Stop Attacks on Indian & CHINESE Students
Indians, Lebanese, CHINESE, Trade Unionists &
All Anti-Racists Unite
Build Grassroots,
Anti-Racist Patrols!
31 May 2009, Melbourne: Indian students and their allies take a stand against racist attacks. Thousands of protesters staged a sit in at a busy city intersection.

11 June 2009 - Indian students in Australia are desperate. Hundreds of them have been assaulted in recent times. In a small number of cases the attacks have been purely about robberies but mostly, the anti-Indian violence has been motivated by racism. The perpetrators have mainly been white supremacists. In a tiny percentage of cases, hoodlums from other ethnic minorities have also been responsible.

Bashings are becoming more widespread by the day. Four days ago, Indian student Kamal Jit was beaten unconscious by two racists as he walked to his home in an outer Melbourne suburb. Just two weeks earlier, the 23 year-old was pelted with eggs by masked men after getting off a train at St Albans. In late May, a racist gang assaulted four Indian students at a party in Melbourne and told them that they should go back to India. One of the four Indians, Shravan Kumar Theertala was in a coma fighting for his life after the racists stabbed him with a screwdriver. Meanwhile in Sydney’s Western suburbs, 25 year-old Hospitality graduate Rajesh Kumar received serious burns after a petrol bomb was hurled through the window of his Harris Park home.

What is infuriating Indian students the most is the indifference of the police to these racist assaults. Indian students note that because they are dark-skinned victims of violence, police show little interest in pursuing matters. Furthermore, the police and federal and state politicians from the Labor and Liberal parties are denying the racist character of these attacks. This is ridiculous! In many cases, Indians who have been assaulted have not even been robbed. And often the physical violence against them has been accompanied by racist verbal abuse. Yet police spokesman, Inspector Mahony, claimed that, “While Victoria Police acknowledges the Indian community are over-represented as victims, there is no evidence to support [the claim that] Indians are targeted or vilified because of their ethnicity.” In February, this lying policeman outraged Indian students even further when he suggested that they should not talk loudly in their native language in public or travel around with items such as mp3 players on display. So the victims of racist violence are to be blamed for their own victimisation! Worse still when Indian students and their anti-racist supporters have protested against the attacks, they have faced intimidation and sometimes sheer brutality from the police. On May 31 a spirited, thousands strong protest against racist violence in Melbourne was violently dispersed by police. The cops arrested 18 Indian students.

The stance taken by the police and mainstream politicians has not gone unnoticed by the Indian youth. Far from it! At a protest, one Indian student concisely expressed to a Trotskyist Platform representative the opinion that the youth have of the Australian police: “The police are shit heads.”

However, the response of police to the anti-Indian attacks is hardly a shock. Australia’s police are the upholders of a racist social order. It is worth here recalling the reaction of NSW Police to the terrifying rampage this “Australia Day” by hundreds of white youth at Manly Beach. It was then that youth of Anglo-Celtic appearance violently attacked and threatened anyone who was not white, especially targeting people of East Asian ethnicity. One 18 year-old Asian female had to be treated by Ambulance workers after the angry white mob attacked the car she was in. Among the others assaulted were a Sikh Indian taxi driver and an Asian shopkeeper. Yet police arrested just four of the rednecks and of these only one was charged - and not for violent racist attacks but for … assaulting police! Incredibly, Commander Dave Darcy from Manly Local Area Command claimed that the rampaging youth were no worse than a rowdy “old cricket crowd.” Darcy added: “I personally gave them a good looking over, just assessing them. There was an intensity there that no doubt would be confronting to some but at that stage they hadn’t crossed the threshold of criminality.” Yet police consider Indian students peacefully protesting against racist violence to have “crossed the threshold of criminality”!

Just like with today’s anti-Indian attacks, police (and also Manly mayor Jean Hay) worked overtime to cover up the racist character of the Manly Beach riot. Commander Darcy insisted that, “To suggest that there were racial overtones there is, I think, way over the top.” Way over the top! The mob was marching with signs saying “F _ _ k-off we’re full” and chanting “lets go f_ _k with these Lebs” and “If you’re white and you know it clap your hands”!

Those least likely to get police protection from redneck violence in this country are Aboriginal people. Typical of what they face was illustrated by an incident that occurred one night in October 2006 in the NSW Far South Coast town of Bermagui. Three cars filled with armed white racists drove to the houses of two Aboriginal families and while shouting racist abuse attacked the houses. Aboriginal men in the homes fought back while a female elder called the police (The Age, 11 March 2008.) However, when police arrived they not only allowed the racist attackers to leave but later in the day charged the five Aboriginal people who had gone to the police station to relate the events of that night! With such encouragement from the establishment, it is little wonder that a couple of years later, white racists again attacked one of the same Aboriginal families – the Campbells - that had been earlier targeted

Perhaps the starkest example of the inherently racist nature of the Australian “justice” system was seen in the events that surrounded the November 2004 death of Aboriginal man Mulrunji Doomadgee in a police cell in Palm Island, Queensland. Doomadgee was bashed to death by a racist white cop, Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley soon after he had been arrested for simply swearing. But a coroner’s inquiry whitewashed this murder as an “accident.” In response to this terrible injustice and to decades of police violence, 400 Aboriginal people waged a powerful demonstration during which the symbols of racist brutality on Palm Island – the police station and courthouse – ended up being damaged. Even though this Aboriginal struggle caused no physical harm to any persons, several of the heroic Aboriginal protesters were arrested and given jail terms. The leading spokesman for the Aboriginal resistance, Lex Wotton, is still doing a 6 year sentence. Yet the murdering racist policeman ended up walking away free and was even granted over $100,000 compensation!

That is why, while it may be sometimes necessary for international students to call police in response to individual attacks on them, it is absolutely useless to have an overall strategy that looks to the Australian police and legal system to protect Indians from racist attacks. What is needed, instead, is for anti-racists of all colours to join together to form defence squads to patrol areas where attacks on Indians have been most prevalent. Courageously, Indian students in Melbourne have already organised patrols at train stations where racist assaults have been common. Four days ago, Indian youth at St Albans carried out a strong anti-racist act. In response to a bigot yelling to the Indians, “You are black, You don’t belong here. Go away from our country,” the Indians took firm action. (The Times of India, June 9.) This resulted in the racist leaving the scene in a lesser physical condition than he was in prior to unleashing his vile tirade. A car belonging to a person who has committed racist assaults on Indians was also torched.


Trotskyist Platform: PO Box 1101, Fairfield NSW 1860, Australia.
Phone (Australia): 0417 204 611
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