Racial Discrimination Laws – a political twist

[Editor’s Note: A Sydney Uni professor, Jake Lynch, who supports the Boycott Divestment and Sanction Campaign against Israeli settlements is being prosecuted under section 18C (and other sections) of the Racial Discrimination Act by a pro-israel group, Shurat HaDin. So in this case, the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) is being used to defend racism and genocide i.e. that of settler state of Israel over the Palestinian people.]

'To support BDS is not anti-semitic' - R. Lowenstein
‘To support BDS is not anti-semitic’ -Anthony Lowenstein

So, ironically, if the Attorney General, George Brandis, succeeds in repealing s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) there may be no legal basis for the prosecution against Jake Lynch’s support of the BDS campaign. Herein lies the contradiction, many laws that are passed ostensibly for one purpose can be used to perpetuate its opposite. This is the conceit of the language of the law and its political purpose.

What I am saying is that it is not just the  words of the legislation that are important; it is how the legislation is used.

For example, sometimes laws that claim to protect against racism are actually used to defend it i.e. Zionist expansion in Palestine. So readers, be careful what you wish for when small ‘l’ liberals are up-in-arms about what big ‘L’ Liberals are doing. — Ian Curr,  23 April 2014.]


Racial Discrimination Act

There is one week left to have your say in the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act

‘The Federal Government is proposing changes that will make vilification harder to prove and we fear it will create a culture where bigotry becomes more acceptable’, said the NEMBC Executive Officer Russell Anderson.

‘The new law might allow people to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate you on the basis of your race, colour or ethnic origin so long as it doesn’t incite a third party to hatred or cause fear of physical harm’, he said.

‘A letter from you or your radio station can make a difference. We appeal to you to write a letter, or make a submission to the Attorney General’s office’, he said.
There is no required format and a letter expressing your view or your personal experience can be enough. Please send a letter to the Government before 30 April 2014 in response to the proposed changes.

To see a short sample letter with some talking points and more information go to the NEMBC website:www.nembc.org.au

What people are saying about the changes:

“the Abbott government’s proposed legislation really would allow for almost any racist speech you can imagine” Waleed Aly, Sydney Morning Herald.

“[The changes] risk dragging us back to an ugly time when racism was tolerated in our institutions, practices, in workplaces and on the streets”Giri Sivaraman (Maurice Blackburn Lawyers) and Jessica McLean (Macquarie University), Crikey.

For more information contact the NEMBC Secretariat
Executive Officer Russell Anderson on: 03 9486 9549

Russell Anderson
Executive Officer

National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council
PO Box 1144, Collingwood VIC 3066
Tel: (03) 9486 9549 | Fax: (03) 9486 9547
Email: execRacial Discrimination Act 2014.pdf

Supporting the Palestinian BDS campaign – Stand with Professor Jake Lynch

3 thoughts on “Racial Discrimination Laws – a political twist

  1. When racist speech becomes violent says:

    In Australia, the division in the far right between anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic camps has been fairly entrenched to this point, with both groups generally at pains to repudiate the other. Previously, members of the Australian Defence League ADL and APP joined with local Zionists to counter protests against the Israeli-owned chocolate shop chain Max Brenner, which was subject to a series of actions by Palestinian solidarity activists.

    The anti-immigrant (and especially anti-Muslim) policies and practices of Greek neo-Nazi organisation Golden Dawn have also acquired some resonance with the ADL, moreso since the 60 Minutes broadcast of Greek Tragedy: The rise of Europe’s neo-Nazis [14]. In his interview with 60 Minutes, Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaro – in addition to claiming that Hitler was a “great personality, like Stalin” – stated that Greece is currently being subject to invasion by “millions” of illegal immigrants, mostly Muslim, and mostly “jihadists”.

    Leaving aside the glowing reference to Hitler and Gold Dawn’s neo-Nazi politics, this kind of rhetoric wins obvious support from those seeking to eliminate Islam from Australia – including the Australian Defence League. It’s therefore of no small importance that ADL President Cerminara has indicated he’ll be joining the Australia First Party and local members and supporters of Golden Dawn to rally in support of Golden Dawn in Brisbane next Friday (2 May 2014) and the Greek Club in South Brisbane 11am – 4pm.

    Slack Bastard


    Protest against Golden Dawn, racism and fascism

    Who’s Behind The ADL’s Racist Violence?

    1. 'We need more people' says:
      Keep a clean nose
      Watch the plain clothes
      You don’t need a weatherman
      To know which way the wind blows
      Don’t follow leaders
      Watch the parkin’ meters
          - 'subterranean homesick blues' 
             by bob dylan

      On the Easter weekend activists from the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy were ‘kettled’ by Queensland cops and pushed away from the visiting Royals at Southbank, Brisbane. One person was arrested and another had his ribs cracked and kidney bruised by police.

      Why do fascists need to do anything when the Queensland police force is there to taser, shoot and kettle blackfellas?


      The Far Right promoting racism in Brisbane
      Just across from the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, on Friday 2 May 2014, the far right is organising a protest starting at the Greek Club and going to the Greek Embassy. This protest is in support of Greek fascists (Golden Dawn) who have been arrested and jailed in Greece. Please note that a number of people [‘Slack Bastard‘ and fightdemback who promote the protest against the racists referred in the New Matilda article do not live or organise politically in Brisbane and have not actually organised anything. It may not have been the intention of Slack Bastard or fightdemback to organise but merely to inform. Herein lies the danger. Imagine someone with an honest grievance against Golden Dawn or the Australia First Party. Perhaps that person may have been the subject of an attempt at recruitment to these racist groups. They may have made attempts to trick people into joining their organisations. OK, as soon as that person sees how looney and racist they are she or he would back off. But supposing a friend had been abducted and beaten by Golden Dawn in Greece and that person is truly angry about what happened to her/his friend. The candle is lit, as it were.

      What I am saying is fascist groups such as Australia First Party prey on working class people and try to draw them into their web. These far right groups do so by selecting popular causes like opposition to Coal Seam Gas (CSG), you can see these groups lined up at anti-CSG rallies.

      In times past, various Left groups used to spend a lot of time protesting against another representative of the far right in Queensland – Pauline Hanson and One Nation. I wonder what was achieved by it? In the end, weren’t Howard’s policies the same as Hanson’s policies only coated in electoral appeal? The Left didn’t get rid of Howard. It was the Labor party that did this … with journalist Maxine McKew taking Howard’s safe Liberal seat off him. The ALP was led by Rudd who we (public servants living in Queensland) knew as Doctor Death because as head of the public service he got the Goss Labor government to sack thousands of public servants. Rudd was a leader without any principles, as his position on climate change demonstrated. In all of this, remember it was Hanson who took up the anti-immigration debate but Hanson came from the Liberal Party and won the seat of Oxley mainly because many voters thought she was a Liberal with a big “L”. Even some aboriginal people were tricked into voting for Hanson.

      Despite all this, the far right has had little success in mobilising in Brisbane … the last time they tried was an anti-burka rally in King George Square a few years ago. Contrast that rally with the March in March this year 2014 which attracted thousands and was politically progressive; even though it did lack political organisation. March in March was organised from Facebook as well.
      March in March, Brisbane

      Fascist groups in Brisbane do turn up at Invasion Day and Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions protests and they can cause problems, but less so when there are numbers present. As Slack Bastard points out in the New matilda article they were actively supporting defence of the pro-Israel Max Brenner chocolates a couple of years ago. Racists supporting zionists who support Israeli settlements in Palestine. This may seem strange that racists protest on the side of jewish zionists. But not really that strange when you think about it. Although these fascist groups do have a history of anti-semitism as demonstrated by the story about Dr Jim Saleam (aka Jamelle Salim) below.

      Past fascists
      People may be interested in earlier versions of fascist groups in Qld. They were provocateurs, petty crims and bombers. One, named the Skull, used to turn up at demos to provoke a fight and then slip away, allowing Qld police to do their dirty work.

      ... far away in another part of town
      ... a couple of friends are drivin' around
      ... Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
             -- Bob Dylan - Hurricane Lyrics?

      In April 19 1972, sixteen sticks of gelignite exploded in the Communist Party’s Brisbane office, lifting the floor of the building almost six centimetres off the ground. Later the same evening, three rifle shots ricocheted through the Maoist East Wind bookshop … Another Nazi, Dr Jim Saleam, gave an account of the bombing in The Other Radicalism – An Inquiry Into Contemporary Australian Extreme Right Ideology, Politics And Organization 1975-1995

      Dr Jim Saleam (aka Jamelle Salim) was from Maryborough, and in a bizaare twist, his mother was a German immigrant and his father, a Lebanese migrant. Like Hitler, he hid his ancestry. Fightdemback states that Jim Saleam was behind the firebombing of a left-wing Brisbane bookshop, the East Wind. It states that he was arrested and convicted in 1974.

      I say beware of provocateurs, Queensland cops are usually nearby to help them out. Although at May Day 2012 it was the fascists who the cops turned their spotlight on.

      As one Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy member said at the sacred fire last night in answer to the question:

      “What is the lesson to be taken away from the protest on Saturday (against the Royals)?”

      “We need more people”

      Ian Curr
      24 April 2014

      The Radical Books of Brisbane

  2. Give back what you stole says:

    There has been blanket coverage of the Royals visit this week but very little coverage of the opposition to the Royal Visit.

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