Mark Seymour condemns use of Holy Grail at Reclaim Australia anti-Muslim rallies

Article about Mark Seymour and other artists condemning the use of their songs at Reclaim Australia rallies.

Author:  Marissa Calligeros, The Age.

Date: 23 November 2015.

Original URL:–collectors-frontman-mark-seymour-condemns-use-of-holy-grail-at-reclaim-australia-antimuslim-rallies-20151122-gl5ad1.html


Article Text

Anti-Islam and anti-racism groups face off
Police are attempting to prevent protests between Reclaim Australia and rival groups in Melton from getting ugly.

Another Australian musician has strongly attacked anti-Islamist protesters using his song at anti-Muslim rallies around the country.

Hunters & Collectors frontman Mark Seymour is the fourth musician after John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes and John Schumann to condemn the use of his music by self-described patriot group Reclaim Australia.

Mark Seymour performing at the MCG. His song ‘Holy Grail’ is a regular part of the AFL Grand Final.

After a wave of rallies across the country at the weekend, Seymour took to Facebook to distance himself and his music from what he described as a racist movement.

He said he had been informed that the Hunters & Collectors 1992 classic Holy Grail was played by the Reclaim Australia group at the weekend’s rallies.

“Let me be clear. ‘Reclaim Australia’ is a racist organisation,” Seymour wrote.

“We stand together with refugees and asylum seekers the world over. We are opposed to bigotry, race hate and fascism.

“Reclaim Australia has no place in Australian Society.”

Earlier this year, John Farnham and his manager Glenn Wheatley strongly attacked Reclaim Australia, calling the use of Farnham’s iconic tune You’re The Voice “disgusting”.

Jimmy Barnes also distanced himself from Reclaim Australia, after the group commandeered Cold Chisel’s iconic anthem Khe Sanh.

Like Khe Sanh and You’re the Voice, Holy Grail has become something of an Australian anthem and is played religiously at the AFL grand final.

However, in the outer western Melbourne suburb of Melton, it was the anti-racism protesters who co-opted You’re the Voice, as a slap in the face to their opponents who had been asked not to use the song.

With the loudest sound system on High Street, where the two groups clashed on Sunday, the counter, anti-racism protesters belted out Farnham’s classic and chanted “f— off Nazi scum”.

At a simultaneous rally in Brisbane, the pro-immigration began playing You’re the Voice at full volume.

Their opponents could not commandeer a sound system, nor a microphone with which to retaliate.

Reclaim Australia reportedly played Khe Sanh, the song written about an Australian Vietnam veteran returning home and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, at a rally in Brisbane in July.

Barnes himself is an immigrant, having moved to Australia from Scotland in 1956.

“If you look at my family you can see we are a multicultural family.

“Australia needs to stand up for Love and Tolerance [sic] in these modern times,” he said at the time.

“None of these people represent me and I do not support them.”

Redgum songwriter John Schumann also said this year that he did not support his song I Was Only 19 being played by the anti-Muslim group.

“I am very, very disappointed to see my work co-opted by what I, at my most charitable, consider to be a very confused ‘patriotic’ movement,” Schumann said at the time.