Racist thugs attack Indian students
It was early morning, and the armed thugs of the State moved in to attack students demonstrating for basic rights.
Tiananmen Square twenty years ago?
No. Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station intersection on the morning of 1 June.
Thousands of Indian students were protesting against racist attacks on them over the last few weeks.
The response of the Victorian cops was to beat up the students.
The original attacks on the students weren’t racist, one of the top policeman said.
The racist stereotyping went like this: Indian students travel alone, often late at night. They are soft targets. All the cops left out was: ‘They are asking for it.’
Swinburne University Student Union president Damian Ridgwell has condemned the police attack.
“Thousands of students rallied on 31 May, responding to a series of vicious attacks on Indian international students” said Mr Ridgwell.
“Many thousands stayed peacefully in the intersection outside Flinders St Station until late into the night. They were addressed by Chief Commissioner Simon Overland, who failed to address the students’ concerns in any meaningful way.
“Then at about five am on 1 June, around a hundred police assembled and proceeded to violently attack the remaining protestors.
“The protestors were sitting on the ground with arms linked. Rather than prising the students loose, the police mounted a vicious assault.
“I witnessed police officers stomp on a student’s chest. Other police officers repeatedly punched students in the face.
“A sitting protestor was knocked unconscious by repeated punches to the head by a policeman.
“At least one baton was drawn and used to smash a protestor’s legs, while the front row of students was threatened with capsicum spray.
“Already we know that one protestor who has been admitted to hospital had their thumb broken during the police attack.
“Students were asking for nothing more than basic safety”, Mr Ridgwell said.
“We were asking for staff on trains, more residential accommodation on campus, a community education program to challenge the racism that international students face.
“Instead of having their legitimate demands addressed, students have been treated to yet another brutal assault – this time from Victoria police.”
Mr Ridgwell called on trade unions and others in the community to rally behind the Indian students.
“Politicians have been stirring up racism against refugees, Muslims and Aboriginal people for years. Now Indian students are paying the price. This is the time to take a public stand against the scourge of racism.”
It is no accident police attack the victims of racist attacks. The cops are the ‘protectors’ of the system, not the people who might be its victims.
They protect the whole rotten edifice and so of necessity attack those who challenge that systemic racism.
The time to build a mass radical campaign against racism has arrived. We must all – aborigines, muslims, refugees, workers and students – join with Indian students in their challenge to the systemic racism of Australian capitalism.