WA Ethnic Communities Council condemns racist graffiti in Midland

THE Ethnic Communities Council of WA has labelled as “most disturbing” racist graffiti left in two locations in the City of Swan this week.

Council president Ramdas Sankaran said a swastika at Midland Gate carpark and the words “white lives matter” painted there and in Woodbridge were reminiscent of the dark days of the Australian Nationalist Movement led by Jack van Tongeren in the 1980s which resulted in firebombing of properties.

“We can ill afford to return to that dark period in our multicultural state and we therefore commend the swift action by the WA Police to deal with this matter and bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible,” he said

The council said it would start a website to log hate race incidents to monitor their frequency and nature after long calling for a Government agency to do it.

“Racist slogans and graffiti have a substantial impact on the psyche of people who discover them as they create a sense of non-belonging which in turn results in the target group feeling isolated, alienated and disenfranchised. Such actions unless dealt with promptly and effectively will undermine social cohesion,” Mr Sankaran said.

After being notified of the vandalism, Midland Police asked the City of Swan to have the ill-drawn swastika and words removed.

Midland Senior Sergeant Craig Davis said the Midland Local Policing Team organised for the graffiti to be removed immediately.

“Police are investigating the matter, but this is the first type of racially motivated graffiti in this area,” he said.

Snr-Sgt Davis called for assistance from anyone who knew the offenders.

“I discourage people from phoning these groups or organisations as the first point of contact is the police,” he said.

“If you ring 131 444 we will have someone respond to the call within a few minutes of the job coming up on the police website.

“Local police must be notified immediately and criminal matters must be reported to police first and foremost.

“I can’t stress enough if you see these offences, report them to police immediately on 131 444. Do not ring other numbers for police.

“These offences come with a penalty of up to 14 years’ imprisonment,” he said.

In 2004-2005 the State Government introduced some of the strongest penalties in Australia for racial vilification within the WA Criminal Code.

Two years ago, stickers were placed in the carpark at Midland Gate inviting residents to join a Blood and Honour forum for discussions on white power, skinheads and music groups that were planned to play on Anzac Day in Perth.

The group responsible for those stickers faced court in 2014.

The words “white lives matter” are used as the title for an American supremacist group that has a facebook page and a website.

It was started in response to the Black Lives Matter group in the US after several black Americans were shot dead without cause in incidents across the States.

The group calls on US President Barak Obama to resign his position and asks for support for more gun laws for white Americans to take up arms and take the law into their own hands.

Snr-Sgt Davis said there was no indication the work in Midland Gate and Great Eastern Highway, Woodbridge, had anything to do with the same group.

He said the incidence of racism in the area was rare and his officers would jump on it as soon as it occurred.

“Midland has a plethora of CCTV cameras, so it is only a matter of time before we catch this offender,” he said.