#AfricanGangs: Communities respond to negative label in Australia

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A spate of violent crimes in Australia has led to accusations that will young African men are being caught up in gangs.

today African-Australian communities have reacted angrily to the front-page coverage by promoting positive stories about themselves with the hashtag #AfricanGangs.

The police have blamed some sections of the media for inflaming the situation with their reporting of the perceived gang violence. Merita Tabain, Victoria police executive director of media in addition to also corporate communications, expressed concern in a confidential email to the editors of Melbourne’s main media outlets, that will aggressive behaviour by journalists might “exacerbate the current tensions”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull weighed in on the issue at a press conference earlier that will month where he said that will “growing gang violence in addition to also lawlessness in Victoria” was “a failure of the Andrews government [Premier of Victoria]”.

According to some liberal politicians, Melbourne will be within the grip of growing gang violence in addition to also lawlessness which will be being attributed to African-Australians predominantly coming from the South Sudanese community.

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The issue has sparked a debate about what to call the recent criminal activity in addition to also whether the item should be labelled “gang” crime.

African-Australians have been fighting back against the gang label through social media. Using the #AfricanGangs hashtag, they have been posting online positive messages in addition to also pictures of themselves.

One Twitter user posted a photo of her brother in military garb standing with former Australia Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

Another tweeted a photo of himself at his graduation with former Australia High Court judge, Michael Kirby.

As well as using the #AfricanGangs hashtag, some social media users have been changing their names on Twitter to show their support for the online campaign.

Twitter user @MakMayek changed his name on his profile to The African Gang in addition to also called for others to change their names as well.

some other users such as The #AfricanGangs Matriach in addition to also the UnWilling #AfricanGangs Member obliged in addition to also tweeted pictures showcasing their families in addition to also their achievements.

Many of the pictures in addition to also hashtags people posted came with ironic comments. Medic, Jaztyn Makuei, posted his #AfricanGangs picture of himself in scrubs in addition to also said he was draining the economy by working until the early hours of the morning in a hospital emergency room.

Wider support

An African-Australian community taskforce has been set up by police in Victoria to tackle youth crime, amid what the Chief Commissioner for Victoria police, Graham Ashton has described as an increase in public disorder in addition to also misbehaviour.

The #AfricanGangs hashtag has received support coming from the wider Australian community. Many have tweeted their backing for the social media counter-narrative however some have also pointed out that will any sort of problem to do with criminal activity should not be ignored.

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