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Media Statement on Christchurch

Program Tackles Far Right Extremism in NSW to Prevent Violence and Support Communities

All Together Now is shocked but not surprised about the far-right terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March 2019.

Our thoughts are with the victims of the attack and their loved ones. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters across Australia and Aotearoa.

We have been condemning racist and Islamophobic rhetoric from our country’s leaders — and the media that feeds and amplifies it — since our organisation’s inception. Racism is both deeply engrained and ignored in Australia.

All Together Now has been working since 2012 to specifically undermine far-right extremism, white supremacy and white nationalism in Australia.

While in 2016 CAPE received funding from Multicultural NSW, previously CAPE was largely run on a volunteer basis by All Together Now.

CAPE is one of the projects funded under the Multicultural NSW COMPACT program, which aims to inspire and empower young people to stand united against extremist hate, fear, violence and division.

CAPE focuses on increasing community awareness about far-right extremism.

Under the COMPACT program, CAPE currently provides training to frontline workers in NSW, specifically youth workers and social workers who work with young people who are at risk of being recruited by far-right extremist groups, both online and offline.

The CAPE training aims to enhance the capacity of frontline workers to recognise the full spectrum of far-right extremism in Australia, identify the worrying signs and respond to young people at risk of recruitment.

Since mid-2016, we have also reached out to young people at risk themselves, employing evidence-based approaches aimed at enhancing their critical thinking skills about race and racism and their ability to resist weaponised narratives of the far-right, in particular online.

Background

All Together Now will not be responding to further media enquiries about CAPE at this time because we want to centre and amplify the voices of victims and their families and Muslim communities everywhere, as well as to protect the safety and security of the staff and volunteers who work at All Together Now.

Why Australia deserves a Truth Commission

All Together Now’s volunteer Erika Rodriguez explores the possibility of a Truth Commission for Australia

As a Latina from the U.S. who only recently moved to Australia, I don’t pretend to know everything about the struggle of First Nations People, but my experience does give me an unfortunate familiarity with systematic racial discrimination and injustice. Regardless of my cultural background, as a human being I believe that after years being tortured with massacres, shootings, beatings, theft of their children and land, poisonings, and deaths while in custody, the First Nations People of Australia deserve a chance at peace, to live their lives free of discrimination and racism, and to have their stories accurately heard and documented. Many organisations have been working to research and report accurate information on this history that has been kept out of Australia’s history books, such as The Guardian’s interactive map of “the systematic process of conflict and expansion,” but there is still much left to be done.

The United Nations’ legal definition of genocide reads:

“any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part 1; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

The forced removal of First Nations children from their parents and placement into white homes and the large-scale massacres and other atrocities committed during and after the invasion of Australia are all blatant examples of genocide. It is important that the facts and stories are recorded and available so that racial discrimination, hate, and trauma does not continue to affect future generations, such as the PTSD and nightmares that children of victims of the Rwandan genocide are facing now 25 years later.

As my Master’s Degree in post-conflict peacebuilding has shown me, in many areas of the world that are dealing with post-conflict societal repair, truth telling is a complex and challenging concept and the processes and proposed outcomes may be overwhelming or seem out of reach. Many question whether society could handle hearing all of the brutal details of killings that occurred, wondering if it would feel like rubbing salt in open wounds, create further division, or cause more hurt for the community and the younger generations. Some also consider the idea that documenting these atrocities would officially admit to committing acts of racism and abhorrent human rights abuses by a nation that is now internationally considered to be safe and successful. People often don’t want to believe the worst, especially about the country they call home.

These concerns, however, are meager compared to the proposed benefits of an official truth-telling body, and demonstrated successes that they have had in other areas of the world such as South Africa and Timor-Leste. The First Nations communities could finally have their documented accounts recognized, a true and accurate description of what happened could be updated into school curriculum, a platform for healing of those affected could be opened, and those who are unaware of the details could then have the archives available. These recognitions and progress in human rights could ultimately contribute to an international example of reconciliation for Australia.

According to Reconciliation Australia’s 2018 report, an overwhelming 80% of Australia’s general population “believe it is important to undertake formal truth telling processes in relation to Australia’s shared history.” Considering the resources and international support that Australia has access to, there is no reason that a truth-telling body should not be established. Doing so has the potential to take a step toward combating the systematic racism that continues today, and finally releasing the tight grip that White Australia holds around First Nations communities and their history.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Is truth-telling an important step toward reconciliation and healing for Australia?

An open letter to Nathan

face of Reclaim Australia rally

Earlier this week, 9news.com.au published an article about a Reclaim Australia supporter – Nathan Paterson – who is upset because people are judging him on his looks.

People judge you just for the way you look, without knowing anything about you, which I think, that’s not fair,” Nathan said.

This is our open letter to Nathan.

—–

Dear Nathan,

We saw your story on 9news. We wanted to let you know that we wholeheartedly agree with your statement.

When people call us names based on how we look, it really hurts. It makes us feel anxious. They don’t really know who we are, so who are they to judge?

When people abuse us based on what we wear, it makes us feel frustrated. Nobody else has the right to tell us what type of clothing is acceptable.

When people ridicule the way we present ourselves – you have been ridiculed about your tattoos so we know you can sympathise with us – when people do this we feel that it is unfair. They talk about us from a distance so we don’t get the right of reply.

Why do people judge others before they get to know them? It doesn’t make sense.

Like you, we want to be defined by what we do and say as individuals, not by how we look.

Yours sincerely,

All Together Now supporters

 

Annual Report 2014-15

Our Annual Report 2014-15 is now available to view. Please click the highlighted link to download the pdf of the Annual Report of All Together Now, for 2014-15.

We are looking forward to another great year. We have many projects on the horizon for 2015-16, with new ambassadors and volunteers creating a fresh and dynamic force behind the organisation’s projects, blog content and social media campaigns.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

From the Team at All Together Now.

Poll: is there racism in Australia?

There’s a poll on the Herald Sun website today asking if racism is alive in Australia. Please vote here.

We’re recruiting volunteers!

Happy 2012! We’ve got some exciting projects and campaigns lined up for this year. If you’re keen to help us make them successful, please apply for one of our new volunteer roles:

  • Chairperson of the Board
  • Public Fund Management Committee Member (x3)
  • Website Manager
  • Interview Coordinator (internship)
  • Interviewee (we only need 30 minutes of your time!)

If you don’t have time to volunteer but want to be more involved, get your workplace involved. We’re looking for business and government partners to join us in promoting the prevention of racism, particularly organisations that want to reach 18-35 year-olds. Email us for more information.