Police broke through a cordon of black and white demonstrators on Thursday (20 July) and pulled down an "Aboriginal Embassy" tent which for nearly six months had been pitched in the grounds of Australia's Parliament House in Canberra.
SV PAN From police TO demonstrators
CU Police with demonstrators threatening violence
GV Police pulling down tents
SV PAN From demonstrators TO police removing tents (4 shots)
SV Demonstrators & police fighting & shouting "Where's Hunt"
SV Demonstrators sit in front of police car, police moving them forcibly
Initials SGM/2246 SGM/2230
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Background: Police broke through a cordon of black and white demonstrators on Thursday (20 July) and pulled down an "Aboriginal Embassy" tent which for nearly six months had been pitched in the grounds of Australia's Parliament House in Canberra. Two demonstrators and seven police were injured in the violent ten-minute clash. The police were acting on a newly-gazetted law prohibiting Aborigines from Camping on Australian Commonwealth territory. But the Aborigines had gained considerable sympathy for their cause, and the "Embassy" staff were aided by sixty white demonstrators, eight of whom were arrested during the struggle.
Police first pulled down four small tents. Then they moved in to dismantle the larger "Embassy" tent It was then that the violence began. But the tent was finally pulled down, and the violence stopped after a Member of Parliament, Mr Keppel Enderby, warned police by loud-speaker that they were exceeding their authority.
The "Embassy" was established on January 26th -- Australia Day -- to protest against the social position of Australian Aborigines and to reinforce their claims for ancient tribal land rights.