Speak-out against racism

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

Speak-out against racism

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Independent MP for Oxley Pauline Hanson should "look at the history of Australia, which was built on the backs of the Aboriginal people", Aboriginal pastor Reg Yates told a rally of some 200 in the Queen Street Mall on October 11.

The Speak-out Against Racism was organised at short notice, but the Democratic Socialist Party, the International Socialists, Socialist Alternative, Resistance, the Greens and many individuals came together to protest Hanson's racist campaign.

Jorge Rodriguez from the Migrant Workers' Resource Centre slammed Hanson for her racist attacks on migrants, asserting the contribution of immigrants to Australian society. Lou Gugenberger from the Greens warned of the distinction between "free speech and hate speech", saying the rise of racism here had overtones of the dark days of prewar Germany.

"Racist ideology underpins the Howard government", DSP activist Roberto Jorquera told the crowd. "Racism is used by the ruling class to divide working people and help prevent a united fight back against the real causes of unemployment and poverty — big business."

High school student Dallas Blackmore from Resistance spoke of the urgent need to fight against the racism taking hold among youth.