May 28 Rally: Moreland Says NO to Racism

Coburg anti-racism rally A4 FINAL FINALSaturday 28 May, 11am
Gather outside Coburg Library, Victoria St Mall.
Then march to Bridges Reserve, Bell St, Coburg for community speakout and entertainment. Bring your lunch and join with other Moreland residents in saying our community supports a diverse and inclusive Moreland.

10 thoughts on “May 28 Rally: Moreland Says NO to Racism

  1. Sue, I love your work but this was not the greatest thing I have seen you do.

    I am about to get on peoples nerves. Not because I am endorsing anything, but because I will be making a factual statement about our state of social in-cohesion and the roles that the media playing in this.

    Let me preface by saying I am all for the rally against racism. I have been following left wing groups and their fight against the ignorant/lost nationalist for some time. I have also experience this type of nationalistic behavior in London.

    What interest me is how bad our media is at reporting on such rallies and counter rallies. I came a across a far right rally in central London. A march of football hooligans united marching on a mosque. I know they were football hooligans as i head one telling another in the toilets that any other day they would bash each other but today they were united. It that was not reported on. Nothing. Not in the paper of the news. In London the media stopped reporting on them as they knew it insight more hatred and more violence. What people do not know about they are ignorant of. Best not to fan the flames.

    But here in Australia out media jump at the chance to report on such things. I feel we are Americanized this way. I do not attend such rallies for this reason. The purpose is to spread a positive word but it gets drowned our by the violence that ALL our TV channels report on. Including the ABC. There was very little if any footage of the rally. Mostly violence was reported. And the lack of reporting on the violence inflicted by police on innocent people is also stark. Mainly this was in-flicked upon photographers.

    I have had arguments with people online about counter rallying when the “Anti everything that is not me” people get together. I do not see it doing anything good for the fight for justice, peace and human rights. The more the left counter rallied the more exposure the bigots receive and the stronger they got. The media only turns up to report on the scuffles and leaves nothing but a bitter taste in peoples mouths no matter what side of the fence you sit on. If there was no counter rally, there would be no violence, therefore precious little media will turn up to report on 100 or so dickheads being racist.

    Thankfully there was a lull in this type of reporting. The heads of these far right numbsculls have been more and more desperate to get their message out there, as was evident when one turned up at the rally in Melbourne of the dairy farmers, made his way up on stage somehow, started speaking, and was told get get off by the people in the crowd who knew who he was and what he stood for, which is nothing to do with dairy farming.

    So now it seems they are latching onto the idea originally come up with by the left, and counter rallying. This is their new way to get exposure. Going to events to cause a stir and get some exposure. This is positive in a way as it is evidence that they are weakening. Desperation is the greatest sign of weakness.

    So, in saying that, I believe yesterdays rally should have been called off. You have given much needed exposure to a desperate people. They were losing their fight against the Mosque in Bendigo. There was nothing for them to protest. The last I saw they went to a Halal convention. And the idiots from the left turned up. More violence on TV. Great. Thankfully only a small report.

    So, to my conclusion. Because why complain if you have no solution. I know this cost money but “have your rally in a hall”. Try it out. Gauge how many people will want to attend via social media and cater to the crowd. Charge a small fee to attend. I would pay if I were able to feel safe.

    This may not be complete solution to the problem as there idiots may still turn up. At least people can attend in numbers and feel reality safe in doing so as they are in the hall. The idiots can turn up and yell and scream, but you can then ask the police to move these people on as you have paying customers attending a meeting and you do not want them set upon. You also make the police look foolish if they do not move them on. Like the police wanted the violence, so let the dickheads ‘disturb the peace’.

    Truth be told I do not know the logistics but I think it worth looking into. I may have attended if I was able to stand/sit peacefully and listen to those that had something to say for human rights. I could have entered and existed swiftly and avoided any nationalist nut-bags.

    • Adrian, I think your suggestion that the far right is weakening is wrong. They recently had a big win in Casey (Narre Warren) in stopping an application for a mosque. Apparently a Casey councillor was expected to speak at the far-right rally. If you look at the FB event for far-right rally, you will see this comment for councillor Rosalie Crestani: “Hi, I’m hoping to talk to the Organiser. How can I speak to them?” , with others applauding that she would speak.

      Imagine how emboldened the far right would have been if they had had two victories in two months. They would start threatening many more rallies and groups.

      The situation that the rally organisers found themselves were of course very difficult, but for the sake of communities across Australia threatened by these far right thugs, the organisers could not back down. As Edmund Burke said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do nothing.”

      As to the media’s reporting of this – well their role is to instill fear into people, and deter people from having their say. Should one just pull out for fear of what the media say, as the Greens did? The Greens are now letting Murdoch call the shots. Not a good look.

      Also the media took this line because they want to portray the issue as a simple conflict between the far left and the far right, rather than expose institutionalised racism as the rally did.

      These are difficult times, and there are no easy answers. But backing down in the face of attacks would be handing the far right victory on a plate.

      BTW, there have been quite a few town hall meetings on these issues already.

      • Yes. I agree with you about the media. I do understand what the media does. It’s my point that this played into their hands. Don’t give the media or these far right people air. There are other ways to do things. To communicate your message.
        No one ever handed me a pamphlet about the town hall meetings. But I did get one about the rally. If you see my point.

  2. The anti-racist rally was a great initiative. A sizeable number of people joined the rally. However, it would have been much bigger but for predictions of violence.
    1. Why did the police permit the UPF fascists to rally in Bridges Reserve when this had previously been agreed as the destination of the anti-racism rally? The police then tried to get the organisers of the anti-racist rally to call it off. Maybe the Police Minister should be asked to explain.
    2. The decision of Sam Ratnam and other Greens to boycott the rally was nothing but sabotage. Had she been able to call off the rally it would have set a terrible precedent.
    3. The behaviour of the ultra-lefts was disgraceful. The purpose of the rally was not to rumble with fascists but to build a broad community campaign against racism, which manifests itself most importantly in government policies. Unfortunately this message was obscured in media reports which predictably highlighted violent clashes between the fascists and ultra-left breakaways from the main rally. Talk about left wing infantilism!
    What is perhaps more disturbing was the reactionary behaviour of the ultra-lefts towards the main rally, including forming a wedge and driving through the main rally drowning out the speakers as they went. Perhaps the foulest action, though, was chanting over an Aboriginal singer. Ironically, these nitwits were chanting a pro-Aboriginal refrain. I sincerely hope that in future these people will learn to respect democratic norms. Either that or they should organise their own rallies and leave those people who want to build a broad movement alone. Marx and Engels insisted that communists have no interests separate and apart from those of the movement and that is the only way for the left to operate.

  3. Lynette, how awful to be inconvenienced by being unable to go to a leisure centre for a day. I’m sure all people who are discriminated against every day will feel incredibly sorry for you.

  4. I am shocked that the fascists have intimidated Ms Ratnam and some other Greens members into backing out of the rally. If the Nazi goons manage to scare people off it will set a dangerous precedent. Let us not forget that it is job of the police to ensure that the fascists are kept away from the rally and you have to wonder why these thugs were granted a permit for the same day. Stand up against racism and for the democratic right to peaceful assembly.

  5. Lynette
    Councillor Sue Bolton has organised a peaceful rally endorsed by over 60 groups, including churches and other faith groups. A small group of far right thugs have decided to threaten it. I assume that you are suggesting that anything threatened by far right thugs should be called off. In other words, let far right thugs run the show! Perhaps you are not aware of where such things lead. You could benefit from a history lesson.

  6. Not happy.
    The Coburg Leisure Centre will not be open on Saturday because of your rally.
    It’s all well and good to fight for a cause however, it should not get in the way of people pursuing their hobbies and interests.
    I hope your rally doesn’t turn out like the rallies that have been held in Melbourne’s CBD. It appears these rallies cause more harm than good. Perhaps that is why the Centre had to make the decision to close for the day.
    Member of Coburg Leisure Centre

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