Voice referendum has triggered widespread racism, Senator Lidia Thorpe claims

Lidia Thorpe has accused the Prime Minister of not supporting her after a video produced by Neo-Nazis aired disturbing threats against the Senator.

In a fiery interview on The Project on Thursday night, Senator Thorpe responded to the distressing threats made against her by far-right extremists and flagged a spike in racism ahead of October 14.

She claimed the prime minister did not support her speaking out and that she had warned him that a campaign for an Indigenous advisory body would have led to increased racism.

“As far as I‘m concerned, the Prime Minister is disingenuous with his gesture of this so-called Voice and referendum bringing us together,” Senator Thorpe said.

“We told the Prime Minister that this would divide this country and we told the Prime Minister that this would embolden the racists, but he went ahead anyway.

“So, it is on his head and he should have cancelled the referendum when he was told.”

After facing racist threats less than ten days before the Voice referendum, Thorpe accused Mr Albanese of ignoring her safety concerns, while declaring herself a “threat” to the Yes campaign.

“There has not been a treaty. There is no truth telling. That’s why you have a bunch of racists running around thinking they’re from this land,” she said.

“I don’t believe that the Prime Minister has my safety in his best interests in the middle of a referendum that he’s trying to win.

“I’m a threat to him and to the Yes campaign. The only way to silence me is to do what they’ve done.”

Senator Thorpe’s comments come after she was tagged in an extremely offensive video posted on social media, which depicted a masked individual burning an Aboriginal flag and performing a Nazi salute.

The clip, which has now been taken down by federal authorities, was met with widespread condemnation including from the Prime Minister who urged for a “respectful” debate ahead of next week’s referendum.

“I have unfortunately seen that video and once you see it, you can’t unsee it. It is quite horrific, that someone who is self-declared by his actions and his words a neo-Nazi is out there, showing such disrespect,” Mr Albanese said.

“Senator Thorpe contacted me directly. I responded to her at the first opportunity. On the same day, spoke to the AFP.

“I don’t talk about what AFP support is being given, for obvious reasons. That would be quite counter-productive. But Senator Thorpe certainly responded to me that same day by thanking me for responding to her.”

This week marks the second time the independent Senator has been threatened online, with a 30-year-old Melbourne man charged by federal police in August for posting a similarly disturbing video making racist remarks.

Among the range of leaders condemning the recent video on Friday, deputy opposition leader Sussan Ley said such threats had “no place” in Australia.

“I do hope that the AFP and ASIO track down this grub and lock him up. Because while I don’t agree with everything Lidia says she is, as well as being an activist, a person, she’s an Australian,” Ms Ley said.

“She does express her opinion sometimes to provoke her response. But this sort of behaviour is not on, it’s not on at all.”

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