Back to All News

Vigil for Christchurch

Richard Di Natale 19 Mar 2019

Speech Transcript: 

I want to acknowledge that we stand here on stolen land. 
I pay respects to elders past and present.

To members of the Muslim community, our hearts are broken. We stand with you, together, united in grief.

A grief that will last for eternity.

A shared grief, not just because we saw Muslims gunned down in cold blood. Not just because it happened in New Zealand and we share  so much with that country. A grief that comes from a mourning for our loss of common humanity: that we are one people. One community. One family.

Mothers, fathers. Brothers, sisters. Killed senselessly, brutally, violently.

Like Daoud Nabi. The 71 year old Afghan refugee who settled in New Zealand. Who invited the terrorist into the doors of the mosque with the words 'Welcome, brother.' 
We acknowledge him. We pay our respects to him and to the other decent, fine people who lost their lives.

We mourn with you.

But our thoughts, our sympathies - they're not enough. They are not enough.  
These good people who are here tonight are here tonight because to say 'an end' to hate speech. An end to the politics of fear and division. 

And end to the rising tide of islamophobia and bigotry. 
To say 'enough is enough'.

The evil that is white supremacy, the emerging neo-nazi movement that is taking a foothold right around the world, encouraged through the words of leaders like Donald Trump and leader in Europe.

Encouraged, enflamed, fed and nurtured through the politics of hate and division here in our own country. We say 'enough is enough'.

We say to people like Fraser Anning 'you have no place in our parliament'. 
We say to One Nation - the party whose platform Fraser Anning was elected on: 'you are not welcome in our parliament'.

The leader of a party who wears a burqa into the Senate, to mock a community of faith, deserves nothing other than our contempt.

We say to those politicians in Australia who say that settling Muslims was a mistake, or that people cannot go out on the streets at night for fear of African gang violence: 'You are wrong. You are wrong. You are wrong.'

And we say to the media: you must shoulder some of the responsibility of what has happened.

When you give creatures of hate a platform, not just by inviting them on as guests, but by employing them as panellists, you feed this hate. You nurture it, you encourage it, you legitimise it. Enough is enough.

So we come together as one people to say we stand with you. Our thoughts and sympathies are with you. Our heart is breaking with you. But that is not enough. We unite together, against hatred, against the hate-speech that has dominated our politics and our public spaces for far too long.

Enough is enough.

We say that politicians will not be given an opportunity to spread that hate through our parliaments any longer, because we will call them out: every time, at every moment we can.

And I say this point. I make this point. Standing up against racism and prejudice can never be compared with the murderous acts we saw a few days ago. Shame on those politicians who try and imply some equivalence. 

We are here to build a politics of unity, a politics of respect, a politics of decency and to make sure that Australia once again does the right thing, the decent thing, the honourable thing, and recognise that we are one people, one common humanity.

Thank you.

Back to All News