During the early 1970s there were a number of confrontations between the National Socialists (Nazis) and the left in Melbourne. From incidents at speakers corner on the Yarra bank to Nazi HQ being trashed it was made very clear that there was no place for Nazis in Melbourne. At the forefront of these actions were the Maoists of the Worker Student Alliance and the Communist Party Marxist Leninist (CPML). The new generation of young radicals who controlled these organisations believed in direct action.
This surveillance film is of a demonstration which took place on 26 of February 1973 at the offices of the National Socialists in Melbourne. The extraordinary thing about this film is that ASIO and their Special branch colleagues seem more interested in surveillance on the left than on the Nazis. It's possible that the camera was inside the Nazi HQ. It's an interesting insight into how things had become inverted for ASIO. Mission creep had lead them to keep tabs more on university students than those who supported Hitler and his policies!
This film reveals an interesting cross section of Melbourne dissent. At 2'11" & 3'34" Barry York, student leader and radical from Latrobe University is seen, at 4'39" Jean McClean from Save Our Sons, holding a puppy for reasons best known to herself appears, at 5'07" blokes who I think we've seen in other surveillance films and are probably Victorian Special Branch Police fail to fit in with the dress code of the crowd around them. Jim Bacon from the Monash Labour Club and future Premier of Tasmania can be seen at 7'55" and in an interesting quirk and one which ASIO I'm sure, would not have picked up, Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies grandson also Robert menzies, the actor, appears at 8.05.