Anti-racism campaign

October 23, 1996

By Roberto Jorquera

BRISBANE — Forty-five anti-racist activists met at the Metro Arts centre here on October 14. Meeting participants included Aboriginal pastor Reg Yates, representatives from the Chinese Forum, the Murri community, the Vietnamese community, the Democratic Socialist Party, Resistance, the International Socialist Organisation, and other community activists.

The meeting was called after a rally of 200 people on October 11, and decided to form the Anti-Racist Campaign. ARC has called another rally for November 2 in King George Square, under the slogan "Unity against racism: stop the attacks on migrants, Aborigines and refugees".

The meeting debated what the focus of the rally should be and who should be invited to speak on the platform. The ISO argued that the main demand should be for Hanson to resign. However, others responded that the issue of racism was much broader and that Hanson's intentions comprised only one part of the Liberal government's overall agenda.

The meeting also debated whether the ALP representatives should be invited to speak at the rally. The ISO argued that, as a matter of principle, the ALP should be invited because "the majority of its membership is working class" and because an invitation would help to divide the party. Others felt that, while having an ALP speaker could put pressure on federal Labor to come out more strongly against Hanson, it must be undertaken with a clear understanding that the ALP too is a racist party, and that it set the stage for Howard's attacks.

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