Statement from ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

The ACTU condemns the rally of white supremacists and neo-nazis in Melbourne over the weekend.

Our movement’s history is one of working people of all racial backgrounds coming together to fight for a better life, a fairer country and a more just society.

The Australian union movement represents working people from all races. We acknowledge, respect and stand alongside First Nations people. Most people living in Australia today are the descendants of working immigrants who came to Australia seeking to build a better life. We are a movement that continues to welcome migrants, refugees and those seeking asylum.

People who spread hate, fear and intimidation based on race must be stood against and condemned.

We know that attempts to divide us along racial lines – whether they come from self-interested politicians or hate-fueled extremists – seek to undermine our solidarity and weaken our movement. These attempts will fail.

Australia union members fought against racism and fascism when we refused to load ships that would feed the fascist war machine in World War II. We fought racism when we instituted a boycott against apartheid South Africa and campaigned to free Nelson Mandela. We fought racism when we supported the Gurindgi people’s Wave Hill walk-off.

And we will stand up to anyone who tries to revive abhorrent racist ideals today.