Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Tent Embassy brouhaha

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then skip this post. It is probably not for you.

I just need to get some things out of my system.

First of all, I had departed the gathering just after the smoking ceremony, so I was not there when the brouhaha at The Lobby restaurant occurred.

Some have referred to the non-Aboriginal supporters there as "rent-a-crowd." I don't understand the mindset of those who labelled them thus. Did they think the Tent Embassy event was an Aboriginal-only event? If you're not Aboriginal and you show up to express your solidarity, you're "rent-a-crowd"? And what do they mean by "rent-a-crowd" anyway?

I have no problem with the angry response of the protesters, given the misinformation they were fed. I think they behaved reasonably. As usual, about 99% of the violence came from the police.

Gillard and Abbott should have addressed the crowd.

The security people over-reacted. Quelle surprise. What's new? Don't they always? Wankers!


Blogger AndrewM said...

Continuing my self-imposed campaign to make sure you always get at least 1 comment, in order to force you to obey your own rules and provide another post:

The expression 'Rent A Crowd' emerged in the early to mid 90's to describe the practice of hiring people to fill your store at, say, the opening of a sale, in order to lure other people in under the assumption that if the store is that crowded, there must be good deals there.

The sense in which it is commonly used these days, as a dismissive term for those left-wing demonstrators who turn up to just about everything provided it is anti-Establishment, anti-Government or anti-American, was first used in this country by Brendan Nelson in 2005, referring to the UNSW Student Guild. At least as far as far as I can discover.

This is the sense in which I use it myself, particularly in reference to those 'demonstrate about anything and everything' protesters who show up with poles or star pickets and bait the police.

And showing up to an event such as the Tent Embassy 40th anniversary to 'show solidarity' is one thing; participating in a noisy aggressive demonstration at the Lobby Restaurant is another.

Channel 9 described the incident as a 'riot' at one point - a bit of yelling and some police brutality is hardly a 'riot'.

And if the security detail had calmly escorted Gillard and Blabalot to their car at a walking pace, there would have been no lost shoes, no PM getting dragged away and, really, no news.

February 06, 2012 5:56 PM  
Blogger phil said...

"rent-a-crowd" is just lazy stereotyping like "latte sippers" etc to put down and demonise your enemy of choice.

However, I'd be interested in learning how much rent you charge ;-)

February 06, 2012 10:11 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@AndrewM: My "rules" are a thing of beauty. :-)

Given the nature of progressive thinkers, it is not uncommon for them to feel strongly about a number of issues and to feel an obligation to vote with their feet, understanding as the do, the importance of displays of people power.

Hence it not uncommon for such folk to attend rallies in support of a number of causes. I think those who attach the label "rent-a-crowd" to these people are ignorant and/or contemptuous/dismissive of the way many on the progressive side of politics think and feel.

Ergo, they are generally more at home in a group of bogan white supremacist "patriots" at your average Orstraya Day BBQ. G,d,r.

@Phil: I have never been paid, nor compensated, for any attendance at the rallies of my choice. Often I have incurred costs in doing so.

My altruism knows no bounds. ;-)

If those who are paid for such things are political prostitutes, does that make me a political slut who does it for free?

(Caution: I use the terms "prostitute" and "slut" in a unisex way, so the gender-politically correct brigade can fuck right off, right now. Yes, that means you Caroline, you neurotic, man-hating blogmonster.)

February 07, 2012 2:18 PM  
Blogger Mother Sharon Damnable said...

I have only just learned of the Tent Embassy and so am glad that you were there for support.

Yep there will be lies and misinformation, but now we have you tube the truth can easily be discovered.

How lovely that you came to visit me in Blogland, I have been away too long......I miss my Ozzie buds and hope we can all be in touch as the apocalypse unfolds ;>)

February 10, 2012 10:46 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Glad you've visited, Sharon. :-) Yes, they were set up. What's not been established yet is whether it was by accident or design. If it was deliberate, I doubt the guilty party will readily own up. :-(

February 10, 2012 11:46 PM  
Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

that over-reacting 'security' oaf who wrenched and dragged Our PM must have been having a Dealey Plaza flashback, or maybe he was a Liberal voter.
He created poor images of her and himself and I hope he was carpeted.
I love the Indigenous Embassy and think they have every right to continue there just as they like.
A business rule is to 'turn your disadvantage into an advantage' and parliament should just promote them as a tourist attraction (which they surely are, as I have been there).

February 14, 2012 9:39 PM  

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