Anti-racism

When 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein murdered two people in Copenhagen on February 15, and was killed in a shoot-out with police, the media and politicians across the world did not hesitate to declare that an act of terrorism had taken place. US President Barack Obama immediately phoned Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to offer condolences and invited Denmark to take part in a February 18 summit in Washington to counter violent extremism, Reuters reported on February 16. Other Western leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, responded similarly.
Student Action For Aborigines group photo

A busload of students, Aboriginal activists and musicians embarked on a commemorative trip around regional New South Wales on February 19 to mark 50 years since the first Freedom Ride. Also on the bus were 15 of the original Freedom Riders, filmmaker Rachel Perkins, and musicians Troy Cassar-Daley and Paul Kelly.

Craig Stephen Hicks murdered three of his neighbours in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on the evening of February 10: Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Yusor's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. Hicks was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after he turned himself in to police. Almost immediately, authorities declared the motive for the killings was a dispute over parking at the condominium complex where they all lived. But it was impossible to ignore the cloud of hate and bigotry hanging over these murders.
More than 700 creative professionals living in the Britain — including writers, visual artists, actors, musicians and many others — have signed up to a pledge to boycott collaboration with Israeli state-funded projects. The announcement marks a significant step for the British cultural boycott campaign. There have been many open letters and other statements of support for Palestine from British artists, but the pledge brings together a huge number of creatives in one coordinated effort.
A New York City police officer was indicted by a grand jury on February 10 for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell of a housing project last November, the Wall Street Journal reported. Officer Peter Liang, alongside his partner, was patrolling the stairwell in the Louis H Pink Houses, a Brooklyn housing project on Novemver 20 last year. While in the stairwell, Liang fired a single bullet, killing Akai Gurley, 28, who was in the stairwell a flight below with his girlfriend.
Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, the lead Socialist Alliance candidate for the Legislative Council in the upcoming March 28 NSW elections, released this statement on February 11. * * * The NSW and other state governments must share the blame for the latest shameful and outrageous results of the Closing The Gap Report tabled by PM Tony Abbott in federal parliament today.
Eighty days on hunger strike has put an Iranian man who sought safety in Australia at death's door, as advocates around Australia fight for the immigration department to act to save his life. “Martin” took the non-violent step to refuse to eat last November after the Australian government denied him refugee protection and redetained him in the remote Wickham Point Detention Centre. At least 15 other men in the same situation as Martin have also taken up a hunger strike.
Three Muslim students were shot dead in what appears to be a hate crime at the University of North Carolina on February 10. Democracy Now said the next day the victims were killed when a gunman opened fire at a residential complex in Chapel Hill.
Useful Enemies: When Waging Wars Is More Important Than Winning Them By David Keen Yale University Press, 2012. Governments in the US, Britain and Australia seem intent on waging war in faraway lands, supposedly to bring freedom and democracy to foreign peoples and to deliver us from the chaos of terrorism. David Keen's useful Enemies, however, shows the folly of the policies being pursued. Far from bringing peace, it turns out throwing arms, bombs and money against opponents who refuse to neatly line up as targets is more likely to fuel the conflict.
Germany sending refugees to Nazi concentration camps On January 27, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camp Auschwitz, the German city of Augsburg decided to turn a branch of the former concentration camp at Dachau into a refugee centre. The asylum seekers will live in a building where thousands of slave labourers suffered and died under the Nazis.
"Today was the best Invasion Day protest that I have ever been to," Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton told Green Left Weekly on January 26. "There was a real feeling of Aboriginal pride and resistance. The crowd was bigger today too." In Melbourne, the protest began with a smoking ceremony near Parliament House followed by a rally on the parliament steps. The rally then marched to the official "Australia Day" parade, moved the barricades and marched along the official parade route.
This year’s celebrations of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, a national holiday on January 19, were quite different from the staid affairs in recent decades. Tens of thousands of protesters across the country held more than 50 actions, marches and civil disobedience, reclaiming his radical legacy and condemning the police killings of unarmed African Americans.