With the Senate late Thursday night (March 30) voting down the proposed changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, today’s Walk for Respect has gained more significance.
“Respect wins”, posted Labor Federal Member for Watson Tony Burke MP on Facebook.
The proposed changes were defeated 31-28 votes.
The Government planned to replace the words “offend, insult, and intimidate” with “harass” which according to one report would have made it “lawful to offend, insult and intimidate others on the basis of race”.
Mr Burke whose electorate in Sydney’s southwest has one of the highest concentrations of multicultural groups in the country is the principal initiator of the Walk for Respect.
This is the second time that the Walk for Respect takes centre stage in the wrangling over section 18C.
In May 2014, Mr Burke together with community leaders and advocates led the Walk for Respect to register the collective voice of multicultural groups against a similar amendment (later, abandoned) to Section 18C by the then Abbott Government.
Walk For Respect
Friday, 31 March
5pm, Cnr Haldon & Gillies St, Lakemba
Celebrations: Parry Park