Feb 15, 2012

The tent embassy: fact v fiction, black v white

There is perhaps no event in the last few decades that better sums up the divide between black and white Australia than the debacle that engulfed the Embassy celebrations.

Chris Graham

Tracker managing editor

There is perhaps no event in the last few decades that better sums up the divide between black and white Australia than the debacle that engulfed the Embassy celebrations. It had everything: media misreporting; white political mischief; black political disunity; police violence; frustrated activists. And it had the odd rat-bag, black and white.

If nothing else, the debacle that engulfed the Tent Embassy celebration has once again exposed to the rest of the world the racist underbelly of a very ignorant nation. But first the facts, because a lot of people have formed opinions on the Embassy based on media reporting.

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96 thoughts on “The tent embassy: fact v fiction, black v white

  1. Brian62

    Good read Chris balanced insights,while I don’t for a moment condone the rash actions of the politically inept Hodges methinks the bedside manner of Abbott’s regular dog-whistling is akin to SAS-like head surgery.

  2. Lyn Gain

    Brilliant article. First one I’ve read that said that 40 years on indigenous people still haven’t got what they wanted when they set up the first tent embassy. It is a pity that the media coverage has obscured the current tent embassy message ‘Corroboree for Sovereignty’. A very good article by Ruth Forsythe has just been published which looks at the Australia Day debacle in the context of what sovereignty means for Aboriginal people. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/australian-identity/the-meaning-of-indigenous-sovereignty/

  3. Jim Reiher

    SB- please read this article!!

    Here is the heart of it:

    [The ‘riot’ – at a glass-walled restaurant, mind you – saw not one pane of glass cracked, let alone broken. There were no arrests and no injuries. It was a loud, angry protest. Nothing more. Of course, it did have the potential to get out of hand, but all protests do. It’s worth noting, the only damage to the Lobby restaurant was to a door – the one which Gillard is rushed through as she exits the building. And who caused the damage? Police. The National Capital Authority, which owns the building, inspected the Lobby the day after the protest, and confirmed to Embassy organisers that the AFP had broken the door in its haste to leave. Not only was there no riot, but there was never any actual threat to Gillard’s safety, nor that of Abbott. As footage that emerged after the media had already written the script clearly showed, the only people pursuing Gillard and Abbott when they were rushed from the building were police, journalists and photographers. There were no protestors within coo-ee, and certainly none chasing down a terrified Prime Minister nor an Opposition Leader, who can be clearly seen smirking and smiling as he’s rushed to the car.]

    The disturbances that followed all happened after both Gillard and Abbott were gone.

    Great article, thanks.

  4. Limited News

    Thumbs up from me, great journalism.

  5. Jim Reiher

    PS – an indigenous mate of mine tells me how he and his mates picked up the lost shoe, and they tried to return it to the PM, but she was gone by then. They tell me they debated selling it on ebay, but in the end handed it to a party official.

    All very “riotous”… not.

  6. shepherdmarilyn

    That cop was a security officer, not a cop. Talk about wildly foaming at the mouth.

    But why the whereabouts of Abbott had to be a secret is beyond me, is this North Korea?

    The thing is we have two packs of savage cowards in the parliament who love bashing up gays, aborigines, refugees, the disabled, the sick and the unemployed and a racist media who let them.

  7. Suzanne Blake

    Now we have heard what Kim Sattler said and there can be no dispute a riot was incited.

    The tone of the voice and the actions prove it completely.

    The fact that Gillards version and Sattler version is completely different also shows the huge amount of cover up, and this has been now uncovered completely.

  8. Col in Sydney

    Eureka. Crikey has caught up with the comments I was leaving on this website the day after all this happened. Congratulations! I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one making comments to this effect – but even now this author hasn’t managed to grasp the real point of this whole event and the media coverage and political commentary it has attracted since.

    The important point about this even, indeed the only point of significance in this event, was that the police officer whose job it was to escort the Prime Minister to her car (and his boss) are incompetent morons. Yes indeed, there was never ever any physical threat to the PM from protestors who were standing in a neat group on the restaurant verandah watching the bozo police from a safe distance.

    The only reason any of this – who told people Abbott was there, what they said, what the protestors did, everthing – is in any way newsworth was because that moron police officer first knocked Julia Gillard over and then – as recently shown footage demonstrates very graphically – he TWICE banged her head into the car door frame trying to get her into the back seat. He is just a useless idiot.

    The fact that Julia Gillard then came out and said that the police had done a wonderful job was where the whole event descended into the most murky political waters. By doing that, Gillard demonstrated again that she will tell bald-faced lies until her face is blue and that she has zero capacity to stand up to men doing “security” work. She has no capacity for command.

    It was because she was not able to push this idiot away and say, “Leave me alone!” that she was subjected to the worst physical humiliation of any prime minister in our history. It was because she was then personally incapable of standing up to her own “security” personnel to simply state that the police had hopelessly and incompetently overreacted that she set off the following fiasco.

    Because Gillard insisted that the police had to be taken seriously, she had to then go on and say that there had been a serious risk, which meant Abbott could then complain about the “security breach” involved in someone telling the protestors his whereabouts, which were already widely known, which meant Gillard then had to denigrate and falsely blame the protestors.

    This all comes down to Gillard’s personal failings – she has no personal authority, she has no presence, she lies when she sees an advantage in it, she lies about other people without concern for the damage it will do to them or others, she saddles blame for her own shortcomings on her junior staff, she defends the indefensible while attacking the blameless. She is just a disgrace.

    But, anyway, good to see that Crikey was only weeks late in publishing something to the point.

  9. Pamela

    A friend from Christmas Island pointed out that this behaviour by the AFP was played out on CI last year when they incited riots in the hated NW point Detention Centre. That violence was perpetrated on Detainees and SERCO guards so did not count! They got away with it becasue the media witnesses were unable to get closer than the Hill in the dark.

    Pumped up aggressive and brain dead but just look at their ANNUAL REPORTS to see how they have profited from the pumped up brain daed politicians in Canberra running on the adrenalin of the non existent terror threats.
    As you sow so she ye reap….

  10. paddy

    Excellent work Chris. Best thing I’ve read on the whole debacle.

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