Australian senator Fraser Anning was hit with an egg by a teen who was standing behind him during a news conference on Saturday in Melbourne, according to The Guardian. Anning is an independent but "has espoused far-right and anti-immigration views," according to Newsweek, and he recently came under fire for his comments about the shootings at two New Zealand mosques that left 49 people dead.
In a statement released after the shooting, Anning wrote, according to Newsweek:
I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman. However, whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence.
During a press conference Saturday, a young teen standing behind Anning raised his phone up and appeared to be recording the event, video shows. He then smashed an egg against Anning's head. Anning turned around and punched the teen, and when the teen moved toward him one of the senator's staffers separates the two of them, according to ABC News. Anning's supporters then tackle the teen and put him in a chokehold, according to USA Today. He was later led away by police, according to ABC. Bustle has reached out to the senator's office for comment.
Victoria Police told ABC News that they were investigating the event "in its entirety," and that the teen had been released pending the outcome of the investigation.
Anning's comments about the shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, didn't stop at his initial statement. He also said “the real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place,” which many believe blamed the attack on the mosques on Muslims, according to The Daily Telegraph. He then tweeted, "Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?"
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a strong rebuke of Anning's comments in a statement, according to Newsweek:
In his conflation of this horrendous terrorist attack with issues of immigration, in his attack on Islamic faith specifically — these comments are appalling and they're ugly and they have no place in Australia, in the Australian Parliament. He should be, frankly, ashamed of himself.
Morrison said on Saturday that Parliament's Coalition and Labor would pass a motion to censure Anning for his statements about the Christchurch shootings when they return next month, according to ABC News.
I would normally not want to give this any oxygen, but I want to absolutely and completely denounce the statements made by Senator Anning … on this horrendous terrorist attack, with issues of immigration, in his attack on Islamic faith specifically.
The egging incident has now gone viral on social media, with someone even starting a GoFundMe fundraising page titled "Money for EggBoi," which states that money raised will go toward the teen's potential legal fees and "more eggs." The hashtag #eggboy also went viral, with many praising the teen as a hero. As of 12 p.m. EST, the fundraiser had raised $6,275 dollars.