Hundreds Gather Outside Channel 7 Melbourne To Protest “Racist” Coverage

Victoria’s African community and allies have gathered outside Channel 7 Melbourne to protest the network’s media coverage of “African gangs”.

Earlier this month the network’s current affairs program, Sunday Night, was wildly accused of race-baiting after running a segment on the city’s so-called crime problem with Sudanese youth. In an advertisement for the segment on Twitter, Channel 7 captioned their tweet:

Barely a week goes by when they’re not in the news. African gangs running riot, terrorising, wreaking havoc. Police are hesitant to admit there’s even a problem. The latest attack was just days ago, so what can be done? 

This afternoon, hundreds attended the peaceful protest carrying signs that read “Shame Shame On The Racial Vilification Game” and “Racist Gangs Out Of Parliament”. 

The protest, which was named ENOUGH IS ENOUGH on Facebook, encouraged attendees to bring candles and to wear blue – the favourite colour of 19-year-old Laa Chol who was murdered last week.

A 17-year-old boy has since been charged with murder.

Following her death, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suggested the incident was related to the state’s “gang violence“. Earlier, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told 3AW “there is a real concern about Sudanese gangs”.

On the event’s page organisers wrote they “acknowledged the victims of crime across Victoria from all communities and by no means do we condone the actions of those young offenders committing crime.” 

“But the truth is simple: the media has created a moral panic and the actions of the few should not be a representation of our community as a whole.”

On stage, Nyawech Fouch spoke powerfully about the terror she faces daily because of such media representation. The 21-year-old also spoke for her cousin who was murdered 10 years ago by two random white men heard saying “Let’s take our anger out on some n******, kill the blacks.” 

“The pain, it hurts so much. My whole family is traumatised by what the media has done to our family, to our friends, to the people around us.

“I’m so scared because they criminalised my cousin while he was dead. He had no way to talk for himself.”

Fouch also thanked everyone who attended the anti-racism rally, who refused to go along with the misrepresentation of Sudanese youth in the media.

“It means a lot to see people of all colours here to reunite us. I think my cousin would be so happy to see this.

“I hope today we all go home and reevaluate what it’s like to be Sudanese. I hope the stories you hear today are life-changing. I hope that we can all be one without discrimination, without stereotypes, one without prejudice because it does tear people a part.”

SBS’ National Indigenous Television (NITV) captured Fouch’s speech.

You can watch it, below: