Inner West Council condemns campaign of intimidation and harassment
Media release – Mayor Darcy Byrne
15 December 2022
Inner West Council condemns the ongoing campaign of intimidation and harassment that Council staff, elected representatives and the Inner West community has been subjected to by advocates of flying the Russian Flag.
Earlier this year the Russian Flag was removed from Jegorow Reserve in Haberfield due to its poor condition. Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, concerns had been expressed by our local community that the Flag should not be flying.
The Flag had been flown previously in honour of Bill Jegorow, a former Ashfield Councillor with a distinguished record of public service.
Last month an individual began demanding that the Council reinstate the Russian Flag and that it be permanently flown.
These demands, made through social media channels and in person at Council premises, have included continuous denigration, belittlement, and abuse of Council staff.
Subsequently there have also been ongoing anonymous threats made against the physical safety of elected representatives, staff and community members by people identifying themselves as supporters of the individual.
This has included attempts to prevent the Council from holding meetings of elected representatives, damage to public property and serious threats of physical violence.
Police and other authorities are aware of the ongoing threats, harassment and intimidation and have been taking appropriate action.
Inner West Council will not be flying the Russian Flag while the illegal occupation of Ukraine continues.
We are exploring other avenues for commemorating Bill Jegorow, who was a steadfast advocate of multiculturalism, not hyper-nationalism.
These threats against democratically elected representatives and public servants are an attack on our democratic system.
We condemn these extreme, anti-democratic actions in the strongest terms.
For media enquiries please contact Jonny Browne at Jonny.Browne@innerwest.nsw.gov.au