An Australian teenager who broke an egg on a controversial far-right senator’s head says he has given almost A$100,000 (£55,000; $69,000) to survivors of the Christchurch mosque attacks. Will Connolly, 17, egged Fraser Anning in March - prompting people online to dub him ‘Egg Boy’ and flood him with donations to pay his legal expenses.
Mr Anning had caused fury a day earlier when he said Muslim migration was to blame for the Christchurch shootings. Fifty-one people died in the attacks. Mr Anning was formally censured by Australia’s Senate in April for his ‘appalling’ remarks, made on the day of the shootings.
Mr Connolly approached the senator from behind as he gave a press conference in Melbourne on 16 March. Footage of the egging and subsequent clash went viral. It showed Mr Anning physically retaliating before his supporters tackled the teenager to the ground.
Online fundraising campaigns were set up for Mr Connolly to ‘buy more eggs’ and to cover potential legal fees. Police chose not to press any charges last month, instead giving the teenager an ‘official caution’. They ruled Mr Anning had acted in self-defence.
On Tuesday, Mr Connolly announced that he had transferred ‘all monies’ to New Zealand charities in charge of official fundraising efforts. ‘To the victims of the tragedy, I whole heartedly hope that this can bring some relief to you,’ he said.
Though his actions drew praise, they also sparked a conversation in Australia about forms of political protest. Another protester drew considerably less public support for throwing an egg at Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month. Mr Connolly told Australia’s Ten network in March: ‘I understand what I did was not the right thing to do. However, this egg has united people.’
Mr Anning has refused to apologise for his comments, despite a petition which was signed by more than 1.4 million people. He failed to win a new term in the Senate at Australia’s general election on 18 May.