Monday, January 11, 2010

A slice of life in diverse Dandenong

The Age newspaper sent two journalists to look for the mean streets of Melbourne. They found two dangerous hot spots to be the railway stations in Footscray and Dandenong.

As Melbourne residents will know, these are arguably the two most diverse, multicultural suburbs in the city (in Footscray 61% of residents were born overseas, in Dandenong the figure rises to 67%).

So what's it like trying to catch a train in Dandenong? According to the report, it's OK as long as you are willing to catch a taxi to the station in order to avoid walking the gauntlet of local youth:

It's 8 o'clock on Thursday evening, the sun hasn't gone down, and the six boys on the overpass know they are scaring people with their kung-fu moves, scowling faces and gangsta bandannas. Aged 16 to 19, of Samoan and Maori extraction, they make a corridor of threat at the station entrance and it's all for fun. When a train arrives, they smile broadly as the commuters hurry past, tight-faced and looking straight ahead.

One of the boys says he's on a court order to stay away from the station because of assaults he's carried out in the past. Another talks of ''so many stabbings'' he's done and now regrets.

A drunk man gets their attention, causes some offence - and all but one of the boys disappear into the station proper. One of them punches the drunk, leaving a red mark on the man's cheek.

Why did they hit the man? One of them laughs: ''He called us out. He's with the Crips.'' But he's making fun of the situation. His friends giggle and jostle - it's all a game.

Suddenly, the drunk calls out something and the boys begin to chant: ''One on one. One on one.''

Soon after, another man, a friend of the drunk, comes halfway along the overpass. He wants to know if the group will accept an apology. ''He wants to say sorry. Can he come out now?''

The boys laugh, make noises. They tell me they won't attack the man if he comes down, but they want to keep him scared.

They say that later in the evening, a Sudanese gang will turn up and take over the scene. ''They're worse than us.''

Down below, the taxi queue shifts along like a factory conveyor belt. Cabbie Sandeep says most of his fares are for trips 100 or 200 metres from the station. ''Because people don't want to walk, even if they only live a couple of streets away.''

There's more to say about stabbings and police and drunken gang brawls, but he has to leave with a customer. When asked for his mobile number, he says, ''Oh, don't worry. I'll be back in a few minutes. I'm never more than five minutes away from here. If anyone has to travel a long distance they take the bus. We make our money from the people who live a walking distance from the station.''


  1. Sudanese commit an insanely high level of crime in Melbourne. In some western suburbs anglo-celts, Italians, Greeks, Vietnamese and Islander youths have ganged up together just to try and defend themselves, I have seen it with my own eyes.

    African immigration has been a disaster for EVERY community that was living here before they came.

  2. Its interesting how popular gang culture is. You can't put it down to poverty because as was pointed out in the piece most of the guys do it for fun. There's also obviously been gangs in cities for centuries but its interesting that now they’re given greater sympathy and are more glamorised.

    Why would anyone want to join a gang? Well its human nature to want to be "better" than your neighbour/s. To have a piece of territory you can call your own. What is one thing these gangs all have in common? They're all ethnic gangs so its human nature to hang around with your group as well.

    Now if you do the right thing in society, "get a haircut and get a real job", you can look forward to slowly working your way up a career ladder. Building things like life and job skills, getting personal responsibilities and assets that have to be maintained. You may have to work hard with your nose to the grindstone or in unpleasant working conditions for some time. In return you’ll get social acceptance, esteem and be considered to be a real contributor to society. You'll be in a good/better position to get a mate.

    However, under liberalism even if you're successful you're not really part of anything. You're just an amorphus individual looking out for yourself. You can't really say you're a member of your country, "that's bigoted" or better than losers, "that's prejudiced" or had it with tools "that's intolerant". You can say you’re a sucessful member of your “class” but only if you keep up. Divorce and firings are only a couple of screw ups away.

    Or else you could just join a gang. First of all you're part of something, your gang ethnic brotherhood. Its not like the conditions there are all that hard, all you really have to do is work on your kung fu skills and your swagger. There you'll get girls because you're "cool" and macho. Probably reasonable or sufficient amounts of money from crime and welfare. You'll still get social respect because nobody would dare insult you, partly because of the threat you pose an also because of the ideological sympathy that’s created, "its racist, he's poor, you don't know what he's had to put up with ". Also if "gangsters" are socially esteemed you'll get respect that way too. If the chances of being arrested aren't that high the down side diminishes.

    Gangmembers can look at the contributors in society and say they're "wage slaves", "they're without balls", "they have no fun", "they just do what they're told and don't live free like us". They’re also “the man” who's kept us down.

    Being a "square" will still help you get a mate right? Well some types but plenty of girls like the glamour of the tough guy.

    Hmmm, I think I'll join a gang.

  3. A couple of threads ago I mentioned the importance of manners. There's nothing like feeling you're under threat in your own locality to really sour your manners.

  4. There's really not much to say about this post. Left wingers hate "us" for past injustices, and they love bringing in the descendants of the oppressed to kick us down.

  5. Gangs are nothing more than leaches, feeding off the backs of hard working community participants. These leaches only survive because well developed communities exist. It’s baffling that they actual believe that they own a particular area within a community?

    I think we can find a parallel with gangs and liberalism. Both need a healthy community to survive. But somehow both bite the hand that feeds them.

  6. In other words, it's not a bug, it's a feature.

  7. Isn't taking a cab a typical liberal solution. Insulate yourself with money, let the next guy look after themselves and hope the problem goes away. Of course the gangs love this kind of weak response.

  8. African immigration has been a disaster, but immigration from Somalia and Sudan has been a catastrophe.

    Why this should be a surprise is itself a surprise. Africans in general, and Somalis and Sudanese in particlular, have destroyed their own respective countries. That destruction was wrought by the culture of these people.

    It is naive to hope that they will be model productive citizens in a foreign land, when they could not be so to develop their own country.

  9. DP said:

    "It is naive to hope that they will be model productive citizens in a foreign land, when they could not be so to develop their own country."

    It is true that they are very tough, which is not surprising as their countries are riven by brutal civil wars. I have a friend who is a policeman and he says they don't mess around, "they'll open up a can of Africa on you".