Monday, 1 June 2009

racism and violence in Australia

I was reading (with a sad heart) the story of protests in Australia against violence against Indian people which turned into violent scuffles with the police. My first reaction was to wonder what was what the hell is going on and why are people picking on Indians in Australia??

Then I read this (from here):

But a group of "rabble-rousers'' separate from the Indian students may have hijacked the protest, Mr Overland said.

"I think their demonstration was hijacked - it initially started as a peaceful demonstration.

"The organisers of that demonstration then left.

so it seems that its another case of a minority with a separate agenda hijacking the situation for their own purpose. Especially if the following is true...

The police chief said some demonstrators were clearly affected by alcohol, which prompted police to close the nearby Young and Jacksons hotel bottle shop, he said.

"They were going in there and accessing alcohol, and we knew that wasn't going to resolve the issue,'' he said.

"There were some people in there who weren't Indian who were rabble-rousers who had their own agenda and didn't seem to have much very much to do with the issues that are confronting the Indian students.''

A collection of weapons, including knives, was found once the demonstrators left.

"They I think were obviously responsible for some of the tactics that were then used by the Indian students when we moved in to disperse the crowd,'' Mr Overland said.

Penny Wong (cited here) seems to feel that "racism in Australia is confined to a minority of people with extreme views". As a Malaysian migrant she should know more than me (I only went to school with Vietnamese and Greeks, I'm anglo so I wouldn't really know) but I really hope so Penny.

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