Anti-racist rally confronts bigots in Brisbane

Below is a reprinted article from the Direct Action Socialist newspaper about an anti-racism rally in Brisbane. The text is by Owain Jones. The rhetoric of groups such as the APDM is the same as the Norwegian killer Andrew Brevnick who demonstrated the dangers that can follow from allowing right wing Islamophobes to flourish. These groups feed off the Islamophobia and xenophobia of the mainstream political parties to try and create an opening for the growth of far right nationalism/facism withint the community. The photo is also reprinted from the Direct Action article.

A 100 strong anti-racist rally was held in Brisbane on August 6. The rally was called in response to a protest organised by the far-right racist group, Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM). The APDM takes its inspiration from the racist English Defence League – the same group that inspired the gunman who slaughtered nearly 100 people last month in Norway.

The anti-racist rally outnumbered the APDM by around three to one and held its ground despite a number of protesters being threatened by the racists. The rally kept up spirited chanting for two hours throughout the APDM gathering – “Muslims are welcome, racists are not”; “Say it loud, say it clear, racists are not welcome here”.

Rally organiser, Kathy Newnam told the rally “The APDM tries to couch their racism in the language of rights and liberty. Their gathering today even dares to claim that they are in favour of women’s rights. They are condemning Muslim women who wear the burqa and make the most disgusting sexist and vile threats against them and then they claim to be on the side of women! There is little doubt that these are the same people who carry out their threats on the streets - harassing and threatening women who wear the hijab or the burqa.

“Their vile and inhumane rhetoric is designed to appeal to xenophobia and ignorance. It is designed to dehumanise Muslim people and create an atmosphere of hatred and fear.

“Anyone who gives any ground to this vile racism in the name of defending women is a fraud. Those that support laws against the burqa supposedly in the name of women’s rights are an absolute disgrace. They are happy to shut women who wear the burqa out of public spaces, out of education. And it has nothing to do with women’s rights and absolutely everything to do with racism and a colonial mentality of thinking that they know what is best.

“Anyone who lines up with these frauds, anyone who gives breathing space for these racist bigots also bears responsibility for the racist violence that is being carried out under the name of “rights” and “liberty”.

“There is violence and harassment against Muslim people that is taking place every day – physical violence, verbal attacks and the constant threat of violence. This threat is created by the racist anti-Muslim sentiment that is consistently whipped up by governments and by the corporate media and it is groups like the APDM that deepen this threat by their appeal to extreme racism and xenophobia – and trying to give organised form to this threat.

“We only need to remember the 2005 Cronulla riots to realise just how real this threat is. Encouraged again by government and media racism, 5000 thugs took to the streets of Cronulla and went on a violent rampage, attacking anyone they considered to be of Middle Eastern appearance.

“That day the world saw Australian racism – but while it does not spill out on the streets every day, it is something that is always there. That riot didn’t spring from no-where - it was the product of a long history of racism and xenophobia. Racism has a 223 year long history in this country and it has very real human impacts every single day. It’s ironic, though no co-incidence that the same racists who organise to deny the rights of refugees and migrants in Australia are also the loudest opponents of Aboriginal land rights.”

Newnam also stated that while the anti-racist rally was called in response to the APDM, it was also to make a stand against all racism and xenophobia, stating that “right now the federal government is fanning the flames of racism and bigotry in its racist rhetoric and treatment of refugees. It is Gillard and Bowen who are responsible for giving the APDM racists the confidence to crawl out from under their rocks”.

Refugee Action Collective activist, Duncan Hart also spoke to the rally about the racism behind the treatment of refugees by the Federal government and about the inhumanity of the mandatory detention system. Hart encouraged those at the rally to support the upcoming refugee rights protest that will be held to mark Tampa Day (see; for details).

The rally also heard from Qld Greens member Dr Libby Connors and performances by the Combined Unions Choir and local singer-songwriter Steve Towson.

Stop the War Collective activist and long time anti-racist campaigner, Adrian Skerritt explained the connection between the rise of anti-Muslim racism and the campaigns of governments and the corporate media that attempt to justify the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. Skerritt also highlighted the importance of the fight against far right groups like APDM because as the economic crisis deepens, then racist scapegoating will also intensify.

Another anti-racist rally will be held on October 15 against the APDM “Ban Islam” protest. For more information, email or phone 0400 720 757.



why would you delete my Questions?
I asked,If I am against Muslim women who are married then they get raped and their government send them to gaol or stones them to death would that make me racist or Islamophobic?
If I am against arranged marriage does that make me racist or Islamophobic?
If I think women have the right to a education and should also have the right be proud of their bodies and dress what way they want, which includes the Burqa or a bikini and should not be told how to dress by their Government or religious leaders does that make me racist or Islamophobic?
If I think that people have the right to be Gay and not be sent to gaol or stoned to death does that make me Racist or Islamophobic?
Or if I disgree with Israel they way they treat non Jews or the way they treat Palestine does that make me anti semitic or racist?
I don't think all xenophobia is bad I think the Aboriginal people in Australia, Americain red Indian etc etc had every right to be xenophobes I too would of had a fear and hatred to foreigners if I was them living in the time their land was invaded.
And one last question can you name one country that is not racist?
To delete my questions was going down the same line as some Muslim or communist countries, and I dont think we need that type of behavior here in Australia free speech is a good thing without being judged as a racist, Islamophobic or anti semitic for saying what I believe to be right, but please if you disagree with me put your view forward and I will respect your opinion even though I do not agree with it and will not label you, that is how a civilised country should operate

I would like to see you answer the questions above or are the questions too hard to answer????

They deleted your questions because you made them look like fools.
I agree with everything you have said you got them a good one, and every country is racist.

Nice to see a fair, unbiased, balanced reporting of these events and issues.

The term "Australian racism" is used freely here, and therein is revealed the so-called 'reverse racism' at play here. What is meant of course is 'White Australians'. Australia is relentlessly promoted as a 'multicultural society', and yet that is seemingly only for the good things. When bad things happen, suddenly the nation is perceived as 'all White', for instance, with the Indian student bashings. It was just 'assumed' those assaults were carried out by Whites, because, well, 'all [Aussies] are racist'. For Aussie, read 'White'.
The Cronulla Riots are constantly referenced as an example of the seething racism of 'White Australia'. No attention is ever paid to the antecedents, which involve the racist side of the so-called 'minority' involved (and they are well represented in the stakes of hate crimes only it isn't popular to focus on that), and the ugliness they brought to the beach in the years, months, weeks and days leading up to the riot. That isn't to say there is no racism out that way, and that isn't to say shock jocks didn't stoke nationalism. But this business of left wing agitators constantly piling the onus onto 'White Australians' is creating this dialectic where in the name of confronting one set of prejudices, a whole other lot spring up on the opposite side. So mind your friggin' rhetoric or I'll fly up there and spray you lot with bat's piss. Now grow up, cut your hair, and get a god-damned job!

Shit hot Stanley I love it well said.

Spray them with bats piss, cut your hair,get a job,Stanley I'm on the ground holding my guts laughing my head off, love it, love it, love it

Bunch of idiots ... all these comments seem to be from racist aussiess, not the broadminded ones... answer to which country is not racist ... Canada