Three Australian men wanted to show the Australian Parliament their displeasure with its removal of a ban on facial coverings, including burqas and niqabs. To get their point across, they wore a biker helmet, a Ku Klux Klan hood, and a niqab — and walked into the parliament building in Canberra.
The ban, which has since been lifted, would have forced women wearing religious facial coverings to sit in a designated glass-enclosed area of the parliament's seating gallery. The government's new plan asked women to show their faces at security before entering the parliament building, where they can sit with the general public.
Sergio Redegalli, Nick Folkes, and Victor Waterson thought that wearing facial coverings would be a good way to protest the ban's removal. The men asked that the ban be reinstated, claiming that they were fighting for "equality in Australia." The trio has engaged in far-right activity in the past, and Redegalli has painted a "Say No to Burqas" mural.
When the men reached the parliament building's security check, they were asked to remove their facial coverings, because they were "deemed to be protest paraphernalia," rather than religious items, according to a statement from the Department of Parliamentary Services.