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Greens condemn extremism, defend multiculturalism

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 17 Sep 2012

Australian Greens multiculturalism spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that we must not abandon our commitment to a rich and vibrant, multicultural Australia in the wake of the violent protests in Sydney over the weekend.

“Make no mistake – the Greens condemn the violent protests which took place in Sydney over the weekend. The violent actions and extreme views of a minority of protesters are unacceptable,” said Senator Di Natale.

“But the knee jerk and opportunistic call from some commentators for Australia to shut its doors and ‘give intolerance a try’ is just as offensive. Both forms of extremism have no place in a modern Australia

“I’ve been heartened that there have been many statements by leaders and members of the Islamic community, who also condemn the violence and declare that the protests do not represent them. It would be a mistake to paint all members of one community with the same brush.

“Multiculturalism is one of Australia’s enduring successes – and it should be protected.

“The Australian story is one of many diverse people and backgrounds coming together to enrich our shared experience. Recent census data shows us that nearly a quarter of Australians were born overseas and nearly half have one parent born overseas.

“My own parents made the long journey from Italy without speaking any English, but they brought with them the hope for a better life in Australia. And like so many other families, they found it.

“While there is no place for violent protests in this country, and we support cancellation of visas if appropriate after due process, there must also be no place for hateful retaliation.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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