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November 3, 2010

REFUGEE ADVOCATES CONDEMN ABBOTT STOKING RACIST FIRES IN THE COMMUNITY

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Press Release November 3, 2010

The Refugee Action Coalition today condemned Tony Abbott’s visit to Inverbrackie for stirring anti-refugee and racist sentiments in the community.

“The man who once like to boast about his role in undermining One Nation is now openly encouraging the racism and the re-emergence of Hanson’s party,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Where Abbott’s mentor, John Howard, was happy to dog whistle his support for Hanson, Abbott is now openly encouraging the crackpots of the racist right.

“It was John Howard’s anti-refugee policies that encouraged the racism and Islamophobia that led to the Cronulla riots in 2005. Now Abbott is trying to put the Liberal Party at head of inflaming those same sentiments.

“The anti-refugee sentiments shamefully on display in Inverbrackie and Northam are a direct result of the race to the bottom between the Liberal and Labor parties before, during and after the election. It is not the racism in the community that is the real problem; it is the racism and dog whistling of our political leaders.

“Rather than stand up to the Liberals fear mongering about boats, Julia Gillard caved in. Her proposal for a regional processing centre in East Timor sends the message that asylum seekers are not welcome in Australia. The unprincipled position has left the door open to the disgraceful policies espoused by Tony Abbott.

“John Howard and Pauline Hanson’s anti-refugee policies were beaten by the efforts of the grassroots refugee movement exposing the myths behind the fear mongering. If Tony Abbott thinks the Liberals will win support by encouraging and appealing to racism, he better think again.

“A recent Red Cross poll showed that over 80 percent of Australians would be willing to assist refugees to settle in Australia. The noisy public meetings in Northam and Inverbrackie are not representative of the wider community.“

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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