Fwd: GLW A massive slap in the face for Howard

Alan Bradley alanb at SPAMelf.brisnet.org.au
Sun May 28 07:02:42 MDT 2000

The following article is from the May 31st issue of Green Left Weekly:

A massive slap in the face for Howard

The racist policies of John Howard's government took a big blow in Sydney
on May 28. As Green Left Weekly went to press, hundreds of thousands of
people were walking across Sydney's Harbour Bridge in a massive show of
opposition to racism.

The huge turnout for the Walk for Reconciliation -- including people from
around NSW and even interstate -- was an important victory for the forces
of justice in Australia, for two reasons.

First, it showed that, despite the recent concerted efforts by the racist
right, both in and outside of parliament, to scapegoat indigenous people
and incite racism, masses of ordinary people maintain a strong commitment
to a racism-free world. Even more importantly, it showed that they are
willing, given the opportunity, to take collective, public action to
achieve that end.

As a one-off event, the Walk for Reconciliation won't halt the racist
offensive by Australia's elite; but we can be sure that Howard and his
cabinet, and the closet racists in the ALP “opposition”, were nervously
taking note.

That gives us the best opportunity for some time to increase the pressure
on Howard and the rest of the racist right -- to not just put them on the
defensive, but force them, through further mobilisations of the mass
anti-racist sentiment that clearly exists, to reverse their attacks.

There can be no reconciliation without justice. We must keep organising to
keep demanding: Abolish mandatory sentencing! Land rights for indigenous
people! Compensate the stolen generations! Restore and increase Abstudy
funding! End Aboriginal deaths in custody!

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