On the last Sunday of May, hundreds of Indian students and supporters gathered in front of the Royal Melbourne Hospital for a peace rally urging the Victorian Government to take action to stop violence against Indian students. The rally was called by the Federation of Indian Students Association (FISA), following another violent attack on Indian students on Friday night where 5 Indian men were injured, one man was left fighting for his life from stab wounds.
The demonstrators walked through the city, shouting a simple but powerful message for racial harmony and the end of racial violence. Many were holding bright banners on the way to Parliament, 'We have families too!', 'Racism is poison for everyone!' The demonstrators held a candle light vigil till the early hours of Monday, which was forcibly ended by police in time for peak hour traffic. At the end of the peace rally, 18 people were arrested by police.
FISA has condemned the 'unruly' protestors and criticised the arrestees for possibly harming relations between police officers and the Indian community. An action plan has been proposed by FISA which seeks greater police presence to stem the attacks.
To find out more:
A public meeting will be held on Tuesday 9th June, 6:30pm at Trades Hall, Carlton.