartoon in an Indian newspaper depicting one of the state's officers as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
India's The Delhi Mail Today newspaper published the cartoon in response to the murder of Indian student Nitin Garg in Melbourne in early January.
The Indian media has suggested the attack may have been racially motivated, but Melbourne police say there is no evidence of that.
Today Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes said Australians are not racist people, but called for "pockets of racism" to be tackled "head on". Meantime five men have been charged over an attack on two Indian men in Melbourne last night, ABC News reported.
Some comments were made by a mob of ten or so and the 18-year-old was pushed to the ground and kicked. He suffered an ear wound.
The other man was punched to the ground and suffered some minor cuts.
After the attack the offenders, described as of Asian appearance, fled the scene.
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