Azlan Petra has made fighting against racism his career, working with asylum seekers, humanitarian groups and communities around the world. He’s currently working to address racial profiling in Victoria – which you may remember us talking about way back last year with Maki Issa, one of the African men involved in the civil case against Victoria Police. In his spare time, Azlan occasionally blogs and tweets for our friends The Two Chairs, an anti-racism online project.
Michael Nolan from Melbourne has taken it upon himself to start a petition against repealing 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
18C condemns offensive speech and actions towards another person based on their race. However, Attorney General George Brandis and Prime Minister Tony Abbott are proposing to repeal the act, claiming it interferes with the right to free speech. This has caused concern in ethnic communities across the country. The Attorney-General’s department is accepting submissions from the public about their thoughts on repealing the act until the end of April.
Michael has collected almost 8,000 signatures protesting against changes to the Act and will submit it at the end of the month. He talks to us about how his migrant family and international friends motivated him to take action.
The Australian Federal Government is proposing to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. This section of the act makes offending, intimidating and harassing people on the basis of their race or culture illegal. Attorney-General George Brandis QC claims this interferes with the right to freedom of speech. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is now looking to repeal this section of the Racial Discrimination act.
Last week, over 150 organisations covering interests of ethnic communities, youth, human rights and law in Australia signed an open letter to the Attorney-General to reconsider repealing the act, as it protects people from hate crimes.
A joint press conference was held in Deakin University Melbourne to discuss the best course of action.
One of the speakers was L-Fresh the Lion, a hip hop artist and community youth worker. He shares with us how his family has experienced racism and explains the importance of legal protection against hate crimes.