WGAR News: CommunityRun Petition: 'Stop the changes to the Racial Discrimination Act: Don't remove Section 18c'.

Newsletter date: 3 May 2014

Contents:

* Change.org Petition: Racism Ruins Lives - Keep Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
* CommunityRun Petition: 'Stop the changes to the Racial Discrimination Act: Don't remove Section 18c'.
* Michelle Lovegrove, Living Black Radio: Racial Discrimination Is About All Of Us [Featuring Michael Nolan who set up a petition via the community website Community Run]

* Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Inc.: Proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)

* Sharron Williams, SNAICC Chairperson: Racial Discrimination Act should be left well enough alone

* Ghillar (Michael Anderson), Sovereign Union: Australia about to wind back its commitment to CERD Convention

* Australian Human Rights Commission: Close the Gap advises against changes to the Racial Discrimination Act
* Marie McInerney, Croakey - the Crikey health blog: Racial Discrimination Act changes: they’ll make people sick

* National Congress of Australia's First Peoples: Changes to the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)
* National Congress of Australia's First Peoples: No Case for Change to the RDA, a fundamental racial protection
* Michelle Lovegrove, Living Black Radio: Uniting Over Racial Discrimination [Les Malezer speaks with Joanna Lester]
* Greg Dyett, SBS World News Radio: Community groups await result of RDA campaign

* Reconciliation Australia: Submission to the Attorney-General - Proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

* Bindi Cole, The Guardian: I took Andrew Bolt to court - because free speech should never mean the right to savagely hurt others
* Daniel Burdon, The Chronicle: Nova Peris warns Abbott on Racial Discrimination Act
* Michael Gordon, SMH: Noel Pearson warns RDA changes will embolden bigots

* ANTaR: No compelling reason to amend the Racial Discrimination Act
* ANTaR: ANTaR responds to the Attorney General's Freedom of Speech Exposure Draft

* Michelle Lovegrove, Living Black Radio: Have Your Say Over Race Hate Laws [Featuring Amnesty's Indigenous Rights Manager Tammy Solonec]

* Human Rights Law Centre: Changes to racial vilification laws a backwards step
* Michelle Lovegrove, Living Black Radio: Legal Analysis Criticises Proposed Race Law Changes [Featuring Human Rights Law Centre Executive Director Hugh de Krester]

* Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania: Australia must not enable bigots and racists

* Greens Senators Penny Wright and Richard Di Natale: Saying no to racial hate speech
* Greens Senator Penny Wright: No hate speech

* James Supple, Solidarity Online: Liberals' aim to boost racism, not free speech

* Frances Bell, ABC News: NSW and Victoria join forces to oppose Coalition changes to Racial Discrimination Act

* Background: Opposition to proposed Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) changes

* CHANGE.ORG PETITION: RACISM RUINS LIVES - KEEP SECTION 18C OF THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT

- Petition

Change.org: Racism Ruins Lives: Keep Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
Petitioning Federal Attorney General George Brandis
Petition by Jess Short, Australia
http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/federal-attorney-general-george-br...
"Growing up with brown skin in Australia was not easy. I experienced racist taunts at school, in hospitals, on the bus and from work colleagues. This made me feel insecure about myself. I know so many others who feel the same as a result of racist remarks they have been subjected to as they go about their daily routine. Australians want to live in a society where people aren’t insulted, offended or intimidated on the basis of the colour of their skin. But many people still hear awful remarks on the basis of their race - that is why it is important Australia has laws to help us end this. ... "

* COMMUNITYRUN PETITION: 'STOP THE CHANGES TO THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT: DON'T REMOVE SECTION 18C'.

- Petition

CommunityRun: 'Stop the changes to the Racial Discrimination Act: Don't remove Section 18c'.
To: Attorney General George Brandis and Prime Minister Tony Abbott
http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-changes-to-anti-discriminatio...
"Dear Mr. Brandis and Mr. Abbott,
We, the undersigned, strongly urge you to reconsider your intention to repeal section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth). It is our right, as individuals from all walks of life, to feel free and protected from unfair discrimination based on race. As such, we urge you to retain section 18c of the Act, which makes it unlawful for people to vilify others on racial grounds."

* MICHELLE LOVEGROVE, LIVING BLACK RADIO: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IS ABOUT ALL OF US [FEATURING MICHAEL NOLAN WHO SET UP A PETITION VIA THE COMMUNITY WEBSITE COMMUNITY RUN]

- Audio

SBS Living Black Radio: Racial Discrimination Is About All Of Us
By Michelle Lovegrove
http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/aboriginal/highlight/page/id/332222/t...
28 Apr 14: "Repealing Sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act ... One community member who decided to do something is Michael Nolan. Michael's a young man who lives in Melbourne and has struggled to find his own sense of identity in an mixed-culture family, where one culture was demeaned based on the colour of skin, and "difference". Michael's set up a petition via the community website Community Run - to Stop Changes to Racial Discrimination Law"

* TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL CENTRE INC.: PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 (CTH)

- Letter

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Inc.: Proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
http://tacinc.com.au/proposed-changes-to-racial-discrimination-act-1975-...
"Please click here to view our response to the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth):
http://tacinc.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Racial-Discrimination-Ac... "

* SHARRON WILLIAMS, SNAICC CHAIRPERSON: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT SHOULD BE LEFT WELL ENOUGH ALONE

- Statement

SNAICC News: Media Release 28 April 2014 - Racial Discrimination Act should be left well enough alone
Statement by SNAICC Chairperson, Sharron Williams
[SNAICC: Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care]
http://www.snaicc.org.au/news-events/fx-view-article.cfm?loadref=32&id=1422
http://www.snaicc.org.au/news-events/dsp-default-e.cfm?loadref=86&txnid=...
28 Apr 14: "Our community leaders and educators want to build a society where our next generation can heal from the impacts of racial prejudice and move forward together to embrace the richness of Australia’s cultural diversity.
The proposed changes to the RDA threaten to undermine these efforts, exposing our children to a society that permits a vocal minority to make unwarranted comments that vilify them and their cultural groups based on race. All this, when we know that positive cultural identity is critical to the wellbeing of our children.
SNAICC agrees with the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples that the proposed reforms to the RDA are so fundamental, the issue should be made a conscience vote in Parliament. Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt has expressed his concerns over the draft legislation and there are reports other Government MPs also have doubts.
SNAICC is strongly opposed to the Government’s proposed reforms to the RDA. We believe they are unnecessary and have the potential to have a profound and negative impact on public discourse and race relations in this country."

- Related Audio

NIRS: Child care body wants no change to discrimination laws
http://www.nirs.org.au/blog/NEWS/article/33635/Child-care-body-wants-no-...
1 May 14: "A peak child care body has joined a long list of community organisations and representative bodies to condemn the Federal Government's proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. Frank Hytten from the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care says he's heard no convincing reasons to change the laws to allow people to 'offend, insult or humiliate' others. ... " By Warren Barnsley

* GHILLAR (MICHAEL ANDERSON), SOVEREIGN UNION: AUSTRALIA ABOUT TO WIND BACK ITS COMMITMENT TO CERD CONVENTION

- Letter

Sovereign Union: Australia about to wind back its commitment to CERD Convention
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Copy of Sovereign Union's urgent notification sent to 100 Embassies in Canberra on 14 November 2013
http://nationalunitygovernment.org/su-letter-sent-100-embassies-re-cerd-...
14 Nov 13: "Your Excellency, ...
The purpose of this correspondence is to alert you to the winding back of the powers of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 by the newly elected Tony Abbott conservative government. It is reported far and wide1 that the first legislation Senator George Brandis, Federal Attorney-General, is planning to introduce to the 44th parliament is to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. Section 18C creates a punishable offence so that an Australian Court can deal with offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin. ...
We respectfully ask you to raise this matter with Australian diplomats as Aboriginal Peoples are exceptionally vulnerable to any further winding back of protections from racial discrimination.
Sincerely, Ghillar (Michael Anderson), Convenor, Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia"

* AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: CLOSE THE GAP ADVISES AGAINST CHANGES TO THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT

- News Analysis

Australian Human Rights Commission: Close the Gap advises against changes to the Racial Discrimination Act
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/close-gap-advises-against-ch...
1 May 14: "The Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee has recommended the Federal Government not proceed with proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). Campaign Co-Chair Kirstie Parker (pictured with Prime Minister Tony Abbottt and Close the Gap Co-Chair, Mick Gooda) said the proposed changes would significantly weaken protections against racial hatred. "We know that racism makes us sick and we know that legislative protections play a key role in shaping acceptable social norms. ... "If we are to close the unacceptable health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians, racism must be addressed. The RDA in its current form has a critical role to play," she said. ... "

* MARIE MCINERNEY, CROAKEY - THE CRIKEY HEALTH BLOG: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT CHANGES: THEY'LL MAKE PEOPLE SICK

- News Analysis

Croakey - the Crikey health blog: Racial Discrimination Act changes: they’ll make people sick
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2014/05/01/racial-discrimination-act-...
1 May 14: "What do we make of the Federal Government’s commitment to ‘closing the gap’ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health if it continues to back changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, when we know that racism is a serious health concern in Australia? That’s the underlying challenge in the submission to the proposed changes lodged yesterday, the final day for public input, by the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee - a coalition of Australia’s leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and human rights organisations." Marie McInerney, Croakey contributor

Articles by Marie McInerney - Croakey
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/author/mariemc/

* NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AUSTRALIA'S FIRST PEOPLES: CHANGES TO THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT (RDA)

- Background

National Congress of Australia's First Peoples: Changes to the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)
http://nationalcongress.com.au/racism-it-stops-with-me/
"The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) rejects the government’s Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S. 18D) Bill 2014, which seeks to amend the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
Read the full Congress submission to Government here:
http://nationalcongress.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/National-Congr...
Congress believes the Federal Government’s plans to abolish important legislative protections for the racially vulnerable threaten decades of hard work to build positive race relations in Australia.
Click here to read more detail on the Attorney General’s proposed changes:
http://nationalcongress.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Exposure-Draft...
Check out the Human Rights Commission website for full information on the Racial Discrimination Act.:
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination "

* NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AUSTRALIA'S FIRST PEOPLES: NO CASE FOR CHANGE TO THE RDA, A FUNDAMENTAL RACIAL PROTECTION

- Statement

National Congress of Australia's First Peoples: No Case for Change to the RDA, a fundamental racial protection
http://nationalcongress.com.au/no-case-for-change-to-the-rda-a-fundament...
1 May 14: "The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples rejects the Coalition Government’s proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) and has called in its submission to the Attorney-General for the Exposure Draft of the Freedom of Speech (Repeal of Section 18C) Bill 2014 to be abandoned in its entirety.
The RDA is a key, if not foundational, law establishing Australia’s identity as a nation upholding equality and tolerance within a diverse multicultural society.
The racial hatred provisions of the Act, contained in Part IIA and including Sections 18C, D and E, have functioned satisfactorily since being passed in 1995. They were introduced after long-standing and rigorous debate regarding the balance of freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination.
"Congress is concerned that change as proposed to these provisions would send a signal that racism is acceptable," said Congress Co-Chair Kirstie Parker. “We cannot justify racial vilification as a freedom. Our key objections include, but are not limited, to: ... "

"Congress is a leader and advocate for protecting and advancing the wellbeing and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Congress has about 8000 individual members and over 180 organisational members, including peak, national and local bodies."

- Related News Analysis

ABC News: Racial Discrimination Act changes could lead to race riots, Government warned by ethnic groups
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-30/racial-discrimination-act-changes-...
"Kirstie Parker from the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples wants the changes to be scrapped completely. "It adopts a very broad definition of harm," she said. "It talks about physical harm and fails to recognise the emotional, psychological and social harm done by racism has a very real and adverse effect on particularly the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can participate in society. "We think it basically provides licence to racists."" By political correspondent Emma Griffiths

- Related Audio

NIRS: Congress fears potential impacts of RDA changes
http://www.nirs.org.au/blog/NEWS/article/33618/Congress-fears-potential-...
1 May 14: "A spokesperson for the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples says she's 'horrified' by the possible implications of the Federal Government's proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. ... Congress Co-Chair Kirstie Parker says the current laws, which make offending, insulting or humiliating others on the basis of race unlawful, have been successful in promoting free speech while protecting people from racism."

See: Background to National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/05/background-to-the-national-congress-o...

* MICHELLE LOVEGROVE, LIVING BLACK RADIO: UNITING OVER RACIAL DISCRIMINATION [LES MALEZER SPEAKS WITH JOANNA LESTER]

- Audio Interview

SBS Living Black Radio: Uniting Over Racial Discrimination
By Michelle Lovegrove
http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/aboriginal/highlight/page/id/332224/t...
28 Apr 14: "Natonal Congress Joins Forces with multicultural groups. ... Les Malezer speaks with Joanna Lester"

* GREG DYETT, SBS WORLD NEWS RADIO: COMMUNITY GROUPS AWAIT RESULT OF RDA CAMPAIGN

- Audio

SBS World News Radio: Community groups await result of RDA campaign
http://www.sbs.com.au/podcasts/Podcasts/radionews/episode/333109/Communi...
2 May 14: "In this campaign the Arab Council reached out to the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples. Its co-chair is Les Malezer.
"It is a common interest. There's complete agreement amongst all of our groups about how we should be approaching this exercise and that we shouldn't be supporting the changes that the government is pushing for. And amongst that we're finding that there's a lot more common interest that we have to, it's not just about 18 C of the Racial Discrimination Act but it's about a view of a strong, tolerant multicultural society in Australia, including respect for the first peoples." ... " By Greg Dyett

* RECONCILIATION AUSTRALIA: SUBMISSION TO THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL - PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975

- Submission

Reconciliation Australia: Submission to the Attorney-General
Proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014)
http://www.reconciliation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/RASubmission...
30 Apr 14: "3. Reconciliation and racism: Reconciliation Australia believes that racism harms individuals and directly damages the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the wider community. It is a significant barrier to achieving our vision for a reconciled, just and equitable Australia. ... Discussing racism can be uncomfortable and even resented, yet the fact remains that too many Australians and too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to experience racism on a regular basis."

- Related Audio

National Indigneous Radio Service 'Weekly News In Review'
Please click on the drop box link below to access this week’s WNIR:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3acltg4xezuq9n1/MASTER%20WNIR%202%20MAY%202014...
2 May 14: "It features an interview with Justin Mohamed on NAACHO’s response to the Commission of Audit, and Dr Tom Calma on the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act and Reconciliation Australia’s submission to the RDA exposure draft."

* BINDI COLE, THE GUARDIAN: I TOOK ANDREW BOLT TO COURT - BECAUSE FREE SPEECH SHOULD NEVER MEAN THE RIGHT TO SAVAGELY HURT OTHERS

- Analysis / Opinion

The Guardian: I took Andrew Bolt to court - because free speech should never mean the right to savagely hurt others
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/29/i-took-andrew-bolt-...
29 Apr 14: "There is free speech, and then there is the responsibility we all share as decent human beings not to savagely hurt others or incite hatred within the community ... Everyone deserves the right to be free from discrimination. There is no place in our community for hateful, shaming, denigrating, humiliating and intimidating speech. It’s just not on, and I’m not sure how we arrived at a destination where some believe that this type of behavior is acceptable, or even an absolute right." Bindi Cole

Bindi Cole - The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/profile/bindi-cole
"Bindi Cole is a photographer, curator and new media artist of Wathaurung and Australian descent whose work is held in various collections across the world. Much of her work deals with issues of identity and her 2008 photographic project 'Not Really Aboriginal'explored her family's identification as Aboriginal people. She is one of the nine people who took columnist Andrew Bolt to court in 2011 after he questioned their motives for identifying as Aboriginal. She currently lives in Melbourne"

* DANIEL BURDON, THE CHRONICLE: NOVA PERIS WARNS ABBOTT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT

- News

The Chronicle: Nova Peris warns Abbott on Racial Discrimination Act
http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/nova-peris-warns-abbott-racial-discr...
25 Apr 14: " THE Abbott government's push to change the Racial Discrimination Act has "sabotaged" efforts to recognise indigenous Australians in the Constitution, the nation's first female indigenous Senator has warned Tony Abbott. Northern Territory Labor Senator Nova Peris this week wrote to Prime Minister Abbott urging him to pull the plug on the changes to the Act proposed by Attorney-General Senator George Brandis. Those changes, which Sen Brandis said defended people's "right to be bigots", have sparked concern across Australia's indigenous community and ethnic and cultural groups. " Daniel Burdon

* MICHAEL GORDON, SMH: NOEL PEARSON WARNS RDA CHANGES WILL EMBOLDEN BIGOTS

- News

SMH: Noel Pearson warns RDA changes will embolden bigots
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/noel-pearson-warns...
1 May 14: "EXCLUSIVE Planned changes to race hate laws will embolden bigots, disempower the vulnerable and set back the cause of reconciliation and closing the gap, the indigenous leader most admired by Prime Minister Tony Abbott warns. Branding the changes a "cruel blow" and "a seriously backward step", Noel Pearson has mounted a detailed and passionate defence of existing racial vilification laws and urged the government to leave them as they are. Declaring that ordinary indigenous people still suffer much racism in their daily lives, ... " Michael Gordon, Political editor, The Age

* ANTaR: NO COMPELLING REASON TO AMEND THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT

- Media Release

ANTaR: No compelling reason to amend the Racial Discrimination Act
http://antar.org.au/reports/no-compelling-reason-amend-racial-discrimina...
http://antar.org.au/sites/default/files/final_antar_rda_submission_media...
1 May 14: "ANTaR has recommended that the Australian Government does not proceed with introducing the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
In a submission to the Attorney General on the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, ANTaR concludes that on balance there is no compelling reason to amend the Act.
ANTaR National President Dr Peter Lewis said "The laws and their interpretations over the past two decades have struck an appropriate balance between the right to freedom of speech and the right to freedom from racial discrimination and vilification."
Dr Lewis said that "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a high level of racism and race hate speech in their daily lives that negatively impacts on individuals, families and communities." ...
The submission notes that the proposed definition of the term ‘vilify’and the broad category of exemptions will, in effect,nullify the protection of individuals and groups from disparaging racist behaviour. ... "

* ANTaR: ANTaR RESPONDS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH EXPOSURE DRAFT

- News

ANTaR: ANTaR responds to the Attorney General's Freedom of Speech Exposure Draft
http://antar.org.au/news/antar-responds-attorney-generals-freedom-speech...
30 Apr 14: "ANTaR has submitted its response to the "Freedom of Speech (repeal of s.18C) Bill 2014" Exposure Draft realeased by Attorney General George Brandis on March 25 2014. The Exposure Draft proposes to alter the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) by removing the prohibitions on hate speech contained in section 18C. In our submission, ANTaR voices our strong opposition to these suggested changes on the basis that they will allow offensive, insulting and humiliating behaviour based on race and have the potential to lead to a less tolerant and less cohesive society. We recommend that the Government does not proceed with introducing the exposure draft into parliament."
Author: siobhan

You can read ANTaR's full submission here: http://antar.org.au/sites/default/files/final_submission_to_proposed_cha...

* MICHELLE LOVEGROVE, LIVING BLACK RADIO: HAVE YOUR SAY OVER RACE HATE LAWS [FEATURING AMNESTY'S INDIGENOUS RIGHTS MANAGER TAMMY SOLONEC

- Audio Interview

SBS Living Black Radio: Have Your Say Over Race Hate Laws
http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/aboriginal/highlight/page/id/332226/t...
28 Apr 14: "The government's timeline for community submissions is almost over. ... Attorney General George Brandis wants to drop Sections 18B, C, D and E of the Racial Discrimination Act, and replace it with a passage many say will water down legal recourse offered by the Act. Amnesty's Indigneous Rights Manager Tammy Solonec speaks with Michelle Lovgrove."

* HUMAN RIGHTS LAW CENTRE: CHANGES TO RACIAL VILIFICATION LAWS A BACKWARDS STEP

- Analysis / Opinion

Human Rights Law Centre: Changes to racial vilification laws a backwards step
http://hrlc.org.au/changes-to-racial-vilification-laws-a-backwards-step/
1 May 14: "The Australian Government should not proceed with proposed changes to racial vilification laws, the Human Rights Law Centre has recommended in its submission to the public consultation process on proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. The HRLC’s Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, said the changes proposed by Attorney General, George Brandis, would almost effectively abolish the current Federal legal protections against racial vilification and would send an appalling signal about the Government’s views on racial tolerance. ... please contact: HRLC Executive Director Hugh de Kretser"

* MICHELLE LOVEGROVE, LIVING BLACK RADIO: LEGAL ANALYSIS CRITICISES PROPOSED RACE LAW CHANGES [FEATURING HUMAN RIGHTS LAW CENTRE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HUGH DE KRETSER]

- Audio Interview

SBS Living Black Radio: Legal Analysis Criticises Proposed Race Law Changes
By Michelle Lovegrove
http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/aboriginal/highlight/page/id/332216/t...
28 Apr 14: "The Human Rights Law Centre strongly criticises the Attorney General's proposed new legislation to change the Racial Discrimination Act. ... Executive Director Hugh de Krester says the changes significantly water down important elements that protect community members from the harm that comes of racial vilification. ... Mr De Krester tells Michelle Lovegrove, the Attorney General's claim that the law will be strengthened, do not stand up to analysis of the proposed replacement."

* UNITING CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA, SYNOD OF VICTORIA AND TASMANIA: AUSTRALIA MUST NOT ENABLE BIGOTS AND RACISTS

- Media Release

Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania: Australia must not enable bigots and racists
http://blogs.victas.uca.org.au/mediaroom/?p=1908
1 May 14: "The Uniting Church in Australia has called on the Abbott Government to drop its proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
"The amendments proposed would diminish protections against racial vilification. This is totally unacceptable in a multicultural, multi-faith society," said Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney.
"Christian principles of love and inclusion - principles we share with all major faith traditions - lead us to oppose bigotry and intolerance wherever it occurs. It is simply wrong to enable the expression of racial prejudice and bigotry."
In a submission to the Attorney General’s Department, the Assembly, the national council of the Uniting Church, has voiced concern at the effects the changes drafted by Attorney-General George Brandis will have on its members. ...
"For a Church like ours which celebrates inclusion and diversity, these changes are a step in the wrong direction. For the sake of our humanity this Bill must be rejected."" Author: ben.grundy

* GREENS SENATORS PENNY WRIGHT AND RICHARD DI NATALE: SAYING NO TO RACIAL HATE SPEECH

- News Analysis

Greens Senators Penny Wright and Richard Di Natale: Saying no to racial hate speech
http://penny-wright.greensmps.org.au/content/news-stories/saying-no-raci...
http://richard-di-natale.greensmps.org.au/content/news-stories/saying-no...
30 Apr 14: "Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has released his long-threatened proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. The government’s exposure draft came out in March, outlining the details of their proposed changes. The Australian Greens have serious concerns about the changes, many of which are shared by legal and human rights experts, cultural leaders, mental health professionals and those in the community sector, amongst others."

Have a read of our submission to the Attorney-General, condemning his proposed weakening of our racial vilification laws:
http://greensmps.org.au/sites/default/files/rda_submission_from_senators...

* GREENS SENATOR PENNY WRIGHT: NO HATE SPEECH

- Video

Greens Senator Penny Wright: No hate speech
http://penny-wright.greensmps.org.au/no-hate-speech
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uNqvPGNZlek
18 Mar 14: "Respect for people of different cultures is something worth protecting. People from many different cultural backgrounds call Australia home. Multiculturalism is one of our country’s greatest assets. But racial slurs and daily discrimination are still a reality for too many people in our society. The Racial Discrimination Act is an important piece of legislation that protects people living in Australia from racially-motivated hate speech."

* JAMES SUPPLE, SOLIDARITY ONLINE: LIBERALS' AIM TO BOOST RACISM, NOT FREE SPEECH

- Analysis / Opinion

Solidarity Online: Liberals' aim to boost racism, not free speech
http://www.solidarity.net.au/web/liberals-aim-to-boost-racism-not-free-s...
21 Apr 14: "The Liberals’ moves to water down the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) will give confidence to racists everywhere. Attorney General George Brandis has cited the court finding against notorious right-wing media celebrity Andrew Bolt in 2011 as the trigger for the changes. The left should oppose the changes to the RDA. But the real issue at stake is not the detail of the legislation, but the Liberals’ desire to give greater confidence to bigots like Bolt to attack Aboriginal people, Muslims, immigrants and refugees. Brandis’s widely circulated comment that "people do have a right to be bigots" will help make racism more acceptable." By James Supple

* FRANCES BELL, ABC NEWS: NSW AND VICTORIA JOIN FORCES TO OPPOSE COALITION CHANGES TO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT

- News

ABC News: NSW and Victoria join forces to oppose Coalition changes to Racial Discrimination Act
http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-01/nsw-victoria-oppose-coalition-c...
1 May 14: "The Abbott Government is facing a united backlash from its Coalition colleagues in Victoria and New South Wales over proposed changes to racial discrimination laws. The two most populous states have lodged formal submissions opposing the changes, warning they would weaken protections against racial vilification and threaten social cohesion. They are urging Federal Attorney-General George Brandis to abandon plans to repeal section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act." By Frances Bell

* BACKGROUND: OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT (RDA) CHANGES

Last updated: 19 April 2014

http://indymedia.org.au/2014/03/27/background-opposition-to-proposed-rac...

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Sample WGAR News e-newsletters:
http://indymedia.org.au/2013/01/03/about-wgar-news-sample-wgar-news-e-ne...

WGAR events postings:
http://indymedia.org.au/2013/01/03/about-wgar-news-wgar-events-postings

WGAR background info web-pages:
http://indymedia.org.au/2013/01/03/about-wgar-news-wgar-background-info-...

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

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