Socialist candidate slams Valley Mall 'racism'

Issue 

Socialist candidate slams Valley Mall 'racism'

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Susan Price, Democratic Socialist candidate for the Central ward in the March 26 Brisbane City Council elections, has condemned the "racist harassment" of Aborigines in the Fortitude Valley Mall, and the "law and order hysteria" of Labor Alderman David Hinchcliffe, some Valley traders, the police and the major media.

According to an article in the March 19 Courier-Mail, "At least three times in the last three months, wild brawls between police and Aborigines have imperilled the push by local traders to promote the Valley as a centre for dining and recreation."

The paper claimed that "Gangs of homeless Aboriginal teenagers have wandered about mugging people".

Susan Price commented: "Alderman Hinchcliffe, in his election literature, boasts of initiating the spy video cameras in the City Mall and now in the Valley.

"But how are these Big Brother spy cameras going to solve the real problems of homelessness, unemployment and poverty which lie at the base of the social problems of our cities?"

Price called for "a comprehensive program of public housing, job creation and construction of alternative leisure facilities for Aboriginal and white young people.

"That's what the Brisbane City Council needs to initiate, not more intrusions on the civil rights of citizens."

Sam Watson, from the Aboriginal Legal Service, commented in the Courier-Mail article that non-Aborigines have no sensitivity to Aboriginal preference for congregating outdoors rather than in hotels.

"Aboriginal people have as much right to congregate in Brisbane as anyone else", Watson said.