Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fury Follows Aboriginal Tent Embassy Protest

From Australia Day: Fury Follows Aboriginal Tent Embassy Protest - my roundup for Global Voices:
Australia Day ceremonies are usually the dullest of events. But not when Australia’s political leaders are together just walking distance from a gathering at the contentious Aboriginal Tent Embassy. When the crowd there heard a report that earlier in the day Opposition leader Tony Abbott had suggested its removal, a spontaneous protest took place at the Lobby restaurant where Prime Minister Julia Gillard was awarding emergency medals. 
The fracas quickly turned to farce. Developments have included: that Mr Abbott’s remarks were misreported; the original tip-off came via Tony Hodges, one of the PM's media advisors (who has since resigned); accusations of a media beat-up of violence; a shoe lost by Ms Gillard was returned after suggestions of an ebay auction; a go-between was named followed by strong denials. At least that’s the best guess at the moment. 
...Perhaps modern politics is more about image than about reality. And a contest amongst both media and commentariat to be the most outraged. Ironically too many were ready to chastise the tent embassy crowd for reacting hastily to incorrect information, only to do the same thing themselves to media reports.

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