Others didn’t though, as you will see.
Question: What do Australians do when they get angry?
Like most countries, Australians protest and, occasionally, riot.
In England, as we saw with the poll tax riots in 1990, demonstrations can often turn to violence. More recently in the London riots, we saw the violence turn into looting and burning.
The French, when they protest, like to burn things too. Normally it’s hay and tyres, but unusually, as in the ‘sheep import’ protests (also 1990), they have been known to set fire to ……sheep.
The world’s biggest protest took place in Rome, February 2003 against the Iraq war. About 3 million people attended that one. At the same time, protesters gathered in a further 600 cities worldwide in a co-ordinated effort against the invasion.
Australians joined in too, with an estimated 600,000 people demonstrating in cities around the country.
A similar number of Australians marched in all cities in November 2005 in protest against the Howard Liberal-National governments anti-union and anti-worker laws.
Yes, if Australians are angry they do protest. But I haven’t found any evidence of those protests turning to violence…… or fires and looting.
Even when the Gypsy Jokers, a notorious bikie gang, held their protest in March 2009 against proposed anti-bikie laws and the Serious Crime Control Act 08, I could find no evidence of fires, looting or violence.
Australia has had riots, but not many. Interestingly, one of the largest riots in Australian history was all down to the closing of a pub!
When the Star Hotel closed its doors for the last time in September 1979 after giving away free beer during the evening, a confrontation between patrons and police soon got out of hand.
About 4000 people were involved in the two hour fracas, which involved fighting with police, missile throwing and…… the burning of two police cars.
So Australians aren’t immune to setting fire to things, they just don’t do it so often.
You can actually see video evidence for yourself over at the ABC.net website. From what I saw, I reckon the Star Hotel must have given away an awful lot of free beer.
This Week’s Australian Protests: A Roundup
That brings me to this week’s protest roundup in Australia. First, at around the same time as I was having my fun packed day at the Ekka, protesters in Tasmania were unveiling what’s been described as the world’s biggest banner (60 m x 18 m)…..
And as I was taking it easy this weekend, others were jumping into their cars and trucks and heading to Canberra in what was called “The Convoy of No Confidence”. Yes, it’s a protest against the government and my pet hate, the carbon tax.
They’ve got a song too, 3 guesses what it is……
So there you have it, a roundup of what Australians do when they get angry. Next week, a group supporting the carbon tax plans to stage a rival protest on bicycles. No, I didn’t make that up.