Wednesday, December 14, 2005







Australian authorities are bracing for more violence in Sydney this weekend after race riots in the city's southern suburbs shocked the country. Violence erupted on Sydney’s beaches Sunday, following days of media provocation. Some 5,000 people rallied against so-called “Lebanese gangs”, then attacked immigrants and Muslims, who had been accused over the past week of harassing beach-goers. More than 20 people were injured, and two were stabbed, in confrontations across a number of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. About 100 cars were also vandalized.

Youths of Middle Eastern appearance retaliated with a rash of attacks on people and property on Sunday and Monday nights.

Carl Scully, the police minister for New South Wales, confirmed on Wednesday that officers would continue to be on high alert after more than 400 police officers maintained calm overnight in the affected suburbs, including Cronulla.

Last night's plan was much the same as Tuesday night's, with officers setting up roadblocks in southern Sydney and ready to go to where they are called. Police were sent to the earlier hotspots of Maroubra Beach and Brighton Le Sands, and to Lakemba, in the heartland of the city's Muslim community. They are also making special arrangements to deal with the new wave of ethnic violence until at least the end of January.

"We need to be aware that there is a risk of incidents continuing," Scully said. "On the weekend, there will be a huge police presence across Sydney on Saturday and Sunday."

Scully said telephone text messages inciting violence were continuing to circulate in Sydney and other Australian cities. The new text messages are apparently similar to ones last week that encouraged a mob of 5000 white Australians, including some neo-Nazis, to gather at Cronulla beach in southern Sydney and attack people of Middle Eastern appearance.

Australian lawmakers planned to give police tough new powers, including shutting bars and erecting roadblocks, to crack down on rioters and keep the peace. Police will also get additional powers to confiscate vehicles owned by people involved in social unrest.

Some representatives of Sydney's Arabic community have called for a voluntary curfew on all Lebanese youth this weekend, to help prevent further race-related violence. It was among a series of proposals agreed on during a meeting last night at Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney's south.

A youth representative on the Prime Minister's Muslim Community Reference Group says a curfew will not work. Instead, Mustapha Kara-Ali has urged community leaders to set up a public forum.

"Ultimately, the only thing that can help the situation is for these youth to be heard," he told the Australian Broadcasting Network. "I would've hoped that these community leaders would offer these youth some public forum and be handed the microphone so they can be listened to directly, rather than being told what to do and what not to do."

Islamic leader Fadi Abdul Rahman suggested further trouble could be brewing, saying Muslim youths felt angry that police were not treating them fairly.

"They feel they have been dealt with by the authorities differently to the way Anglos have been dealt with," he told the Seven Network.

"They feel injustice and they feel angry about it."

Meanwhile members of Sydney's Middle Eastern and surfing communities yesterday embraced at Maroubra Beach in a symbolic attempt to end the ethnic tensions.

Lebanese Muslim leader Keysar Trad and Maroubra's surfer gang, the Bra Boys, are attempting to broker a peace deal between rival groups following race riots in Sydney.

Mr Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Association, and two Bra Boys leaders, Kobe and Sonny Abberton, have held talks about ways to encourage people to stop the violence.

Mr Trad said the Bra Boys were one of the most multicultural groups of surfers in Australia and showed people from all backgrounds could enjoy the beach.

"They [the Bra Boys] expressed their outrage at what happened at Cronulla and they expressed their support and appreciation for the Middle Eastern community," Mr Trad said.

"They have many friends who are from a Lebanese and Middle Eastern background and of various religions, so they want peace.

"I have to say that I respect the petitions that they have made and I hope that society will heed this message."

The Lebanese community condemned the violence, Mr Trad said.

"We have always condemned the … violence or anti-social behaviour on the beaches or anywhere else," Mr Trad told Channel Nine earlier.

"What you are seeing today is people who are trying to … heal the rift and to bring society together and show everyone that we can stand together united against violence and welcome everyone to the beaches and say that the beaches are a public space for everyone to enjoy."

Maroubra's Bra Boys surfer gang and the Comancheros bikies gang also met to discuss the situation before condemning the violence of the past few days. The two rival gangs have vowed to stay out of the racial violence.

Bra Boys member Sonny Abberton said on Tuesday his gang and the Comancheros, who have a large Lebanese membership, were working together to burst the bubble of racial hatred.

His brother and fellow Bra Boys member Jai Abberton said: "We (the Bra Boys) have never been involved in any of this racial tension".

"We certainly don't support these silly people at Cronulla, starting a racial war and biting off more than they can chew," Mr Abberton said.

"This is the start of some dialect between our groups to try to ease some tension and calm the racial violence that can never be tolerated in Australia," Sonny Abberton said.

And finally, this bit of discouraging news from New Zealand.

Inflammatory posters calling for New Zealanders to show "white power" and riot Australian-style are being pasted up at Wellington railway stations.

"If Sydney can do it so can we...let's take back our land," the posters – found at Khandallah and Simla Crescent stations – say. A poster was also reported to have been seen at Raroa station near Johnsonville.

The little known white supremacist group "White Crusaders of the Racial Holy War" claims to be behind the Wellington posters.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said he had not heard of the group but was not surprised it existed in New Zealand.

There had been a number of race hate incidents over the past year, including the vandalism of Muslim worship centers in Auckland and abusive letters being stuffed with pork and sent to Wellington Muslims.

"There are people in New Zealand who have the kind of views evident in Australia but they have never had much of a following in New Zealand," he said.

The White Crusaders' Internet website says the movement is based on the writings of Ken Klassen, the founder of Creativity, a religion that believes whites are royalty and shuns race mixing or any social intercourse with "the inferior mud races". Sources: Australian Racism and Islamophobia - Activism and Resources,Sydney Morning Herald, Australia Broadcasting Corporation, Aljazeera, The Australian, Stuff (NZ), au

Statement on racist attacks
Issued by Resistance, the Australian socialist youth organization

In response to the weekend's events in Cronulla, John Howard has attempted to deny the existence of “an underlying racism” in Australia. Instead Howard has tried to explain the events as nothing more than a question of law and order, saying, "violence, thuggery, loutish behaviour, smashing peoples' property, intimidating people - all of those things are breaches of the law and I don't think the actions should be given some kind of special status because they occur against the background of this or that.”

The “background” against which these events have occurred is exactly what Howard is trying to draw attention away from. The “background” is the government's incitement of anti-Muslim racism as a means to justify the latest “anti-terror” legislation and Australia's continued participation in the occupation of Iraq. Similarly, the Howard government has continued to whip up anti-Muslim racism in order to maintain support for the mandatory detention and deportation of refugees.

The perpetuation of such racism by the media has become particularly apparent in recent days. Describing the march in Cronulla of 5,000 “locals” carrying Australian flags and chanting racist slogans, the Daily Telegraph published that what “may have begun as a show of pride” ended in alcohol-fuelled violence. It was at this demonstration that Muslim women had their headscarves torn off and a neo-Nazi group held placards bearing slogans including “Aussies fighting back”. Yet from talk-back radio to broadsheet newspapers, the events have been characterized as racial or mob violence where the fault is on both sides, obscuring the source of the racism.

In response to the blatantly racist media portrayal of an “army of Muslim youth” targeting “innocent residents”we need to be clear that the actions of young people of Middle Eastern background are primarily a response to ongoing racism and discrimination rather than the source of the so-called “racial conflict”. And in response to calls for increased policing of Muslim communities we need to be clear that it is such discriminatory over-policing and intimidation that is fuelling frustrations.

The vilification of the Muslim community by the government and the media has legitimised overt racism and created the space for racist demonstrations such as that seen in Cronulla on Sunday. This is made worse by the absence of a real opposition to the government's racist policies, epitomised by the Labor Party's support for the anti-terror laws, allowing them to be passed last week.

As previous experience has shown the most effective way to combat racism is by uniting the broadest forces in action. This was seen in the high school student walkouts against Pauline Hanson in 1998 and community protests against the attacks on Sudanese refugees in Newcastle earlier this year.

Resistance condemns the Howard government's incitement of anti-Muslim racism that has fuelled the events in Sydney. We call on the government to repeal all “anti-terror laws”, stop the scapegoating of Muslims and withdraw Australian troops from Iraq immediately. In the context of the Liberal government's recent attacks on workers and unions it is more important than ever to be united. We are committed to uniting with those being victimized and persecuted in the name of the “war and terror” and by the Howard government's racist policies.

Australian Arabic Council

The Australian Arabic Council (AAC) today voiced condemnation and alarm at the Race Riots in Sydney over the last 24 hours.

Speaking for the AAC, Chairman, Roland Jabbour said the riots while not a surprise, must be condemned by all.

“These events typify an ugly and fringe element of Australian society. However, the impact these riots will have on the Australian Arabic community in terms of heightening tensions and fears must be recognised.”

“Arab Australians have had to cope with vilification, racism, abuse and fear of a racial backlash for a number of years, but these riots will take that fear to a new level.”

“The AAC has for some time predicted the occurrence of events such as yesterdays. While we have a strong sense of equality and multiculturalism in Australia, people are mislead in thinking, we are immune to these types of ugly incidents.”

“Importantly, as we come to terms with this tension and its intimidating and divisive nature, some responsibility must be taken by political and media leaders.”

“For some time politicians and media commentators have been fanning the flames of racial tension and finger pointing. ‘Middle Eastern appearance’ despite years of campaigning by the AAC continues to be used by politicians and law enforcement agencies (especially in NSW). Fear and scaremongering have long been targeted towards the Arab and Muslim communities, as politicians fuelled by media sensationalism, justify support for draconian agendas and simplistic policies. The results speak for themselves!”

“If nobody expected this racist response to have finally shown its ugly face in Australia, they need to take a closer look at their actions and their own ability to gage the long-term impact of their behaviour and comments.”

“It is time Australian political leaders and media commentators, revaluate their commitment to Australian harmony, and show some leadership by unequivocally condemning the race riots and viewing their own role in public life with a bit more foresight.”

The Australian Arabic Council warns the media against the continueous use of racial and stereotyping slurs such as Lebanese gangs and its direct consequences.
For further comment or information contact: Deputy Chair, Taimor Hazou on 0439 635 163 or the AAC on 03 9381 0055 or 0413 219 141 -

Stop the attacks on the Muslim and Arab communities!
A case of state-sponsored racism
The Socialist Alliance

The events in Cronulla and their aftermath are chickens-come-home-to-roost for the racist Howard government, and all its partners in “Hansonism”.

The riots reflect the rising racism in Australia, a tide that has been fostered by the Howard government’s policies and propaganda that criminalise and lock up refugees, dehumanise and bomb the Iraqi people, and define all Muslims and Middle-Eastern Australians as potential terrorists.

So when the new terrorism bill is promulgated - aided and abetted so keenly by the Labor Party - is it so strange that on a NSW beach such racism explodes?

This country’s entrenched racism, historically focused on Aborigines and Asians, has been exploited once again, like a maggot which has been given fresh garbage. The prejudice on which Pauline Hanson relied has now jumped the generations - from the ex-diggers and grey-haired RSL loyalists, to the testosterone and beer-fuelled youths who are hurting in Howard’s Australia, in and out of work.

While this process has taken its time, it needed official state sponsorship, enshrined in such things as the new anti-terrorism legislation, to find a new core of activists.

And our prime minister, John Howard, wants to preach calm! Has anyone seen these guys? Should any ethnic community be calm when these thugs are whacked out of their heads, wielding baseball bats and launching bricks and flower pots!

And they wrap themselves up in the flag of the Australian state to justify themselves! Are these then, the “real Australians” of which the prime minister is so keen to eulogize?

In the face of this terror, communities are being asked to rely on the NSW police force for protection. But who would do such a thing?

The NSW Labor Party has worked overtime to divide the state along ethnic lines, with the determined complicity of the radio shock jocks and the print media. By engineering a brutal police regime in multi-ethnic communities at the same time as Muslims are being blamed for so much - from a genetic predisposition to pack rape to a war of terror – it’s no surprise that these riots occur in New South Wales given what the ALP government has dealt out these last few years.

Those young Lebanese-Australians were right when they gathered to protect their local mosque. They are right to demand an end to the racist scapegoating of their communities. And the trade union movement, anti-war activists and everyone outraged by racism must stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

Riots the ugly product of Howard’s racism
International Socialist Organisation

The racist riots at Cronulla, where thousands of mainly white people viciously attacked people of Lebanese or Muslim appearance, is the vile product of years of official government and media racism.

In the wake of this racist outbreak, Howard has even claimed there is no underlying
problem with racism in Australia. But his government has done more than anyone to
encourage racist sentiment over the best part of the past decade.

His government has consistently targeted people of Muslim and Arab background first
through the anti-refugee racism of the Tampa and now under the guise of the “war on

Howard’s racism is designed to divide ordinary people against each other. It is about
justifying Australia’s involvement in Bush’s Iraq war and pushing through neo-liberal
policies of privatisation and attacks on workplace rights at home.

Nor is Howard’s government solely to blame. In NSW, former Labor premier Bob Carr
went out of his way to target “Lebanese gangs” in Sydney’s western suburbs as part of his “law and order” campaign.

Media outlets, particularly the Murdoch press, have played a key role in spreading this racist poison whether against refugees, spurious terrorist threats or in “defending our beaches” despite the fact that those accused of being outsiders have been living in Sydney for generations.

Most of the people at the riots were mobilised by racism in the media, but the presence of far right racist groups is a dangerous sign that the official racism has allowed them a space to organise.

In the aftermath of the riots, calls have gone up for increased policing. But the real problem is the racism that caused the riots, not a lack of police.

Racism is one of the best tools governments have to divide ordinary people and attempt to distract attention from the real threats.

We need to oppose racism wherever it rears its ugly head. But we also need to build the movements that can offer a political alternative to the mass of people.

The hope lies with the huge union mobilisations against the Howard government’s assault on workers’ rights and the continuing majority opposition to the continuing war in Iraq.

The challenge is to extend the networks of activists, like the local anti-war groups and union networks into every suburb and workplace.

These can be the basis for a broader fight against Howard, and his system of neo-liberal capitalism and war which is the real threat to people’s lives.

The Rise of Islamophobia in ‘White Australia’
by Ghali Hassan

“A BARE-CHESTED youth in Quiksilver board shorts tore the headscarf off the girl's head as she slithered down the Cronulla dune seeking safety on the beach from a thousand-strong baying mob”. Sydney Morning Herald, 12 December 2005.

Islamophobia in Australia is not something suddenly appeared over the horizon because of the weather. To the contrary, racism against Muslims has always been part of Australia’s psyche. Whether it is against neighbouring Indonesia, Malaysia or Muslim Australians; the pall of racism is permanently hovering over Australia. Government policies, including the criminal war against Iraq and the introduction of the so-called “anti-terrorism” laws have legitimised racism against Arab and Muslim Australians.

The Runnymede Trust in Britain defined Islamophobia as: “The unfounded hostility towards Islam. It refers also to the practical consequences of such hostility in unfair discrimination against Muslim individuals and communities, and to the exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political and social affairs”. Islamophobia is anti-Semitism, which “has fed racist hostility against people of Middle Eastern, Arab and South Asian origin and has in turn been bolstered by racial prejudice and xenophobia”.

Islamophobia is encouraged by the Howard-Bush claims that they are engaged in a “war of civilizations” against Muslims. Islamophobia is growing rapidly in Australia in that it is now not uncommon to see white male Australians abusing Muslim women (wearing the Hijab or headscarf) in buses, on beaches and on the streets of Australia’s big cities. “Aussie” males are real machismos when it comes to women. It should be noted that insulting or harassing Muslim women wearing the hijab is not an offence in Australia, as this considered part of the Bush-Howard mission of “liberating” Muslim women.

Australia has no Bill of Rights and no federal Religious Freedom Act. Only Queensland and Victoria have recently extended the anti-discrimination laws to cover religious vilification, and this has strong opposition from the Christian parties. In all other Australian states racism is part of free speech, but criticising the Government complicity in war crimes in Iraq is not. Anti-Muslims hatred and racism are central to the Government policies in “multicultural” Australia.

Australia’s shallow “multiculturalism” produces ‘an ethnicised Muslim identity’ subjected to racism and discrimination in education, at work and in public. It consciously and deliberately enforces the “Others” feeling in the general community, and creates a mentality of superiority among ‘White Australians’. It requires subordination of those who are from ethnic minorities. Shallow “multiculturalism” is designed to marginalise ethnic groups and isolates them into ghettoised communities.

This form of institutionalise racism reinforces the disadvantage already experienced by members of the Muslim Community, and restrict their integration in the wider Australian community. At the same time, Anglo-Saxon values are presented as a unique paradigm applicable to the whole community, if not the world at large.

Australia projects self-image as a “tolerant”, “welcoming”, and “Fair Go” country. Anglo-Saxon Australians often hallucinate about their images and their “easygoing lifestyle”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Australians work much longer hours than any other member of the OECD countries and obesity among Australians is rising at unparalleled rates. Violent crimes and violence against women are among the highest in Western countries. Racism is widespread, but it is buried in shallow ground. “Deep down we have this fear of people who are different from us”, said Tasmanian Labor MP Harry Quick. Like the French, Australians are living in denial of deep-seated racism.

The country is ruled by an elitist Anglo-Saxon dominant class to which smaller ethnic groups have to conform. It systematically advantages the Anglo-Saxon class and marginalises (subordinates) the non-Anglo-Saxon ethnic groups, such as those from Muslim and Arab backgrounds. This creates a permanent under the surface racial mentality, which is often exploited by politicians, rightwing thugs and other groups within the Anglo-Saxon class. Australia’s “Fair Go” was meant only for white Anglo-Saxon Australians, with a dividing line between the dominant and the subordinate classes.

All over Australia the gap between ‘the have’ and the ‘have not’ is widening steadily, with well-documented racism against ethnic minorities, particularly against Muslims. The Anglo-Saxon rich are congregating around the beaches and in leafy suburbs, while the poor are pushed further into the poorer suburbs – where most of the about 300,000 Muslim Australians live – with little prospect of finding decent employment or education.

A recent study on racist attitudes conducted by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2003 found one in eight Australians interviewed admitted they were prejudiced, particularly towards Muslim Australians. The study, conducted by a team led by geography senior lecturer Dr. Kevin Dunn, also found some Australians were living in denial of such prejudice though 80 per cent of those surveyed recognized racism was a problem. When asked if they ever met a Muslim. ‘NO’, they said.

A report, entitled ‘Respect and Racism in Australia’, prepared in June 2004 by Racism Monitor Group of the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS) reveals that; Australian Arabs Muslims community “has been and continues to be unfairly targeted” specifically, and that racism is so frequent that “it has become almost accepted” and Muslims do not feel 'entitled' to make complaints. Racism against Muslims is openly promoted, and continues to contribute to decrease in the process of integration. It is propagated by politicians as a tool to instil fear in the community and justify draconian policies.

As it has been predicted, the “Anti-terrorism Bill”, introduced here recently has encouraged, if not incited Islamophobia. The new laws enforced a pre-existing fear in the Muslim community. Muslims are made to feel alienated, and (as if they) do not truly belong in Australia. The Bill, as it is called, designed specifically to discriminate against Australians from Muslim and Arabic backgrounds. The recent violent attacks on members of Australia’s Muslim Community were just a few cases.

At least 5000 “White Australians” invaded the south eastern Sydney suburb of Cronulla’s foreshore and beachside streets on Sunday (11 December 2005) chasing two young Muslim Australians of Lebanese origin. Racist thugs and Neo-fascist opportunists attacked and assaulted individuals and small groups of Muslim Australians. The racially motivated violence, which has been boiling for sometimes is misleadingly portrayed in the media as “the local boys trying to protect their beach and community”. It is also alleged that the violence is in retaliation to a rumours that Muslim youths assaulted two lifeguards earlier this month.

The media – the most controlled in the Western world – not only play a crucial role in inciting and legitimising these criminal acts. They also ‘perpetuate historically inherited stereotypes and cultural imaginaries that form part of the national collective memory bank’. Anti-Muslims hatred is a best seller in Australia. TV, radio, the printing press and publishing houses are competing for the best available distortion of Islam and Muslims. In fact one can become a celebrity overnight in Australia, by simply producing a distorted image of Arabs and Muslims. It is a topic promoted as much as playing Cricket.

Media grunts led by the right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt of the Melbourne Herald Sun, Janet Albrechtsen of Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper, and Alan Jones of Sydney Radio 2GB and others are fuelling racism and influencing community’s attitudes. Indeed, Alan Jones is encouraging racially-motivated violence against Muslims on his popular redneck talk. Anti-Muslims hatred is rising because of media bashing of Muslims and Government policy of incarcerating of the mainly Muslim refugees. “Sections of the media took [the attack on Cronulla beach] far too far and one can only surmise that the way this issues was dealt with on talkback radio amounts to incitement”, said Mr. Keysar Trad, president of Islamic Friendship Association of Australia.

Many flawed reasons have been provided to justifying the violent attacks against Muslims and to cover up racism as central to the violence. The racially motivated attack in Cronulla “is revenge for the Bali bombings and the September 11 attacks”, declared Bruce Baird, a Federal Liberal backbencher in Canberra. It seems that the destruction of the Iraqi society and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi women, children and men by the Anglo-American armies is not a sufficient holocaust to satisfy Mr. Cook violent revenge. Whatever the reason was, “it shows that there is underlying racism running deeply in the Australian psyche”, said Huranda Seyit, director of the Forum on Australian-Islamic Relations.

It is remarkable that Muslims are the first to call on Muslim youth in the Community to “calm down, and refrain from any further violence”. Why shouldn’t "White Australians” do the same?

Opportunist politicians have been the only beneficiaries of violence and racism against Australians from non-Anglo-Saxon backgrounds. “This is a great day” for Australia, said John Moffitt, leader of the Australia First Party, a rightwing collection of thugs. Others want to go back to the old days of “White Australia Policy”. Defunct racist politicians such as John Stone of the National Party are attacking Islam, and advocating the banning of Muslim immigrants and abolishing “multiculturalism”.

Liberal MPs Bronwyn Bishop and Sophie Panopoulos have repeatedly attacked Islam, using Muslim women dresses as the pretext to incite Australians to stand up against the Muslim hijab in schools. The purpose of this old “colonial feminism” is not to defend Muslim women rights, but to promote racism, denying Muslim women education, and their rights to wear whatever suites them. What have these two MPs said about the abuses and torture of Iraqi women by the occupying forces and their leaders?

Instead of rejecting their views, the Government has encouraged this kind of racism, and allows Nazis-like groups such as the Australia First Party and the Patriotic Youth League to flourish.

Australian Muslim women were always the immediate targets of the racially-motivated violence. The daily Melbourne, The Age reported on November 13, 2005 that; “’Fatimah’ [a Muslim woman] was punched, kicked, spat on and abused, told to ‘go home to her own country and left with an injury to her right eye’. Her sister, she said, had a knife thrust towards’ her face”. The West Australian Sunday Times (13 November 2005) is labelling every Muslim a “terrorist”, and the victims are always, Australian women of Muslim backgrounds. ”I think families are staying home and avoiding going out, particularly women who wear the hijab, because we have seen that they are particularly targeted”, said Australian Arabic Council deputy chairman, Mr. Taimor Hazou.

Islamophobia is a serious threat to the Australian society. It is reminiscent to that of anti-Jews hatred in Europe in recent history. “Racism in Australia is rooted in every area of Australian society, from government to schools to courts to churches…. Racism is an endemic and chronic problem that must be addressed and solved”, writes the Australian author, Anne Pattel-Gray. “Racism is embedded in Australian culture and federal politicians should not ignore it”, added MP Harry Quick.

Sydney Police alleged to have evidence that Neo-Nazis and “white supremacist” groups, including right-wing politicians were among the crowd attacking Muslims at Cronulla beach. Meanwhile those who are promoting and selling racism are sitting and laughing in their party rooms, radio and TV stations, and editorial news rooms around Australia. In order for tolerance to establish its roots deep in society, the head of racism must be cut off and buried.

A tolerant non-racial society is an egalitarian society free of racial categories. “As Australia increasingly globalizes it must shed the ignorant roots of intolerance and embrace the multiplicity of nationalities already within its borders. If the North Cronulla riots are not incentive enough for change, then Australia risks a future plagued by disunity and disgruntled reaction to the faux ideals of egalitarianism”, writes Bede A. Moore, editor of The Harvard Crimson, a publication of Harvard University.

The racist “White Australia Policy” is not dead; it is still here hovering over Australia. What is needed is an anti-racism bill to protect marginalised Australians from the threat of racially-motivated violence, and to counter the rise of Islamophobia.


Brisbane: Speak-out against racism — Stop the scapegoating of Muslims
Friday December 16, 5pm
Steps of King George Square.
In recent days in Sydney suburbs there have been vicious attacks on anyone of Middle-Eastern appearance. This racism has been stoked by passing draconian anti-terror laws and scapegoating Muslim communities, the mainstream media has added fuel to this racist fire. Join us to show your opposition to racism and solidarity with communities under siege.
Speakout initiated by Resistance, socialist youth organisation.
For more info or to get involved or sponser contact Mel 0423 978 518 or (07) 3831 2644.

Sydney: United Against Racism rally
The National Union of Students is calling a rally to protest the recent race riots in Cronulla. The rally, to be called “United Against Racism”, will protest the racist violence in Cronulla last Sunday, and the ongoing racist acts that have followed from them. The rally details are:
WHEN: Sunday, 18th December 2005
TIME: 1pm
WHERE: Town Hall Square (Sydney)
The National Union of Students Anti-Racism Officer Mr Osmond Chiu said: “Racism from some of the media and political leaders have whipped up fear and anger to lead to the disgraceful violence at Cronulla. This rally wants to show that people are fed up with this racist violence and that enough is enough.”

BRISBANE Sunday Protest

Gather King George Square (steps)
Sunday December 18th 2pm

Over the last few days we have experienced some of the worst racial violence seen in this country's history.

It is no accident that this outburst has occurred at the end of a period when some of the most destructive and divisive legislation ever seen in this country has been forced through parliament at breakneck speed.

Over the last ten years, the Howard regime has torn apart the social fabric here. Since they gained control of the senate in the middle of this year, this process has escalated to an appalling level, culminating in a landslide of destructive legislation over the last couple of weeks.

Howard has been able to do this by governing through fear and division. As many have commented, the mobs in southern Sydney this week have simply been acting out the precept which he used to grasp the 2001 election; "we will decide who comes to this country..."

The anti terrorism legislation has encapsulated and elevated this. Muslims have been targetted by the government and "police powers" have been increased to deal with these shadowy threats.

The ALP leadership in its capitulation to this process must share resonsibility for these appalling events. Morris Iemma played a key role in escalating this violence when he tried to profit politically out of the assault of two lifeguards on the previous weekend. He virtually granted license to people to behave like this. And he continues to escalate it by granting
further "police power", part of the dynamic which set it all in motion in the first place.

Ordinary people in this country must take a stand against this garbage and say no to racism, violence, increased police power and the broad Howard agenda once and for all. We must stand together and remember that it is our collective action which is the true power and authority on this country. We must stop what they have started.

We have the power to do this. Noone is going to save us; we have to do this for ourselves and for the generations of people to come. This country is at a critical point, and we are the only ones who can.

And Howard's appalling statement that violence is never acceptable made at the ASEAN meeting this morning, is the depth of hypocrisy from a government which has presided over the deaths of tens of thousands in Iraq in the name of oil and profits.


Meredith Rose
Stop the War Collective

Smash Racism!
Two gatherings are planned in Melbourne this Friday and Sunday in opposition to the racist attacks in Sydney. Be there!!
Friday 16th, 5pm Burke st Mall
Peace, Love, Unity rally Sunday 18th, 12pm, State Library.

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