I was passing the Aboriginal Tent Embassy today at about 12.05pm when a fracas broke out among members of the Embassy ‘staff’. I was about 100 metres away, but it involved about haf-a-dozen blokes, and there was a great deal of swearing and shouting as well as pushing and shoving. I didn’t see any punches thrown, but one ‘diplomat’ was waving what appeared to be a club. Finally, one of the protagonists broke away from the group and fled out of the embassy, er, grounds in the direction of the lake, carrying a dilly bag and a guitar. The others chased him as far as the perimeter but gave up.
I don’t know what caused the altercation and the bloke who fled may well have deserved chastisement for all I know. Nor have I seen anything like this before at the Embassy, although I don’t go by very often. I’ve heard rumours of violence before but it has all been hearsay. On the whole it wasn’t a good look for a movement that stresses it’s ‘peaceful’ credentials.
Perhaps the fleeing guitarist was former prime ministerial party planner Tony Hodges, who is still making himself scarce. One day those dauntless seekers of truth in the press gallery might recall the Australia Day riot and make an effort to track him down and pose a few questions.
Or, if that seems a bit too energetic, perhaps a brave scribbler could name his or her colleagues who are said to have received Hodges' text messages prior to the eruption of nastiness at the Lobby eatery.
Oh, that's right. Principled reporters never betray confidences. Well most of the time, anyway.
(see Section C of the ABC report linked above. Once there, perform a Cntrl + F on one word, "Brissenden".)