Section 18C Racial Discrimination Act

While the debate on free speech has largely focused on the "rights" of racists and bigots, federal and state governments have been quietly passing new laws that strip citizens of the freedom of speech that is essential to democratic deliberation.

All around Australia, racially oppressed minority communities are celebrating the late night defeat of the federal government’s attempt to weaken section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

The bill, which sought to remove the words “offend”, “insult” and “humiliate” from the section against racial vilification and replace it with “harass and intimidate” was defeated 31-28 with the support of Labor, the Greens and other small party and independent Senators.

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