- Gavin McInnes, the founder of the far-right “Proud Boys” group was reportedly denied entry to Australia after failing a character test.
- McInnes was seeking a visa as part of the “Deplorables Tour,” a speaking tour that prompted demands for Australian officials to ban the provocateur from promoting his extreme views.
- The character test has gotten several controversial figures banned from Australia in the past, including a prominent Holocaust denier, rapper Chris Brown, and Snoop Dogg.
Gavin McInnes, the founder of far-right group “Proud Boys” was denied entry to Australia after failing a character test,ABC News Australia reported.
McInnes was seeking a visa as part of the “Deplorables Tour,” a speaking tour that prompted widespread demands for Australian officials to ban the provocateur from promoting his extreme views. The report says Immigration Minister David Coleman banned McInnes out of concern the appearances would promote violence.
Federal officials reportedly notified McInnes of his character test failure a few weeks ago, and Friday marks the last day McInnes could have appealed the decision.
A petition against McInnes’s entry garnered 81,000 signatures. Lawyer Nyadol Nyuon, the petition’s founder, said allowing McInnes into the country would have been an approval of the self-acknowledged “sexist.”
“To have allowed him to come still I think would have made it seem as if the government had given tacit approval at the very least to these calls for violence against people you don’t agree with as a legitimate form of free speech,” Nyuon told ABC News Australia. “It’s not and it should never be.”
McInnes recently cut ties with the group that describes itself “a pro-Western fraternal organisation for men who refuse to apologise for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists,” after violence erupted at a Manhattan event where he was due to speak.
After founding the group, he repeatedly denied classification as a white nationalist or alt-right organisation, though the FBI has declared the group is an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.”
Australia’s character test has blocked entry for a number of misogynists, activists, conspiracy theorists, and other controversial figures to prevent their spreading of extreme views. Other Americans that have failed the character test include Snoop Dogg, who was initially banned for his criminal history, and Chris Brown and Floyd Mayweather, who were banned for their histories of domestic violence.
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