Write on — Letters to the editor


On the verge of another racist push?

Suddenly, the Rudd government has discovered the need to pump up the "terrorist threat". First, the Attorney-General discovered the so-called "anti-terrorist laws" were not strong enough.

Now, the biggest terrorist plot ever in Australia has been discovered, targeting one of the most important army bases. Never mind that ASIO, the Federal Police and the state's police knew about that for seven months and not one special action had been taken to protect that target.

In between, the usual suspects have been doing their job. The NSW government closed a school. An Islamic group bought the land to build a Muslim school. The local council and "concerned citizens" opposed it. The Islamic group won in the Land and Environment court and then, the state government imposed compulsory acquisition of the land to build a school.

In a case of defamation against 2GB radio a judge in the Supreme Court of NSW found against one of the most outspoken members of the Muslim Lebanese community, Keysar Trad, accusing him of being racist and promoting revenge.

What makes this special is that the jury found in favour of Trad but the judge dismissed the jury finding and decided against him.

On top of that, like in the old times of Johnny Howard and One Nation, a bus driver decided to stop a Muslim woman to get onto a bus because she was wearing a veil.

We should be ready to respond to this wave of racist attacks on the migrant communities, minorities and the weakest people of our society to stop the injustice.

Raul BassiBankstown Peace Group(Abridged)

Palestine and the ALP

Dear Green Left Weekly.

Once again, thanks for your excellent Middle East coverage.

In May this year I wrote to foreign minister Stephen Smith and asked whether or not he believes international law is the "basis for a long-term peaceful solution" regarding the Palestine/Israel conflict.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, no reply has been received. Do Australians have to accept that their government is officially against international law?

Palestinians and supporters of human rights should stop believing that any Labor government is a reflection of their views. The Labor party have always been part of the ruling class, existing to co-opt progressives down a narrow capitalist path while not actually affecting the status quo.

This is the same for 90% of the union leadership who mainly exist to enter the Labor party hierarchy.

Kryten Waliaby email(Abridged)

Taxi industry like private education market

The taxi industry is not unlike the private education market: big private profits are achieved through the exploitation of many international students and migrants. The Victorian government, like the Federal government, has shown that it doesn't have any real solutions to offer. Because government is part of the problem.

While private education providers have been allowed to fine and exploit their students, taxi depots have been allowed to discipline and penalise cab drivers by using a system that can only be described as representing a "Kangaroo court".

As in the private education market the regulator in the taxi industry, the Victorian Taxi Directorate, has not taken any effective action to protect its drivers, many of whom are Indian and African nationals, from driving cabs without functioning safety alarms.

Despite the fact that many Indians and migrants have been the victims of violence in and around Melbourne recently, the Victorian Taxi Directorate will allow many drivers to be vulnerable to racist attacks.

John GlazebrookCommittee Member Victorian Taxi Drivers Association(Abridged)