Wednesday, October 19, 2005


More Non-Violent Protests...

According to Melbourne Indymedia:
A noisy group of 100 or more people braved the rain to heckle [Australian Prime Minister] John Howard as he attended a dinner at the Melbourne Museum tonight.

The snap action was called to highlight the government's proposed anti terror laws, which will severely restrict freedom of speech.

A number of security guards were in attendance, however a small group of protesters were able to get in the front door before being caught by police, At one stage a large glass door shattered as police attempted to stop protesters entering the building.
Obviously the door, deep in depression, shattered itself. On the other hand, according to a Melbourne Newspaper:
Protesters shattered a glass door when a rally outside a Melbourne business dinner attended by Prime Minister John Howard turned violent last night.

Around 200 hostile protesters met Mr Howard as he arrived to speak at the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships at the Melbourne Museum in Carlton.

After Mr Howard entered the building the protesters banged on the outside walls of the museum and one officer said eggs were thrown at police.

Inspector Stephen Mutton said about a dozen protesters entered a courtyard on the lower level of the museum and broke a large glass door.

"They've forced a door, with security on the other side, and that occurring the door shattered," he said.

"We've removed three protesters... and we are looking at commencing an investigation into the damaging of the door."

"It's been very noisy and people are having their say and free speech, and I have no issue with that, but obviously if property gets damaged we'll look into that and if we can charge someone we will."
Back on Indymedia, according to the protesters:
It was a very energetic and lively protest, which included a roving choir, and a large mix of people angry at a range of issues and concerned about freedom of speech.
And here's a photo of one such energetic and lively protester.

The comments on the Indymedia article repeat a common argument:
The new laws don't threaten freedom of speech. It's a lie to say they do.

Violent protesters do threaten freedom of speech by trying to shut down meetings they don't like.
Protesters of course insist they were non-violent (as always):
There is a big difference between violence against property and violence against people. The police were the only party using violence against peaceful protesters
...and the eggs thrown at police officers were originally intended for post-protest omelettes.
It is a shame that a museum was damaged to demonstrate that a lot of people are very angry about the many evils that Howards government is inflicting on this, and other countries. but direct confrontation is necessary for change.
An interesting attitude. So after trashing a gallery, what actually changed? Besides someone's egg-soaked shirt and a bit of glass of course. Another job well done.

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