Police brutally attack Muslim rally
Islamic protest on the streets of Sydney from Hyde Park to George Street. Picture: Simon Bullard
Another picture of the same incident
Police use tear gas against Muslim protesters in Hyde Park, Sydney. Picture: Simon Bullard Source: The Australian
Here is what an eyewitness says (slightly edited):
There was sickening police brutality in Sydney today against Muslim protesters. Whatever they say on the news tonight, don’t believe it.
This was an overwhelmingly peaceful protest which police repeatedly attacked, ripped headscarves off women, pepper sprayed, bashed, batoned, tasered, used dogs etc, even against children.
This video shows one example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEJgcoGUMAU
Here is what another person at Hyde Park has written:
JUST FOR THE RECORD- I was in Hyde Park today- I saw the rally and WHAT I SAW- was cops PEPPER SPRAYING CHILDREN- some as young as 5- I saw them beat the shit out of peaceful protesters and I saw them hyping up their attack dogs- the state’s racism was on full display and I wanted to rip their … heads off. SOLIDARITY WITH EVERYONE WHO FIGHTS BACK AGAINST RACISM!!!!
The police violence will be used to ramp up anti-Muslim hysteria and spill over into anti-refugee rhetoric. It will be another touchstone of the racism so convenient for the ruling class to stir up and distract workers from the obvious – capitalism around the globe is in crisis and the bosses are going to try and make us pay for it.
In Sydney that will mean for example Barry O’Farrell and the other mainstream political barbarians condemning ‘the violence’ as they violently attack education in the State.
The media will make much of the fact that one of the printed placards read “behead those who insult the Prophet”.
Others evidently had something like our dead are in heaven, yours are in hell. Since the West has killed millions of innocent Muslims in the last decade, that may well be correct, if you believe.
This placard stuff is in the same league I guess as ‘Ditch the Witch’. Well actually, it isn’t in that league at all. Behead those who blaspheme is a call for the maker of the film to be subject to justice. Perhaps the US could show its bona fides by extraditing the film’s maker to Saudi Arabia for trial under US supported Saudi ‘justice’.
On the other hand ‘Ditch the witch’ wasn’t about justice at all.
What about Grahame Morris, John Howard’s former right hand man, saying voters should ‘kick Julia Gillard to death’, or Alan Jones calling for Gillard to be dumped at sea in a chaff bag, or Robbie Farah suggesting she get a noose for her 50th birthday?
The vicious response from the police to this peaceful demonstration is very different to their do nothing response to threats of violence against the Prime Minister. The response of the media to the rally and the placard will be very different to their response to the utterances of their favourites like Jones and Morris.
Here is one example of police intimidation.
Here is another:
There will I suspect be all this vile rubbish about how Islam is inherently violent. Yeah, name all those Islamic countries which have bases in 134 countries, which have invaded country after country, which have the blood of millions of innocent Iraqis, Afghans, and before that Vietnamese on their hands? Oh, there aren’t any? You mean that is the USA? Well blow me down with a feather. Western imperialism is the real terrorist, and the enemy of peace across the globe.
It looks as if the video has been the spark for anti-Americanism across North Africa and the Middle East, and now Australia. And why not? It is of course US imperialism in the Middle East that has imposed friendly dictators in country after country or come to some sort of accommodation with them.
It is US imperialism, in alliance with its Arab puppets, that impoverishes the region and enriches a few in the Arab countries and the US.
It is US imperialism that props up the Zionist regime in Israel and supports the genocide of the Palestinian people.
It is US imperialism that drone bombs kids to death.
Some racist sites are making much of a kid at the demo holding a banner saying ‘behead those who insult the Prophet.’ As I have argued that is a call for justice.
But of course what the racists don’t compare that to is the fact our rulers are killing Muslim kids all across the globe. Here is a picture that should be etched in the minds of all those, like Andrew Bolt, who support the police attacks on Muslims, and are using that as an excuse to promulgate and reinforce their racism.
The incomplete revolutions in Egypt and other countries show that overthrowing US backed dictators doesn’t guarantee either freedom or food, justice or jobs. It hasn’t stopped Obama drone killing kids across the region. The next stage of the Arab Spring revolutions, a workers’ revolution, if it happens, alone has that capacity.
The State, the police and the media who attacked, vilified and lied about building workers at the Grocon Emporium site in Melbourne are the same breed of politicians, police and media who attack, vilify and lie about Muslims.
I was at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy demo. Remember the headlines (including from the ABC) about a riot? And brutal demonstrators? Not one arrest. Why? As police admitted 3 months later there hadn’t been any threats or violence from the protestors. Same horse, different jockey.
Muslim people protesting against the vilification of their Prophet are not our enemies. The leaders of the West are; the political leaders we have in power in Australia now are. So too are those who attacked the demonstration and the politicians and those who will misuse what happened for their own perfidious purposes.
What happened in Sydney today is a concentrated version of what happens on a daily basis to many Muslims in Australia. Their daily experience is or can be of suspicion, racism, repression and fear, not to mention over-policing.
As well as unleashing more Islamophobia and racism across the country, the police attack on Muslim demonstrators in Sydney will be used as cover for the further brutalisation by the O’Farrell Government of lives across New South Wales.
We need to build a political movement that fights against racism and the other forms of oppression, including religious repression, which flow from capitalism itself. That means building the fight against the economic exploitation at the heart of the system and joining with all those who resist capitalism in its many manifestations, economic, political and social.
Readers might also like to have a look at Police brutalise peaceful Muslim protest in Sydney.
Here is a link to a Socialist Alternative video of eyewitness shots of the police violence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh8AG5tOEEA&feature=player_embedded