BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS
Violence erupted between rival protestors outside Ultimo’s ABC HQ on Monday night leading to the arrest of five people.
A Facebook page for the group protesting Hanson’s appearance on the show said that they were trying to stop a return to the 1990s where the Asian community suffered a number of racially motivated attacks following the rise of Pauline Hanson.
Speaking to City Hub following the rally, organizer Omar Hassan said that the rally had been a real success.
“We were vindicated for criticizing the ABC,” Socialist Alternative member Mr Hassan, said.
“The program itself was incredibly foul propaganda from Hanson: Her championing of Sonia Kruger’s comments, her decision to blame terrorism on the Muslim community.”
“It is important that we as a community unite and say racism is not on, and that is why we are so concerned she keeps getting these platforms.”
On the television program itself, Hanson distanced herself from the protestors saying that they were trying to obstruct freedom of speech.
But Mr Hassan highlighted the danger of repeatedly giving such views a platform.
“Hanson is a vile racist, and her emergence in the 90s corresponded with a wave of racist attacks against the Asian community,” the post on the Facebook event read.
“This time – following on from decades of vilification by Labor and Liberal governments – she’s focusing on Muslims, but the essence of her politics is the same. The way she was defeated in the 90s was through mass, militant actions which challenged her every time she showed her face in public.”
One contributor to the event’s Facebook page said: as the classic Shakspearean rhyming couplet goes; “follow your leader/ kill yourself like Adolf Hitler.””
Mr Hassan said Ms Hanson had nothing to offer the public.
“She is an expert in nothing but racism — she has been paid as an expert in terrorism on Channel 7. Pauline has a huge platform; we’re simply not given the media platform,” he said.
Mr Hassan said the fact that they were able to mobilise between two and three hundred people at 8.30pm on a winter’s night was testament to how widespread the concern over Hanson’s statements are.