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Thu Jan 26, 2012, 02:51 AM

Protesters mob PM

Police have had to rescue the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader after they were trapped in the Lobby Restaurant by angry Tent Embassy protesters.

About 200 people surrounded the restaurant, which is near the Tent Embassy, banging on the glass sides and chanting "shame" and "racist".

They kept Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott trapped in the building near Old Parliament House for up to half an hour this afternoon before a large contingent of police forcibly escorted the political leaders through a side door to a waiting car.

Protesters chased their car down the road, banging on its roof and bonnet.

The ABC is reporting that police will investigate footage of the event.


And here's why it happened...

Comments by federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott that perhaps it was time for the Aboriginal tent embassy to move on triggered a protest that trapped him and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a Canberra restaurant.

About 200 protesters ran from the tent embassy, where 40th anniversary celebrations were under way, to the nearby Lobby restaurant in Canberra after learning Mr Abbott was giving a speech there.


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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Protesters mob PM (Original post)
Violet_Crumble Jan 2012 OP
Matilda Jan 2012 #1
Violet_Crumble Jan 2012 #2
Matilda Jan 2012 #4
pink Jan 2012 #3
Matilda Jan 2012 #5
pink Jan 2012 #6
peakhillfm Feb 2012 #7
Matilda Feb 2012 #8
peakhillfm Feb 2012 #9
Matilda Feb 2012 #10

Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 11:36 PM

1. A slightly different take from New Matilda

Despite no arrests being made, no physical harm coming to any of the guests of the ceremony, indeed, no real threat to the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition at all, through lazy reporting and the distorting lens of the television footage, the protests have been reported as though a group of violent protesters took Australia’s two most senior politicians hostage.


I wasn't there, so I know only what I saw on television, but to be quite honest, I couldn't see why Julia Gillard had to be dragged away by security - a cordon of security officers between the restaurant and the car should have been enough. If the mob was violent, it would have been bettter to have kept her and Abbott in a back room of the restaurant until things quieted down, surely?

Looks to me like another AFP stuffup.

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Response to Matilda (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 06:57 AM

2. Yeah, but this is Canberra. Nothing much ever happens here....

So little things turn into big things really quick, especially with a bored bunch of media hanging out the way they do. The only thing approaching violence I saw was the guy threatening the cop with a spear. He was pushing and shoving first and deserved the shove he got. Pointing a spear at someone like that would have gotten him shot if it were the US, so good thing we're not such a gun happy culture....

I see the new matilda article quoted Jack Waterford. He's a conspiracy nutter type who despite the moutains of evidence to the contrary, is unshakable in his conviction that the assassination of Colin Winchester was done by the AFP, and Eastman was framed by the cops. He's got a bit of an agenda going when it comes to anything he has to say about the AFP, imo...

If you can bear wading through some of the shit comments, there's some discussion been going on about whether or not it was the right thing to do rushing Gillard and Abbott out like that (I think it was a bad decision). It's pretty clear that someone had tipped the organisers of the window-banging brigade off about where Gillard would be, and on the fifth page of the comments, someone's said that one of Gillard's advisors has admitted tipping them off and has resigned. I don't know if they've gotten that from the media, or whether they're in the know, or just making stuff up, I don't know. That place has a pretty high proportion of public servants posting during the week, so I usually give credence to some of the stuff that's said, especially if they work in whatever department's involved...

Hold yr nose. There's some nasty stuff in this...


I agree with what Mick Gooda said. Stuff like that doesn't help with reconciliation at all....

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 10:11 PM

4. Thanks, Violet.

The link to the first video has now been removed, but I looked at the rest of it.

Of course, we have Abbott's insensitive comments to thank for the ugliness of the day, but isn't it extraordinary how he has still managed to turn the negative publicity from himself to the PM? All the comments are now about her staffer who leaked the info (and tell me how, when they're in a glass-encased room with full viewing access to the street, was the venue supposed to be a secret?), and not on the stupidity of Abbott's comments on what is a sensitive day for the Aboriginal people.

It really does seem to have been woefully mismanaged - as you say, if it was the U.S., somebody would have been shot, but if it was the U.S., the crowd would never have got near the restaurant in the first place. Can you imagine leaving Obama that vulnerable?

And I still think the security guys over-reacted - why in the name of all that's holy, did they have to drag Julia away in that fashion? She looked powerless and undignified, not good looks for a PM, and I don't believe it was necessary. A cordon of police should have been enough for Gillard and Abbott to both get away quickly.

Big questions for me to have answered would be:

Why choose a venue so close to the tent embassy?

And why was the crowd allowed to get that close to the restaurant?

And it should be the PM's office asking those questions so that it doesn't happen again.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 09:51 PM

3. Abbott wants full enquiry

Because Julia Gillard came out of the Australia Day "riot" looking good by being concerned about Abbott's welfare, the opposition now want a full enquiry by the AFP about why the riot happened in the first place. Going by this morning's news the AFP dont want to touch it. They said that no crime had been committed. The staffer who passed the information on as to Tony's where-abouts has been fired, and thats where it should end. What a storm in a tea cup.

I personally, would like an enquiry as to who signed the "No Carbon Tax" protesters into "Question Time". They were in a section of the gallery where only persons who were signed in could sit.

Also, when Tony Abbott addressed the rioters in front of parliament house with the anti Julia Gillard posters displayed very prominently, I feel that he was playing a part in inciting the crowd.

The last time the opposition called for an AFP enquiry, it amounted to absolutely nothing. That was when they accused Treasury of having a mole from within. Hence the reason why they didn't have their policies (with the $11 billion black hole) costed by Treasury. Instead it was sent of for auditing by an accountancy firm in Western Australia with strong ties to the Court family.

I wish Tony would spend more time on creating policy instead of creating faux scandals.

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Response to pink (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 10:22 PM

5. Tony creates faux scandals because he can't create policies.

Agree absolutely about an enquiry into how the carbon tax protesters got into the gallery - Harry Jenkins had some pertinent things to say at the time, but look what happened to him ...

See my post above about questions that need answering, but what's going to come out when the AFP investigates the AFP? (I know a guy with the AFP – big, brawny guy with a sullen disposition who failed at everything he tried when he left school, until he found his natural home in the AFP. I suspect most of them are just like him.)

Abbott would look a little better if he was asking questions about how it was allowed to happen instead of trying to make capital out of a side issue. And it's a pretty poor way to repay the PM's obvious concern for his safety. He really is a dung beetle.

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Response to Matilda (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 11:22 PM

6. I agree

When it comes to the AFP I'm sure there's a couple of blokes on death row in Bali who would also agree.

It doesn't matter what the subject, Tony Abbott just wants to be in a position to tell the uninformed voter that the Labor Party has one scandal after another.

I kind of get the feeling that he thinks his manhood was in question when a female prime minister attempted to look after his welfare. Anyway, I didn't know it was meant to be top secret about his whereabouts on Australia Day.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 03:19 AM

7. Isnt it amazing

Julia Gillard saves Tony Abbotts neck and then in the next breath he demands some answers.
I wonder what would have happened if the shoe was on the other foot

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Response to peakhillfm (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 03:54 AM

8. What is even more amazing

is that Gillard's advisers managed to turn a major gaffe by Abbott into a noose for the neck of their own leader.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 08:18 PM

9. more amazing

Its amazing to me that the Media in particular News Limited can find it everywhere you go that Julia Gillard is nothingmore than a puppet.
Isntit time that New & the Media in general realised that JuliaGillard is the PM and NOT Tony Abbott,or dont the voters want to admit,like the media that we have a woman running the country.
I am involved with the media in the way of a radio station,BUT where we are located,our local State member is good,BUT the Fed member every chance he gets its to bag the Labor Government,well why is it so.....Its the print media and also the TV media that are running/stuffing this country NOT the Liberral or Labor Party,BUT the MEDIA,and to be honest many of us are sick and tired of it

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Response to peakhillfm (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 01:24 AM

10. The media are very tough on Gillard,

but I think to an extent they're running with what people want. It's a fact that Julia Gillard is simply disliked by a majority of voters. I don't believe it's sexism, because for a short time she had a good run as our first female PM, but voter disappointment set in very quickly. She's a very poor communicator, but unlike Howard, who was also poor in that regard, we still don't know the real Julie or what she believes in. We only know what she says she believes, but as the supposed left-wing socialist who sold her soul to the right-wing to take the top job before her time, who knows what the reality is?

And to be fair, the Australia Day Kerfuffle does seem to have been the work of her own team. Abbott was initially given a poor run in the media for his comments on the tent embassy, because it was claimed that he said it should be torn down, when what he said was that it was time to move on. But joining the dots as far as we are able, it looks as though Tony Hodges and possibly some other bright sparks in the PM's office thought it would be a good idea to rouse up the Aboriginals and get them to go after Abbott during the ceremony at the Lobby. It was childish and very stupid, and completely rebounded on the PM. You can only wonder where she finds these people, and why she keeps on listening to them, because they don't serve her well. You could be forgiven for thinking that they're Opposition moles bent on destroying her.

I've been watching the PM again today in Question Time, giving the Opposition a few smart smackdowns and more than holding her own against the likes of Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne (Abbott seems to be keeping a low profile this week). But we never see this feisty woman out and about in public, speaking off the cuff as she's quite capable of doing. She will revert to the robot repeating the endless phrases of "working families", "hard work", "strong economy", etc., boring the pants off anyone who cares to listen. I'm sure it's her advisers, telling her to stay on message, and never, ever letting the public see who she really is. I think people know this, and it's not what they want. She already comes to us flawed by the fact that she knifed her leader, but had she been the spirited performer she can be, she may not be facing such a hostile press. Kevin Rudd wasn't so popular with the media that they were prepared to dislike his successor on principle. I think they gave her an easy time at the beginning, but the gloss wore off very quickly, and she and her advisers are to blame.

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