Pro-China ‘Fascists’ Attack Australian Candidate Holding ‘F**k Xi Jinping’ Sign

Drew Pavlou, a 20-year-old Greek-Australian running for the Australian Senate seat from Queensland, said he was verbally and physically assaulted by Chinese “ultranationalists” on Saturday while demonstrating against the Chinese communist regime in Sydney with a sign that said “F**k Xi Jinping”.

Pavlou was an outspoken human rights activist – and energetic critic of the Chinese Communist Party – during his tenure as a student at the University of Queensland (UQ). He claimed he was suspended from UQ for criticizing his ties to Beijing. The university said he was suspended for violating its code of conduct.

In December, he announced the formation of a new party, the Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance (DPDA), and pledged to recruit candidates of Uighur, Tibetan and Hong Kong origins to run with him. Pavlou said he wanted his party to present candidates who had direct experience of Chinese oppression.

Pavlou was marching in Sydney alongside DPDA candidate Kyinzom Dhongdue, a Tibetan-Australian, and some pro-democracy Chinese students when a group of Chinese nationalists gathered to harass them:

Pavlou said the short video clip he posted on Twitter didn’t show the worst of the abuse, in part because the “protest journalist” covering his rally was attacked by Chinese nationalists:

In an interview on Monday, Pavlou described its assailants as “fascists” and notable left-wing Australian protesters routinely feature signs with messages like “F**k Sco Mo”, a reference to current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“No one is attacked when they put up a sign like that, no one is accused by the police,” he complained.

Pavlou said on Monday that New South Wales Police are investigating he for provoking the robbery, rather than the people who attacked him:

Pavlou was even angrier that Australia’s Election Commission appears to be encouraging “pro-CCP fascist supporters” who applauded the attack and vowed to organize more violence against it:

“My point is simple – I should be able to insult a dictator like Xi Jinping in my own country without being physically assaulted and attacked,” Pavlou wrote in Facebook.

“Australia is a democracy and we should be free to insult any leader, no matter how grossly – this is a simple principle of free speech,” he said.

“There’s no way I would have been surrounded by 50 people and physically assaulted if I held up a sign saying ‘F**k Scott Morrison’ in Sydney. Why should Chinese ultranationalists get a free pass to assault people in Australia if someone insults Xi Jinping?” he asked.

Ultranationalist Chinese students in Australia have a history of using violence to quell criticism of the Chinese Communist Party, including some incidents at the height of the Hong Kong democracy movement that Pavlou was involved in as a student.

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