Casey McShea, Staff Writer |
A teenager from Melbourne, Australia went viral after a video of him running up to Australian Senator Fraser Anning and cracking an egg on his head was posted to Twitter. Will Connolly, 17, who has been dubbed “Egg Boy” by much of social media, explained that he pulled the stunt in the name of “justice” after the senator blamed Muslim immigration in regards to the mosque shootings that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The senator explained, following the massacre, “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.”
“I was just flat-out disgusted,” Connolly responded to the comments. “After that tragedy in Christchurch, I thought the world should be supporting all those victims, giving them love and passion. And the senator released a statement, which was pretty much a divisive hate speech blaming the victims for the attack.”
The video shows Connolly approaching Anning as the senator speaks to reporters about the Christchurch attack. Connolly raises a cellphone in one hand and smashes the egg on the back of Anning’s head with the other. Anning immediately turns around and strikes Connolly in the head. Connolly goes to hit back and Anning brings his arm up to hit the teen again, before others intervene. Three grown men tackle Connolly to the ground, and another holds back Anning. Another clip shows the men holding Connolly in a chokehold on the ground, until the police arrive and escort Connolly away.
After the video spread, many calling Connolly a hero. A GoFundMe page was created for Connolly’s legal funds and to “buy more eggs.” He has been offered concert tickets for life by a number of artists, honored by basketball players and talk show hosts alike, and was even captured in street art. The page raised almost 80,000 Australian dollars (about 56,000 American dollars), all of which Connolly has said he plans on donating to the victims of the Christchurch attacks.
Some are not condoning the action, saying that violence is never the answer, and Connolly isn’t denying that his actions weren’t completely justified. He said, “I understand what I did was not the right thing to do. However, this egg has united people, and, you know, money has been raised, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised for those victims.”
He even hesitated before egging the senator, listening to Anning speak for an hour at the news conference before making his final decisions. “In my mind I wanted to forgive him,” Connolly said. As the senator’s comments continued, however, the nature of them “empowered me to egg him.”
Although he is happy about the money raised, Connolly wants the focus to remain on the Christchurch victims. He said, “I didn’t think this was going to blow up. In fact, it’s blown up completely out of proportion, to the point where it’s kind of embarrassing because too much of the attention is brought away from the real victims suffering – we should be focusing on them.”
Connolly was not the only person who felt strongly about Anning’s comments; Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said, “These comments are appalling and they’re ugly and they have no place in Australia.” The senator is also facing a petition to remove him from Parliament; one has gained more than one million signatures—the largest Australian, online petition in history.
“Senator Fraser Anning’s views have no place in the government of our democratic and multicultural country,” the petition reads. “Within the bounds of Australian law, we request that he be pushed to resign from his position as Senator, and if appropriate, be investigated by law enforcement agencies for supporting right wing terrorism.”