THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
SYDNEY SUPPORTS 18C IN WALK FOR RESPECT
Labor Members of Parliament, Tony Burke, Mark Dreyfus and Michelle Rowland along with more than a thousand other people today marched in a Walk for Respect in Lakemba to show support for Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
18C protects against offence, insult, humiliation and intimidation based on race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin.
“Today’s walk sends a clear message to the Government that Australians want cultural respect to be protected,” Mr Burke said.
“This Government believes that people have the right to be bigots.
“Today’s Walk for Respect shows that racist hate speech and bigotry is never welcome in our communities.”
“Labor introduced the protections against racial hate speech in Section 18C almost twenty years ago, and we continue to stand by those protections today,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“Since the Government released their proposed changes to Section 18C thousands of communities, legal experts and many others across Australians have made submissions.
“We know that overwhelmingly those submissions have argued that Section 18C should not be watered down to allow racist hate speech.”
“The proposed amendments show an alarming lack of understanding and appreciation of the dynamics of Australia’s diverse society,” Ms Rowland said.
“One of our country’s proudest achievements is our multicultural society and I believe every Australian deserves the right to live free from racial and ethnic vilification.”
More than a thousand community members from across Sydney joined the march, which concluded in a BBQ at Parry Park.
SUNDAY, 25 MAY 2014