A put-up job that boomeranged?

Not for as long as it takes to blink were Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott so much as threatened, even less endangered, on the 26th of January by demonstrators from the 40th anniversary Aboriginal Embassy camp in Canberra. Vision footage from activists and mainstream media almost inundating the internet makes irrefutably clear that it was police who were violent and caused the bedlam. At one point uniform was even roughing up plainclothes. For at least 10 minutes after Gillard/Abbott had been driven away, when there was nothing and no one left to “protect”, the police line kept pushing us back, some punching, shoving, throwing people on the ground and “f”- swearing at demonstrators.

Tent Embassy statements: Aboriginal Provisional Government statement | Declaration of Independence for a Sovereign Union of First Nations | Press conference | Comment: Embassy more relevant than ever | I see no riot or attack | Media paints black as white and might as right | Protest speaks for itself | A lesson in over-reaction and social context | No apologies are due to either politician, nor to anyone else |Forget the race card, they're playing the whole deck | Michael Anderson explained the importance of the Embassy on Radio Australia | First hand accounts: Chris Graham: fact v fiction, black v white | From field notes and footnotes | “You shoe’da come!” | Video | Photo essay by Green Left Weekly (what the media didn't show) | ABC’s Media Watch: An Australia Day beat up | AFP to review officers' conduct | Kim Sattler, Secretary, Unions ACT, to Barbara Shaw: "And Abbott's just made a statement to the press that the tent embassy should be pulled down ... he's over there." | Gerry Georgatos’ source: Multiple calls from Gillard’s office, awards ceremony not disturbed | Bob Carr: “The Tent Embassy in Canberra says nothing to anyone and should have been quietly packed up years ago.” | Solidarity actions: Solidarity billboard in Melbourne | Banner drop in Canberra

Isn’t it great that photography- and vision-capable phones have made it impossible for the media to bullshit us! Yet still they try to. Many of us have a feeling there is more to know and it will come out. There is talk now of both Gillard’s and Abbott’s offices being involved and it is beginning to appear that the flying wedge “rescue” was staged. When they were planning it they probably figured there would be a lot of people around. At the restaurant exit there was only a handful. The only ones on the road outside were media, cops and a couple of protesters trying to get in the way of the government cars.

Rumours are floating around - bits and pieces - comments here and there. Some people are now claiming Gillard knew about the plan beforehand. Maybe that’s why she is smiling in so many news photos?

Violence? How about this for potentially lethal violence from rattled police? One published photograph shows a cop in the line pushing us back unclipping his gun holster. A video published online by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper shows a cop unclipping his holster and then losing his gun on the roadway. The others have to let go of him so he can bend down and pick it up. They had their guns free after the cars were gone when there was no one to protect. Another copper had his hand on his taser weapon. A third had his truncheon extended. We heard no order given for any of this. One young copper punched and choke-gripped a young painted up Aboriginal man, a young Aboriginal woman, an SBS cameraman and I believe one other person standing harmlessly near the restaurant side exit through which clumsy security men rushed Gingeralla out, causing her to lose that now famous blue suede shoe. We saw a lot of frightened young faces in that blue-black line advancing on us. The Australian Federal Police said its officers lost control and had no choice but to bustle Gillard and Abbott away in the prime minister’s car. Lost control over 50 noisy but otherwise peaceful demonstrators with almost the same number of police there? Nothing would have been easier than to just form a corridor of two lines of coppers for the PM to calmly and with dignity walk through to her car. One wonders how they’d handle a real threat on political leaders.

The only “violence” from the demonstrators I’m aware of was a punch by an activist to the copper who had needlessly roughed up the woman. “I won’t stand for any man doing that to a woman,” he told me, showing me bleeding chapped knuckles that must have connected with something metallic on the copper. It went the rounds of the protest encampment that that choke-gripping copper is the son of Canberra’s police chief. True or false – I don’t know. But one can imagine that someone from such a stable might think they’re above the law and can do anything with impunity.

Violence from us? Rubbish. I stood close to a handful banging for a while with their hands on the about 2cm-thick glass walls of The Lobby restaurant, part of a group of about 50 making a lot of noise. A bit of noise is enough to spook our two top political leaders and their minders? No wonder the Americans commented gleefully, ‘can’t they even protect their prime minister?’.

And how about this: The day before the camp got into gear, as an activist stepped out of a rent-a-shower cabin, two men fitting Hollywood’s depiction of enforcers – you know, the dark suits, white shirts, short-back-and-sides hair, trim, clean-cut, obviously fit – accosted him: ‘Listen mate, you can have your three days of fun here but after that you and that bastard Anderson [last surviving founder of the embassy] shut up or we’ll make you disappear.’ Government? Miners? Fanatics? White supremacists? Pranksters? Assimilated Aborigines who abhor what the embassy stands for or others who want to lead it? Who’s to know. Days prior Michael Anderson had received death threats other Elders told him emanated from Sydney.

So why all the mainstream media lies about violence and comment on how disgraceful it all was? Is it disgraceful to demonstrate for a fair go 224 years after you’ve been savagely robbed of your land, your culture, your livelihood, your children and you’re still living in Third World deprivation? And why the double-speak by Gingerella first saying in a media release she did not feel threatened, then changing her tune to “we mustn’t have such violent demonstrations”. What violence, Juliar?

Anyway, Aboriginal people at the anniversary encampment are delighted at how it all turned out. No-one could have scripted it better in their favour. A junior Gingeralla spin doctor sent packing for putting the word out where the PM was – mischievously or on orders?; Abbott claimed by some to have gate-crashed (unconfirmed) the gig for honouring emergency service workers 150 metres down the road from the embassy encampment, and blamed by everyone there for inciting the incident with his deliberately vague “move on” statement (it’s how Abbott speaks, always leaving himself an out); Gingerella’s shoe getting world coverage. At one point on Thursday night Google News had tracked more than 2,000 stories about it globally.

I see two possibilities. The first: Whoever booked the medals-awarding ceremony into that venue is plain stupid because the embassy camp had been notified and publicised for months. So, oops, just tough luck?

Possibility 2, my conspiracy theory: Before you read on, grab some of the news photos and study closely Gingeralla’s and Abbott’s faces. Smirking, laughing, grinning. Afraid? I don’t see that except on the one of the PM almost on the ground, just before she’s bundled roughly and unceremoniously into the car, banging her head. What are they so chuffed about in this oh-so-violent, ever-so-dangerous situation?

From its beginning the Aboriginal Embassy has been a thorn in the flesh of governments, regardless of their stripe. It constantly attracts the attention of Australian and foreign visitors. The perpetrations of Libor and Laberal governments against Aborigines are as alike as peas in a pod. So, let’s together incite some angry reaction from Aboriginal people, we can be sure the media will play it up our way, we both get those pesky stirrers off both our backs because the redneck majority across the country will favour the embassy being removed. Polls run by media and a petition are already showing a majority for that. Maybe it’s far-fetched and my scepticism is getting the better of me.

Anyway, not for ages have Aboriginal affairs been gifted such a feast of publicity still boomeranging on our illustrious leaders. And in among the absurd shoe theatre, the media lies and the egg on the faces of “jacky-jacky” Aborigines, who rushed to condemn the “disgraceful behaviour”, the campaigners for sovereignty and land rights from far and wide across the country, assembled around the always burning sacred fire in the bora, were able to broadcast their grievances to readers, viewers and listeners like they haven’t been able to for decades.

Regular visitors to this site will know the issues. So what’s new? Teams are to visit Aboriginal communities across the country to explain sovereignty and to warn that proposed constitutional changes are just another rip-off. A team of lawyers working for free has been put together in London to challenge the Crown and British government in a High Court action over breaking their own laws since Queen Victoria and the English parliament of the day ordered that Aborigines should keep their lands, waters, resources, law and leaders. That process might head to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and/or the European Court of Human Rights in France, both of which have jurisdiction over Britain, which has lost several important cases in the European court.

The International Trade Union Federation, whose General Secretary is Australian woman Sharan Burrow, born in the small western NSW town of Warren, has promised support, possibly to stop ships carrying cargo from Australia being unloaded overseas. A think tank is to be set up to produce legal and political strategies, including an Aboriginal parliament. A top flight international jurist has come aboard as a pro bono consultant. Communities are to be fired up to the idea that tribes treaty with each other to form a federation-style union. The camp heard about two examples already established, one by more than 20 nations to negotiate cultural water allocations in the Murray Darling Basin. In the Northern Territory Elders from far flung mainland and island communities have been meeting to talk unity.
The embassy site is to be used for more activities and its security is to be beefed up. ASIO will no doubt have picked up how, but no point in reporting that here in case they haven’t. I heard some of it but left when obliquely asked to do so. Several times suspected ASIO agents were said to have been spotted and outed among the hundreds of people in the camp.

My personal impressions after four days are in line with those of a couple of Aboriginal people I spent some time with. We felt like we had seen the same film the umpteenth time. “People are carrying a lot of pain,” a leader explained to me, “they’ve got to let some of it out before you can get down to brass tacks.” Discussion sometimes fracturing along tribal, regional, urban-rural, intergenerational lines and then being pulled back together with exhortations for unity. An activist disappointed that she could not take home more to her mob. You heard around the camp of some groups feeling short-shrifted over not being able to tell their stories. It looked like a lot of time was being wasted, though groups were constantly yarning all over the place and probably doing business that way. A written agenda was soon out the window. The down side of the media frenzy was its gobbling up a lot of time that could have been focused on nitty gritty.

What did I take home? Deep contentment from the vibes in the camp, the tremendous energy in the march through Canberra, the strong belief that somehow, perhaps invisible to me as yet, the Aboriginal cause is moving forward.

And this......

An Elder from north of Cairns, relayed to a small crowd of us us through a mobile phone held to the microphone of the public address system. A rambling, sometimes emotionally incoherent story of his family’s and his mob’s suffering. I was getting more and more frustrated, urging him inwardly to ‘get to the point mate, get to the point’. I looked around me. Rapt attention. Some tears. I felt ashamed at my whitefella impatience.

I learned later that this old man had earlier told an organiser of the anniversary corroboree that the tent embassy site should be named the central bora for all Australian Aborigines.

It’s a magic place. Go there.



There's been lots of excitement online. Facebook is just buzzing. Assimilated and Christian Aborigines in various groups have been busy condemning the 'not our way' and 'stopping the way forward'. These Indigenous self colonisers are out in force saying how horrible the behaviour was. It is surprising just how colonised they are. Some people seem to have a lot of trouble to go from the personal to the collective. It's all about them. They sound just like Tony's mob.

The alternative media seems to be getting it mostly right - especially since several
eye witness accounts were published.

For an idea of what passes for journalism in the mainstream media, Google
'Aboriginal' or 'Tent Embassy' and have a look at the pages and pages of identical
copy being passed off as news. Everyone just blindly repeats what they read and
that is what gives it 'legitimacy'. Then, they ask 'Aboriginal Leaders' what they think of what they've just read or seen on TV and of course they think it's appalling but none of them stop and look for the truth.

I'm still not completely unconvinced that Abbott didn't orchestrate all this to 1. make Gillard look helpless and incompetent and 2. discredit the Aboriginal Tent

Who chose the venue? The celebrations nearby were common knowledge. The fact that there was no security beforehand only speaks of a lack of fear of the people at
the Tent Embassy site. No one expected trouble.

Abbott made the stupid comments knowing all this so what does that indicate? I know he is an insensitive thug but he is a cunning thug.

The truth is beginning to filter out. One of my FB friends ran into Abbott at the airport afterwards and took great delight in telling him (politely) what she thought of him and his actions. He didn't enjoy it at all according to her. :-)

Rod and I were at the Embassy and I must explain what happened to counteract the fantasy many in the media have created regarding the so-called riot. Media in Australia are often pathetic in their requirement for the sensational - if it isn't, they will make it up.

We were all listening to the speeches by the elders when they were interrupted by the news that Tony Abbott was at a function close by and had called for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy to be torn down. This, of course, did not win him many friends in the gathering. From what I gather, a group of five or six walked across the rose garden to the restaurant that was called The Pork Barrel Café on the sandwich board outside but was really called The Lobby. The group asked to speak to Tony Abbott but he wouldn't come out so the group told him through the surrounding windows how they felt about what he'd said.

It was at that point that Julia Gillard's security people began to panic. Instead of formulating a plan to get her and Abbott out of the restaurant with as little fuss as possible which would have been quite easily done, they instead called the police - local and federal - and then pushed and dragged the PM in a flying wedge toward her car. The crowd of people they pushed and dragged her through consisted of media and security. That's when the PM lost her shoe. Michael Anderson was knocked to the ground on the same steps and several others in the group were manhandled by the police.

The PM was never in any danger, there was no riot. By the time the rest of the people came across to see what was going on, the PM was long gone and Abbott too. Rod and I arrived to see a police cordon across the street - blocking it as well as police cars at the other end blocking that. If a riot had occurred they would have had us like fish in a barrel. There was a bit of shouting by individuals but the police never moved - just looked grim and menacing - no one was arrested. I saw a cop unclip his gun holster and put his hand on his freed gun and it occurred to me that the police might not need much to lose their cool. Rod was just walking forward and I warned him about the gun and the mood of the police.

The leaders from the Tent Embassy called for everyone to go back to the site and people began straggling back. I took some photos as did many others. They can be seen at the link below.

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The Aboriginal people are still grieving for what we haven taken away..and can never return.
Anger is an important stage of grieving...so the right [and need] to be angry is important.
The whole thing in Canberra such a ridiculous beat up. I personally hope there are many more demonstrations.
What would Keating or Whitlam have done in the same situation?
Maybe just walked calmly outside, and talked with and listened to the people who have a genuine grievance.

....of "pack of arse holes you are".

We do not tolerate personal slagging.

Go somewhere else to be insulting. This is not an anything goes site. We have rules.

...discriminatory, disruptive, malicious intent. Read our policy and preferably don't come back, you're not contributing anything useful.

Censorship at it's best, shame Indy media you only censor when it goes against your argument, grow up

If the language used is insulting or discriminatory, or we infer that you've posted with malicious intent, then we hide the post. It is part of moderation duties. We don't accept shit, or we'd just get more shit.

If slaggers, abusers, discriminators see they can post personal attacks or sidetrack discussion on a continuing basis, they will continue to do so. So we hide any posts we consider abusive or inflammatory.

Indymedia.org.au is not a free for all discussion site, comments should meet the editorial policies. If they do not meet these standards, we hide them. It may piss off a few posters like yourself but the savvy ones will learn to argue with more considered content.

Here is the editorial policy: http://www.indymedia.org.au/editorialpolicy

Bottom line: It's our project, we run it like we want to. If you don't like it, lump it.

A member of the collective

And by the way, it should be its not it's.

Mike Stuchbery
Posted on January 27, 2012

In a way, it's the Australian national dialogue in miniature, a kind of political putt-putt course.

There's the soundbite, the outrage, the money shot and what's left is for the carrion-eaters to blog and crow about.

Nobody comes away from today's events in Canberra looking good.

Least of all, the protesters.

No matter what comments may have incited the anger, breaking a police cordon to
smack the windows of the Lobby restaurant, shouting and chanting was never going
to scan well.

The visuals of Indigenous men and women (along with a healthy contingent of fellow travellers from the Occupy movement and socialist groups) angrily threatening a crowd from behind glass - emergency service personnel receiving an award no less - were always going to feed every conservative voter's notions of progress and reconciliation equating violent disruption.

You can sit me down and discuss radical means of action. You can talk to me all you want about not falling into line with the hegemony, that you're not there to look
good for the cameras.

Fact is, you're in Canberra. It's Australia Day. The focus, whether you like
it or not, is on you. Any aggro and there will be newsvans down there within minutes to provide fodder for a fortnight's frenzied headlines.

Use your bloody heads, as well as your hearts.

Now every polemicist, every pundit with a copraphilic smirk has a free kick, a b-roll
of angry scenes to lash and whip the populace into a frenzy. They don't care that
the outrage has racial overtones, as long as there is outrage. It's their oxygen.
Devine, Akerman, Blair, the entire stable will have a crack.

Andrew Bolt's first off the blocks. Within hours, he's had a chest-beating
call for an end to the Reconciliation movement published. It's all about the hate of the Left, and a grasping, agitating core of Indigenous peoples despoiling his national day.

Never mind the 200 odd years of genocide, the disparity in life expectancy, deaths
in custody. Aboriginals hate.

That's his message and it will go to millions.

You just can't make this crap up.

The media also have their own part to play - the same few images of the Prime
Minister essentially being pile-driven down a staircase by her security detail and an
AFP scrum give a sense of the events being of a far greater proportion and severity
than they actually were - read Wil Wallace's blog on the events to get a sense of

As Wil states in a Facebook comment regarding footage of the incident, 'you'll see
Tony Abbott calmly getting into a ComCar about 3 seconds after Gillard is more or
less thrown in head first by a cop'.

Headlines like 'DAY OF SHAME' in the Herald Sun and 'PM DRAGGED TO SAFETY' in the Sydney Morning Herald top calls for every dingbat with a keyboard to purge whatever bile bubbles up within them all over comment sections. A poorly-parsed circlejerk of hate and fear.

Still, you can't really begrudge the papers and television the scaremongering - filthy lucre and all. Clickbait keeps people in jobs.

I wonder about the role of the AFP and security details in getting Gillard and Abbott
out of the restaurant. I wonder if it was a case of overkill. I guess I should be glad that I live in a country where protective services don't have a clue when it
comes to dealing with an angry mob.

It's Tony Abbott that I keep coming back to, however.

You may think that's predictable.

However, put it this way - what kind of prospective leader, what kind of man who
thinks he could take the reins of Prime Minister, makes any kind of remark on
Australia Day - a highly emotive day for most Indigenous Australians - that could
be read as antagonizing?

Especially one that concerns the Tent Embassy, one of the most emotive symbols of the Indigenous struggle for equality?

It's not a question of free speech. It's not a question of remaining silent. It's a
question of judgement. The man lacks it.

Either that, or he's engaged in a deplorable act of dog-whistling.

I can't be sure.

What I do know is that this afternoon my heart broke a little.

EDIT: Well, dang, my little brother was there. Here's his account:

"I was there with my wife and her uncle, after deciding to have lunch at a cafe
adjoining the Lobby, before having a poke around the 40th anniversary of the tent

After 15 minutes or so after sitting down, a few activists from the celebrations
noticed that Abbott was in the Lobby and wandered over to start heckling. At
this point there was next to no security / police presence (by this I mean there
was a couple of suited fellows and nothing more). I walked around to the door that
they were near and had a look through the windows of the restaurant to confirm
that Abbott was in there. couldn't exactly tell, but I couldn't see the PM, and
it didn't appear that the mob from the tent embassy knew she was there. Anyway, I
walked a little through the crowd (which comprised men, women, elderly and children) and then wandered back to my table.

After another 5 minutes or so, the crowd grew larger and the chants became a bit
more organised and you could hear knocking on the windows. It is at this stage that
a few police cars start to turn up and officers jump out and run towards the

The police surrounded the restaurant to create a barrier, the banging on the windows stopped, and a constant chant of "always was, always will be, Aboriginal land" started up, which continued until the two were taken out of the Lobby.

It was at this point that Em and John (wife and uncle) were walking around and having a look at what was going on. Now. as emphasised yesterday, Em is pregnant with
twins. if there protests were in any way violent, I would have got all paternal and
walked Em away. There was almost no prospect of violence*.

The door that the PM and Abbott were taken out had no protesters near it - everyone was on the other side of the restaurant (for those that know, the east side.. PM and Abbott were taken from the door facing the Treasury Building on the west). As you can see in the TV pictures, the only people anywhere near the PM and Abbott were security and police personnel.

The confrontation between protesters and the police came after the PM and Abbott
were taken away. Idiots on both sides, really. full-time trouble makers (i.e. young,
white hippy activists with no agenda) and hot-headed police (who were in no position to act rationally, as the whole event was so poorly planned / anticipated). The one guy you can see jumping on the front of the car in the TV pictures had turned up VERY late, and was seen trying to find a way around to where the action was from behind the restaurant.

The whole protest was disorganised, the response seemed more so.

My only solid opinion on the matter is that whoever thought it was a good idea to
hold an event in a floor to ceiling windowed restaurant next to the tent embassy, on
the 40th anniversary of the tent embassy, after one of the attendees made comments to the effect that the embassy was no longer relevant, is foolish. Furthermore, this person / these persons didn't even think to have a security plan. If one was in place, there would hardly have been an incident to report.

*only hint of violence I saw was the bloke with the spear - he walked past
me with a couple of others saying "good day for a spearing innit?". I laughed a little and smiled at him and he wink as he walked past."


While roger was out of line with his Slagging I would like to know the answer to his Question why did you choose not to talk about the Burning of the Australian flag I find this more offencive than Rogers personal slagging don't you?and can you tell us what else you are not talking about that happened on Australia day weekend?As Roger said to not tell the whole story about what happened on Australia day is like Lying.
Did you delete Rogers comment because it hit a raw nerve ? I would say him calling you a pack of ?$#@*& is nothing compaired to Burning the Australian flag and the The threatening manner in which your people conducted yourselves at the restaurant a case of double standards I think.

Just incase you missed the disgusting behaviour of the protesters here it is, they even spat on the flag these actions did your cause no good you lost me for good

Compared to 224 years of genocide, massacres, theft of land, enslavement, theft of children, rape, theft of wages, ongoing destruction of culture ....and I could continue the list probably for several pages.... the burning of a flag is like a grain of sand compared to all the sand of all the beaches around Australia.

I choose what I write about and ignore what I want to ignore. I am not here to be your puppet or service your needs. You have been well served with flag stories from elsewhere, a nice distraction from the real issues. Aboriginal soldiers who fought under that flag couldn't drink with their mates in the same pub when they got home. White veterans got land grants, Aboriginal ones didn't. Again, a long list could be put together just on this aspect of discrimination. So much for the unifying significance of flags.

But that's not your point, is it? I imagine your point is that you wish there were no Aborigines. They remind you of this country's unresolved and continuing colonialist crime.

As to "threatening manner" - were you there? Not for as long as a blink was anyone in that restaurant threatened. All the violence was perpetrated by panicked, inept, clumsy cops.

It's great that these days everyone with a video and photography capable mobile phone can be a reporter. The mainstream media can't bullshit us any more and you know it, just as you know from your surfing of the web that there were no threats.

You sailed close to the deletion wind with your ?$#@*&. Next time you're out.

Relearn your history. Muck out the racist poison others have put in your heart and mind. Join the struggle for Aboriginal rights. It feels better on this side of the road, believe me.

Lastly, even if we had double standards, they're our standards. We put our time into this site because we want Australia to become a fairer place. It's not our task to provide a junkyard for anyone's abusive garbage.

It's our site, we make the policy. Lump it if you don't like it.

"The burning of a flag is like a grain of sand compared to all the sand of all the beaches around Australia."So you won't mind people burning the Aboriginal flag?

"Lastly, even if we had double standards, they're our standards. We put our time into this site because we want Australia to become a fairer place. It's not our task to provide a junkyard for anyone's abusive garbage."
The same could be said about white Australia.This country runs by white mans standards we put our time into this country.It's not our task to provide a junkyard for anyone's abusive garbage like the burning of the flag and only give half a story
"I choose what I write about and ignore what I want to ignore."Thanks for your honesty now I know why you ignore the truth.you could get a job wiyh the Murdoch press with ethics like that
I am guessing you are about fifteen and get everything you want by your attitude LOL

You really are hung up on the flag thing, aren't you!?

Convenient hideaway from the real issues.

Highly sacred, right?

Day by day sacred Aboriginal sites that really mean something to the daily lives and spiritual/psychological/mental wellbeing of the people they're sacred to are being ripped up by mining or destroyed in other ways. Doesn't matter, does it, all superstitious mumbo jumbo, isn't it?

Australia wouldn't have had an economy but for the slave labour of Aborigines on the farms, pearling luggers and so on.

'This country runs by white mans standards' - invader talk (ungrammatical at that).

Oh how nice it would be to be 15 again....I'd have so much more time and energy to fight poisonous nonsense like this, starting in the schools that ignore this colony's history as if it were an infectious disease.

My personal view is that burning of the flag is a time honoured method of protesting
and is part of the democratic arsenal. Some people mistake the symbol for the
actual and say it is an affront and offensive. Many of these same people do not see
the injustice of this land as an affront or offensive.

I found this quote and want to share it. It puts things in perspective...

"This is the flag that has flown over every police station in which racist cops have
murdered Aboriginal people, the flag that flies on top of the military vehicles that are enforcing apartheid and dispossession via the Northern Territory Intervention today, the flag of the Government that stole their children for generations and continues to steal them today with barely a word in the media, the flag of the Government that closes their schools and makes it illegal for children to learn their traditional languages. This is a shameful, blood-stained symbol of genocide. Let it burn."

---Josh Lees, writing in the Socialist Alternative


Never a truer word. It would be nice to see that statement on the front pages of the mainstream media to put a bit of balance on the issue.

One thing Australia must have to progress as a society is a new flag.


Hey Anyone, i've just randomly seen a 3 second clip of the Officer violently face planting one of the indigenous protesters, possibly he's mentioned as the young guy in the article. Basically I've tried searching for it and cant find it online and was wondering if anyone has come across that video or similar could they please reply with a link, would be greatly appreciated, just trying to source for a post elsewhere.

Australian media furore over Canberra protest: By Patrick O’Connor 31 January 2012 It is now five days since Prime Minister Julia Gillard was hustled away from about 100 Aboriginal-rights protesters in Canberra, yet the frenzy that has been whipped up over the incident shows no signs of abating. Sections of the media, together with the opposition Liberal-National coalition, have declared that the protest was a “riot” and the most serious security breach for an Australian prime minister since the 1970s.

The rhetoric stands in stark contrast with what actually happened on January 26. A small group of people protested outside a Canberra restaurant where Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott had gathered for an official Australia Day event. Demonstrators were clearly angry—they demanded that Abbott explain his earlier statement that it was time to “move on” from the Aboriginal tent embassy established 40 years ago, chanted slogans, and hit the restaurant’s glass exterior with their hands—but were not violent. An estimated 50 to 60 police were then called in, nearly matching the number of protesters, and a group of officers rushed Gillard and Abbott out a side door and into a waiting vehicle.

The only part of the episode that could have been even remotely associated with “violence”—aside from at least two police officers striking demonstrators—was a plastic water bottle thrown at the official car as it ferried the prime minister and opposition leader away from the restaurant. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) later issued a statement that there was “no evidence of a criminal act” and “as such, the AFP is not conducting an investigation.”

Read more at:

< http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/tent-j31.shtml

"Isn’t it great that photography- and vision-capable phones have made it impossible for the media to bullshit us!"Diet the media did bullshit you the media reported that Tony Abbott said the tent embassy should be torn down when he didn't.Then you all went on a protest based on media bullshit
Hello Diet is anyone home

Not for decades have Aboriginal people’s grievances been put out to the whole world on the huge scale they were by this media frenzy! So grateful for the absurd Gingerella shoe theatre, which spread the grievances round the globe. Thousands, if not millions of people, in scores of countries now know how Aborigines are treated here. It will be really good for tourism. No one could have scripted it better. And an added bonus is the proof even to people like you that Australian media are crap and no one should believe them. Their lying “reporting” of the non-existent danger at The Lobby restaurant is just as crappy as their original wrong announcement about what Abbott said. Plenty of reasons to be pleased....

Were you pleased the tent embassy believed the media and and it's lies about what Abbott said I think it made us all look stupid for protesting over something that was never said.The burning and spitting on the Australian flag that was seen all over the world did our cause no good.
I suggest we drop the white rent a crowd they are just shit stirrers in ten years they will have their own lives and moved on, and we will have to undo what the shit stirring rent a crowd have done to our cause

All you protesters can go home to your families and forget about what has happened, while my people and I have to live with the trouble you have left us with,I don't expect you to understand because you do not walk in my shoes

Then you have activists like Gerry Georgatos that have taken it upon themselves to fight for asylum seekers and given them a open invitation to come and live on my peoples land (not his land) he was one of the main people who insighted that behaviour at the lobby that has let my people down.Gerry next time you decide who should be able to live on my peoples land can you check with the people that own the land first? it would be just common courtesy and manners, you do not represent my people and never will.It is us the Aboriginal people of Australia that have to right the wrongs that your people have done to us.Gerry I do not want to upset you I just ask you to back off a bit we do not want you to be our front man because while you think you know what we go through you do not you too can go back to your family and get away from it, we can't.

I think you’ve invented the name Yothu Murrindindi and are pretending to be Aboriginal. Forgive me if I’m wrong.

Everything you write here sounds ‘white’.

It is not stupid to respond to something believed to be true. But even without that misquoting of Abbott, there are plenty of reasons to give this foul-mouthed hypocrite an earbashing every chance one gets, and that’s all he got, an earbashing.
Flags are spat on and burnt probably thousands of times every day somewhere in the world. The Indigenous diggers that went to war under ours were discriminated against in lots of ways when they got back. Their service has not been properly recognised. Their white veteran mates got land grants to start farms, the black men didn’t. Josh Lees, writing in the Socialist Alternative, said it better than I ever could: "This is the flag that has flown over every police station in which racist cops have murdered Aboriginal people, the flag that flies on top of the military vehicles that are enforcing apartheid and dispossession via the Northern Territory Intervention today, the flag of the Government that stole their children for generations and continues to steal them today with barely a word in the media, the flag of the Government that closes their schools and makes it illegal for children to learn their traditional languages. This is a shameful, blood-stained symbol of genocide. Let it burn."
I see no ‘white rent a crowd’. I see Aborigines of every conceivable colour protesting together with a few white supporters, many of whom are closely connected to Aborigines through marriage, partnership, mateship. To call people coming from the length and breadth of Australia to the Embassy in Canberra a rent a crowd is deeply insulting. Also, realistically Aboriginal people cannot win their struggle alone, there’s one of them to 51 others in this country. Whatever “damage” was done to your cause, was not done by “rented white shit stirrers”. It was done by inaccurate, lying, racist media. By your reckoning, Aborigines should quietly swallow whatever is perpetrated against them so as to have peace at home. They should not have the right to make a noise – because that’s all they did in Canberra, watch the vision on the web.
Your take on asylum seekers could come straight out of a white supremacist’s manual. I have heard Aboriginal leaders say frequently that refugees are welcome on their land.

Realistically Aboriginal people cannot win their struggle alone. Everything you write sounds Racist

I have heard Aboriginal leaders say frequently that refugees are welcome on their land.These so called leaders do not represent my people at all.

I don't need to prove a thing to you about my name if you knew of my people struggle, you would know who I was

This is the second official confirmation that there was no riot. --- Trudy

Business Spectator
Australia Day investigation ends
Published 4:13 PM, 31 May 2012 Last update 4:05 PM, 31 May 2012


No charges will be laid over a disturbance on Australia Day involving Prime Minister Julia

Ms Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott were rushed from a Canberra restaurant by
police when angry protesters, many of whom had been attending 40th anniversary celebrations at
the nearby Aboriginal Tent Embassy, surrounded the building.

ACT Policing said on Thursday it had finalised its investigation into public order matters.

"No prosecutions will be pursued in relation to this matter," it said in a statement.

The ACT Policing investigation was separate to another conducted by Australian Federal Police
(AFP) into potentially criminal behaviour.

The AFP found there was no such evidence.

It would save the editors a lot of time.