Over $47,000 raised for teenager who egged Australian politician
On Friday, a lone gunman opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. A 28-year-old Australian national was arrested for the attack, which took the lives of at least 50 people and left 50 others seriously injured.
Following these shocking events, Fraser Anning, senator for Queensland in Australia, tweeted about a supposed link between extremist violence and Muslim immigrants, despite the fact that Muslims were the target of this attack.
After this controversial message, he doubled down on the sentiment in a statement which seemed to blame immigrants for the attacks, saying:
"As always, leftwing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views, but this is all cliched nonsense. The real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration programme which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place."
His comments didn't go down well with many from Australia or New Zealand, with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and others rejecting his comments.
"I want to absolutely and completely denounce the statements made from Senator Anning in all of the comments that he has made in his conflation of this horrendous terror attack with issues on immigration and Islamic faith," Morrison said.
One younger critic of Anning went viral for his action against Anning, after he threw an egg at him during a televised interview. Immediately after, Anning turned to face the teen and paused, before striking him twice.
Later, comments from the boy, now identified as Will Connolly but known to the internet as 'Egg Boy', were revealed, as a video he shared to social media was shared online.
"Don't egg politicians," Egg Boy can be heard saying. "You get tackled by 30 bogans at the same time, I learnt the hard way. F**k."
Some thought that the Egg Boy's actions were wrong, such as Australian Labour Party Leader Bill Shorten. "You don’t want to give this foolish politician, this hurtful politician any sense of the moral high ground because he has none," Shorten said following the incident, but many others took the teen's side.
In the days since the event, several GoFundMe pages have sprung up to raise money for Connolly. The largest of which now has over $47,000 in donations - quickly approaching its $50,000 goal.
Will has suggested that any money raised should not go to him, but to the families of the victims of the attack in Christchurch.
While there have been plenty of messages of support, Anning hasn't backed down on his views and has defended himself for punching the 17-year-old. "He got a slap across the face, which is what his mother should have given him long ago, because he's been misbehaving badly," he said.
Anning then went on to claim that he was defending himself, and compared his actions to those who fought in World War II.
"When somebody cracks you in the back of your head, you react and defend yourself. That for years is what Australians have been doing, luckily they did that in the trenches otherwise we'd be all speaking German now."
In response to Anning's comments, over 1.2 million people have signed a change.org petition to have him removed from government.