Politicians, public swiftly condemn Aussie senator Fraser Anning who punched 'egg boy' in the face

Queensland senator Fraser Anning getting egged while speaking to the media at a political meeting in Melbourne's south-east.
Queensland senator Fraser Anning getting egged while speaking to the media at a political meeting in Melbourne's south-east.PHOTO: TWITTER/ABCNEWS

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - It's a scene fit for 2019.

A swoopy-haired teen, dressed in a T-shirt, positions himself behind Australian Senator Fraser Anning during a news conference in Melbourne and raises his phone with his left hand. Then, he lifts his right hand and cracks a raw egg on the back of Mr Anning's head.

The far-right lawmaker had sparked outrage last Friday (March 15) when - after a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, claimed at least 50 lives - he said Muslims "may have been the victims today; usually they are the perpetrators".

"The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today," Mr Anning wrote in a statement, "is the immigration programme which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place."

A day later, as he stood before a group of reporters, the teen smashed the egg, and Mr Anning, with yolk dripping down the back of his neck, swiftly punched the young man in the face. He then lunged for him again, throwing another punch before the two were separated. A group of men tackled the 17-year-old to the floor and placed him in a chokehold.

Footage of the encounter immediately went viral; a seven-second video had more than two million views just hours after it was posted.

Now, nearly 1.5 million people have signed a petition to have the senator removed from Parliament. His colleagues are planning to formally censure him. And the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand have condemned Mr Anning for what he said about Muslims and what he did to the teen now known as "egg boy".

"They were a disgrace," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said of Mr Anning's comments.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called his words "appalling" and "ugly" and said they "have no place in Australia".

"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," Mr Morrison said.


Police said they were investigating the incident. Australian news outlet 7 News Sydney that reported the teenager, later identified by the media as William Connolly, was briefly arrested but later released without charge. Mr Morrison called for Mr Anning to face the "full force of the law".

Though the blowback has been swift and mounting, Mr Anning reportedly doubled down on his statement last Saturday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the senator mentioned in the news conference that many of his supporters in his home state of Queensland are under the age of 35.

Noting that the primary suspect in Christchurch is 28, one Anning supporter said, "It's the younger generation taking up the fight." Mr Anning replied by saying, "Well, he's obviously a little on the crazy side, but yeah."

A Sydney doctor Kate Ahmad and a Melbourne author Harris Sultan created separate petitions calling for Mr Anning's removal and have now merged them, creating the largest online petition in Australian history, reported The Age.

The petition reads: "We call on the Australian government to assist in demanding a resignation from this man who blames victims for their own violent deaths, and uses references to genocide to further his hateful agenda. There is no place in Australian government for neo-Nazis. There is no place for bigotry. There is no place for hate speech."

William later recorded a video of himself addressing the incident.

"Don't egg politicians. You get tackled by 30 brogans at the same time," he said. "I learnt the hard way." He punctuated his advice with an expletive.

A GoFundMe campaign has dubbed the teen "hero EggBoi" and is raising money for his "legal fees". And "more eggs".