Letters to the editor

Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

Depression article ‘dangerous’

Although I would agree that “depression is a complex illness and capitalism is making its prevalence far worse”, the suggestion in GLW #888 that the core of these psychosocially manifest conditions is not biological and appropriately treated with medication is downright dangerous given that the suffering involved is so great that it drives many to suicide.

If you want to be Marxist, demonstrate a little historical materialism please.

Dr David Faber,
Adelaide, SA

Unite against racism

On August 6, there was a rally against banning the burqa in Brisbane's King George Square, to counteract a rally held by a fascist group called the Australian Patriotic Defence Movement.

Around 200 people attended the anti-fascist rally in a united front against Islamaphobia.

Around 20 people attended the fascist rally, wearing T-shirts with “Ban the Burqa” on the back. They had a PA system blaring out racist propaganda against immigration. They were shouted down by an angry crowd yelling out: “Go home, fascist! Go home!”

The fascists were waving the Australian flag as well as the US Tea Party flag, a yellow banner with the words, "Don't tread on me," on it.

Apart from being racist, the fascists were also very chauvinistic toward women. Hiding behind the lies of fake feminism, they claim to be defending the rights of women from the burqa.

One of them came up to me and said the Cronulla riots were an “act of national liberation,” whereas they were really a cowardly act of violence against Lebanese Australians.

The latest laws in NSW concerning police and the burqa merely fan the flames of racial hatred against the Muslim community, forcing women to remove the chador or burqa at the order of police.

The rally became quite heated, with one of the racists making a remark to the effect of justifying the war in Iraq as a war against Islam.

As capitalism self-destructs, we need to be on guard to counteract this poisonous, racist ideology directly attacking democracy and the right to religious freedom. With the war on terror being used to justify these anti-democratic attacks, we need to unite to oppose racism and fascism.

Sam Bullock,
Brisbane, Qld. Abridged.

Protect Melbourne’s Green Wedges

I remember being told that when the train line was connected to Hurstbridge people would come from Melbourne to walk around and pick flowers from the districts’ wattle trees. Well, people still come to wander about our walking tracks, to rest and experience the ambiance of the natural world in all its splendour.

Melbourne’s Green Wedges regions are far too important to be further fragmented by more excessive housing development.

The bushland and the towns of rural/urban fringe areas are marvellous places to live or to come and visit. Having these wild places, yet a short distance from the centre of Melbourne with the mountains, forests, small towns and farms and with the wonderful array of wildlife and plants, we have the best of both worlds.

It is a diverse region full of wonder and beauty. And it is a tranquil, wonderful and exhilarating place to be.

The Green Wedges are also very important for the hundreds of thousands of people from inner Melbourne and elsewhere who come here for recreation to bushwalk, cycle, observe wildlife, picnic, go kayaking, boating, visit wineries, galleries, the national parks, farmers markets, community markets, the country towns, fairs and festivals, mountains, waterfalls and other activities

The people who live or come to visit have a common objective to leave the city and the crowds, to be outdoors, to slowdown and connect with nature. Humans really need to get away from the urban areas to untamed natural places to keep sane and healthy in body and spirit. Such places uplift and inspire and rejuvenate people.

This unique region is also environmentally essential for the health and well being of the city of Melbourne. But too much growth would ultimately destroy this vital habitat, which has countless benefits for the people of Melbourne and beyond.

Steven Katsineris,
Hurstbridge, Vic.