The Herald Sun Has Dismissed 4,000 Indigenous Rights Protesters As A “Selfish Rabble”

The internet has responded in A+ style.

Yesterday, an estimated 800 people in Sydney and 4,000 in Melbourne took to the CBD to protest the closure of remote Indigenous communities. Unlike the controversial Reclaim Australia protest which turned violent last weekend, the larger crowd was entirely peaceful and filled the traditional Wurundjeri land outside Flinders Street Station with signs, banners, speeches and a smoking ceremony.

Though you may have been a little shocked if you were catching the tram home yesterday, all this has been a long time coming. Late last year, the federal government announced it would be making funding cuts and handing off responsibility for Indigenous communities to the state government; this in turn threatened the existence of around 150 Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and led to Tony Abbott’s infamous “lifestyle choices” comment which was promptly added to the mounting proof that he’s less a real Prime Minister and more a rejected skit show character that accidentally wandered into Canberra at the wrong time.

Smaller protests have been taking place all over the country in recent months, largely led by groups like SOS Blak Australia and Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, but yesterday’s was the largest action to date. Because of this, there were major delays to public transport and both St Kilda Road and Flinders Street were closed for a number of hours.

These efforts gained coverage from nearly every national media outlet as well as The New Zealand Herald, but not everyone covered it in the same way. SBS were criticised on social media for reporting there were hundreds of protesters instead of thousands, and The Herald Sun did exactly what you might expect.

The full article (which you can read here) largely focusses on the “nightmare commute” the protest caused and includes a quote from Lord Mayor Robert Doyle labelling the event “self-indulgent”. Though it does state the protesters were “chanting about indigenous rights” the piece doesn’t acknowledge what they were actually protesting until the second last paragraph.

Many supporters of the protest have been quick to point out a few other problems too.

Others on Twitter have instead focussed specifically on the strangely poetic phrase “selfish rabble”.

Oddly enough, it’s one which has graced the pages of The Hun before. In 2011, when the Occupy movement was in full force, they published a piece by Robert Doyle entitled ‘Selfish Rabble Got What It Deserved’ in which he calls protesters “self-righteous, narcissistic, [and] self-indulgent”.

Sos Blak Australia were quick to jump on the phrase this morning and give it a little more appropriate context.

Then everyone else jumped in and truly outdid themselves.

Success! The words “selfish rabble” make even less sense than they did before.



  1. Terry Wrist says:

    There is no “Forced closures”, they are just stopping the free handouts.There are no forced relocations, nobody is forcing anyone off land.

  2. Amy Firn says:

    Terry, you need to take an English course to learn how to structure your sentences properly. You sound like an idiot.

  3. Zok Ivanovic says:

    Thats the best you got Amy? You sound like a typical bleeding heart leftie. When u can’t attack the factual argument, you make personal; attacks. PS: you should’ve used the word “correctly” in place of “properly”, so perhaps you might want to take the same English course as our friend Terry.

    Feel free to go hump a tree or whatever it is that you hippies do!

  4. Samanjj says:

    Hah hah. You sound like an hollow stereo type of a right wing whinger. We need to support the first Australians rights to live as they please. We owe them that much.

  5. Lawrence Gilchrist says:

    You my friend are on the money!

  6. Stefan Vutov says:

    Because of you there were no tram running!!! so getting to the other side was close to impossible without walking. THIS KIND OF CITY CLOSURES SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN!!!

  7. Ayn Rancid says:

    Right wing projection at its finest.

  8. pto says:

    I find it quite cute how you think “bleeding heart leftie” is an insult. Normal people think that compassion is actually a good thing.

  9. Jarrod Norman says:

    Terry, Australian Premier Colin Barnett said this week that his government may close up to 150 of the state’s 274 remote indigenous communities.

    That in itself contradicts your main argument.
    As for everyone else, there’s nothing wrong with holding left or right side views on a subject as long as your views don’t stop you from hearing and considering logical arguments.

  10. Kareem AH says:

    No more Moomba parade, Melb cup parade, Anzac parade, afl final parade…

    And the native land owners don’t need permission to protest, the same as the commonwealth didn’t have their permission to take the land from them.

    Stefan Vutov… You are a disgrace. Do you even know the magnitude of this protest you so flippantly dismissed? Working at the herald sun must really be draining. All you whingers do is complain. A bunch of selfish rabble the lot of you.

  11. Josh says:

    Oh, so you were inconvenienced on your way home? What about the 150 communities who are going to have NO HOME. Get some perspective you selfish brat.

  12. James says:

    Sorry, Moomba/afl/Melbourne cup parades are all designed and organised so as to not to disrupt peek hour traffic and provide minimum disruption with reasonable notice. The organisers of this protest had the choice to do it at a time that would not bring the city to a stand still, they chose to ignore this. That’s what makes it selfish, putting your concerns above others. You can argue the validity of the message or you could even argue that they were in their rights to be selfish, but arguing that it wasn’t selfish at all is like arguing that the dictionary has the definition wrong.

  13. Terry Wrist says:

    Mr Barnett told protestors at the Perth rally Aboriginal people would not be forced from their traditional lands or communities.

    Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion :
    “They’re not closing communities. That would be really useful to tell
    them, that would be a really useful thing to tell them at the moment.”

  14. Terry Wrist says:

    It’s the 21st century now, move with the times.Either move to where there are jobs or live a traditional life on the land with no handouts.Like i have said numerous times the second option is impossible for many as they have been deskilled through decades of welfare dependance.Many do not have that knowledge anymore sadly.

  15. BigC says:

    Those thousands should go and spend one night in an indigenous community to get perspective. They would run a mile and call child services the police and anyone else that would listen! I have been to numerous communities in different states and the protest should be about indigenous people reclaiming their own dignity and helping themselves as we are constantly told they are not useless but their community structure shows otherwise? A thought for the dogooders.

  16. GHW says:

    You are being lied to (shock!). The first community to be closed was Oombulgurri. Here are some big, beautiful pics of another at Kennedy Hill:

    There are plans to stop basic services at others, like running water – a politician will say that’s not a closure when it definitely amounts to one. You don’t get to decide who lives traditionally and who does not when it was the occupation of this country that took those abilities away and decimated traditional families so that that knowledge could not be handed down. They have a right to live on their traditional lands and studies show all outcomes are better when they do. All we have to do is actually freakin’ help them, which would cost less than letting them fall into disrepair and slum conditions (which the govt has done deliberately so they can then say they are “unviable”).

    If you are worried about your precious tax dollars going on “hand-outs”, then you might want to start by looking at corporate welfare, how much the rich get away with tax avoidance and what kidns fo stupid shit the govt is spending billions on (remember those pointless fighter jets penis extensions for the PM?)

  17. Mary Verikios says:

    oh wow.. did you really have to walk ?… are you okay ?…

  18. Mary Verikios says:

    5,000 people disagree with you Terry, thats why they took to the streets

  19. Sam says:

    I totally agree with that. Thousands of people in Melbourne protesting against the closures of communities that are thousands of kilometres away. I doubt the majority of the protesters have been to any of those communities.

  20. Sam says:

    Amy, do you correct the indigenous Australians on their English and call them idiots?

  21. Sam says:

    “First Australians” are just human beings just like everyone else. There should be no “we” and “them”. By differentiating between the two, you create issues. No “we” don’t owe “them” that much. If you follow peoples genes back, you may realise we are all nearly related. Open your mind to that one.

  22. Terry Wrist says:

    There is no dignity living on welfare.Only dignity is independence wither through having a job or living off the land with no welfare cheque every fortnight.

  23. May Spencer says:

    The vast majority of the protesters there don’t stand to gain from this personally. Ergo, it’s not selfish.

  24. James says:

    Exposure for a cause that they support, that is what they get.

  25. May Spencer says:

    This is such a ridiculous, biased argument. If the government shut off the water and electricity to *any community in Australia*, it would be forced to close. Darwin isn’t ‘viable’, if you judge it the way they’ve judged these communities. And if we stopped all the ‘free handouts’ to, say, farmers, or sports, or people who want to, you know, send their kids to school, there’d probably be a revolution.

    There aren’t complete data available on how much the govt is spending, but water etc. for the most expensive community costs $85,000 per person per year. Even if it cost that much for every single person of the 1,309 people in the 174 smallest communities, that’s still only $111.27 million. The feds spend $270 million on sport every year. On SPORT. And then Ol’ Tone has the gall to talk about taxpayers funding lifestyle choices.

  26. pto says:

    Even more so, the vast majority are actually protesting in support of other people. I’d call that the very opposite of being selfish.

  27. May Spencer says:

    So ‘we’ owe another lot of ‘us’ that much? Or would you prefer ‘the dominant culture’ owes ‘the colonised’? This is beside the point.

  28. May Spencer says:

    But James, they don’t /personally/ gain from the cause getting exposure. Yes, they’re deciding that one group of people’s rights not to be forced off land they’ve lived on for tens of thousands of years is more important than another group of people’s rights to get home fast on a Friday, but they’re doing it at a *cost* to themselves.

    The dictionary (Merriam Webster) definition of selfish is “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself ; seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others,” and the selfish ones, frankly, are those whinging that they had to walk half an hour to get around a protest about immense and avoidable pain inflicted in their names.

  29. Lisa andersen says:

    I was under the impression that newspapers were supposed to report the news, not provide bigoted opinions. The Herald Sun should be subject to disciplinary action. Disgraceful

  30. James says:

    Sorry, these people are not altruistic. They belive in something, are passionate and therefor have an investment In seeing it succeed. If they didn’t care they wouldnt turn up. They gain a sense of self satisfaction that they did what they consider to be a good thing that day. Moral masterbation is a crude term for it. And it’s putting that cause above the needs of an entire city that is selfish.

  31. pto says:

    Wow. Keep talking, this is getting seriously funny!

  32. James says:

    Yay for pointless posts!!!

  33. Amy Russell says:

    Exactly we’re all one people. So we should all care for one another and support eachother and get people back on their feet when some are facing community wide struggles, no one group/person is to blame a combination of factors caused this crisis. But closing down their public basic facilities that every person has a right to, is not the way to help people who live in remote communities, in the way the land is traditionally (and sustainably might I add) used, with the issues they face.

  34. Adam Abdullatif says:

    Sometimes, the only way to gain the attention you deserve is to cripple a city’s motion, to make people stand up and take notice! Such as how the people of south Africa disrupted buses, trains and took to the streets in protest of the way the indigenous community had been mistreated, enslaved and killed in 1985. This motion subsequently led to Nelson Mandela’s election into presidency (well, after he left prison and all). It was well within the moral right of those protesters to gain the attention, not only of South Africa, but that of the world, just as it was for the protesters in Melbourne… Based on the fact that they have had four prior rallies, held at ‘more convenient’ times, none of which gaining the attention, support, or notoriety as this one! The only people acting selfishly, are those that can not look past the fact that a few trams were stopped, for a greater good! Anyone who attended those rallies should be proud of themselves!

  35. James says:

    What if the ‘Anti immunisation’ group decided to protest out the front of your house and prevent you from getting in.

  36. Adam Abdullatif says:

    M8 I’ll get pingu on u

  37. James says:

    I’m not sure if you’re trying to be cute or intimidating. either way, it isn’t working.

  38. Guest says:

    But on a serious note…. Why are we having this discussion? I refuse to a have a serious conversation with someone who would rather talk about that temporary traffic congestion that was caused as a result of people coming together to stand for what they believe in, rather then the views on what they were coming together for…. Here’s my question, what should we, the people (humans), be debating, the legitimacy of the short term traffic problems that occurred (I mean look outside, everything is fine now) or the lasting effects of the governments decision to further neglect the indigenous community (who are still suffering from previous decisions, causing them to have the highest number of suicides in Australia)? It seems to me that you, like the herald sun, are personifying your true views behind the lens of only one surface! Ether that or your really into traffic….

  39. Adam Abdullatif says:

    But on a serious note…. Why are we having this discussion? I refuse to a have a serious conversation with someone who would rather talk about the temporary traffic congestion that was caused as a result of people coming together to stand for what they believe in, rather then debate what they were coming together for…. Here’s my question, what should we, the people (humans), be debating, the legitimacy of the short term traffic problems that occurred (I mean look outside, everything is fine now) or the lasting effects of the governments decision to further neglect the indigenous community (who are still suffering from previous decisions, causing them to have the highest number of suicides in Australia)? It seems to me that you, like the herald sun, are personifying your true views behind the lens of only one surface! Ether that or your really into traffic…..

  40. May Spencer says:

    I accept that there are other ways of protesting, and that the people involved probably gained some satisfaction from feeling like they’d done something good that day. But gaining satisfaction from doing something you think is right doesn’t make you selfish. In fact, it doesn’t even make you selfish if you do it at the expense (or irritation) of another group. If it did, some the most high-profile selfish people we’ve had in our country so far would be the ANZACs who fought and died in Gallipoli. Killing 85,000+ Turks (and dying themselves) just so they could feel like they’d acted with honour and courage in the service of their country – how selfish!!

    Once again, they’re not just putting /their satisfaction/ above the needs of an entire city; they’re putting Indigenous Australians’ spiritual need to live connected to their ancestral lands (plus their satisfaction, if you like) above the desire of commuters near Federation Square to get a cab or a tram super quick.

    As for who decides – given the anti-protest laws in Victoria, I would say that would be the police.

  41. James says:

    this ‘traffic congestion’ was not a an unfortunate result of anything, it was a deliberate tactic. The protest organisers decided that they would negatively effect thousands of people who’s only sin was that they just wanted to live their lives. I’m sorry, but your views are not more important than the views of others, no matter how much you want them to be. It was a thuggish tactic. I hope the organisers are mildly inconvenienced with a massive fine, just like the ‘traffic congestion’ it’s an unavoidable byproduct of my belief that we should all act within the law.

  42. James says:

    Comparing protesters to ANZACS is not really an apt comparison. Rocking up with a sign and risking your life are two completely different thing

  43. Cook Suck says:

    James logic: crossing zebra crossing when car is coming, didn’t stand back and wait for it to pass – SELFISH

    pretty much everything any person does is inconveniencing someone else in a way that could be minimised so they must be SELFISH. fucking idiot

  44. pto says:

    I’m sorry mate but you really haven’t got a leg to stand on. You’re simply wrong with that “selfish” crusade and rather than owning up to it, you’re just doing a George Costanza and dig yourself deeper into the hole.
    So here’s the TL;DR version :
    Protesting in support of other people = not selfish
    Complaining that a protest inconvenienced you = selfish.

  45. James says:

    Yep, comparing an entire city’s transport infrastructure to a zebra crossing – very compelling. And the name calling…sensational!….you must truly be one of the great intellectual minds of our time.

  46. Rap Attack says:

    Mainstream media bullshit. Try being aboriginal for 5 seconds and see how that fits…i know its nost possible so the newspaper might need to grow some empathy ugggg

  47. Cook Suck says:

    wouldn’t be the first time i’ve heard that

  48. James says:

    To quote The Hangover ..’You are literally too stupid to insult’.

  49. James says:

    Who said protesting was selfish? Nice try twisting my words. Protesting is fine but so is wanting to just get home on a Friday. disrupting an entire city to promote your own agenda is selfish regardless of your intentions. your dismissal of this fact just show how ingrained it is.

  50. May Spencer says:

    James, my point, which I think I made pretty clearly, was that simply feeling good about something you’ve done – even if it inconveniences someone else – isn’t enough to make an action selfish. Particularly if the reason you feel good about it is that you were doing it to help someone else.

    The great part about the ANZAC analogy, extreme though it is, is that it illustrates the fact that even actions which are inherently harmful to other people – or even which have harming other people as their aim – are not inherently selfish. For something to be selfish, it has to be done “excessively or exclusively” for your OWN “advantage, pleasure, or well-being.” This doesn’t meet those criteria; ergo: not selfish.

    Also, demanding all protest be done at times and places that allow everyone else to ignore it as they please is just silly. See above article for pic of Martin Luther King Jr. and friends – those guys disrupted *tonnes* of stuff. Gandhi was way inconvenient too, you’d have hated him.

    And lastly, sorrynotsorry for underplaying the extent of the interruptions to people’s commutes. That was careless of me, because I didn’t (don’t) care. Ranked against the other relevant issues here, it’s so tiny as to be kind of offensive that anyone’s raising it.

  51. Adam Abdullatif says:

    As I stated before, the blocking traffic concept, was a deliberate tactic, and a good one at that (reason given in my first response). I don’t think you understand, that no one actually cares about the traffic… If you want to open your eyes and talk about the bigger problem, then please feel free to. Otherwise I’m just going to respond with pics of pingu.

  52. James says:

    Again with the ANZAC comparison. Do you honestly not see the difference. Yes the ANZACS would have got a sense of pride, but the sacrifice they gave was bigger than the internal gratification they got, that is actually what being selfless is. Rocking up for 2 hours does not outweigh the self satisfaction you seem to got from doing it, the very fact you liken yourself to ANZACS just goes to show how far you’ve stretched this self aggrandizing. Your comparison also likens the general public to Turkish soldiers which doesn’t work on any level.

    There are two sets of victims here, the ones you support and ones you impacted. Your line “I didn;t (don’t) care’ just shows that your more concerned about occupying the high moral ground than actually concerned about ‘other people’. Some people honestly don’t care about this issue but you think they should be forced to. News flash, you don’t get to make that choice for them. The fact you think that you can ‘rank’ relevant issues and negatively impact whoever you want based on these rankings is egocentric and selfish. You remove their right to decide for themselves what issues should impact their lives. This is exactly the selfish mind frame I’m talking about, the ‘nobodies

    Free will is the enemy of the left. everyone should think as you do or be forced to. And if they don’t, well you just don;t care about them. And sorry that I offended you with with my point of view, your inner totalitarian must be fuming. I find ill informed protests offensive.

  53. James says:

    The fact you think ‘no one actually cares about traffic’ just shows how egocentric your side of the argument is. It wasn’t a good tactic because the message of the protest got overshadowed by the impact it had. And if anything is weakened support of the cause. Pingu pic please…it’s probably the closest you’ll get to a fully formed argument.

  54. Vivenne Kingswood says:

    You should block traffic and protest the fact that there was a protest that blocked traffic : /

  55. pto says:

    Nice. You’re truly hilarious. I suspect you’ve long ago realised that you started with a silly point, but at this stage it’s so long beyond redemption that you’ll just try doubling up and hope that repetition would somehow make it true.

    You see, that’s why I wanted to keep you talking, so you’d come out with pearlers like “Free will is the enemy of the left”. Splendid!

  56. Vivenne Kingswood says:

    Pretty sad that people are even arguing that protests shouldn’t happen (it’s an important civil liberty) if they disturb traffic. That’s kinda the whole point of a protest. This might not be your cause, but you don’t get to pick which causes are valid protests and which ones are not. Maybe instead of getting butt-hurt about the inconveince of a tram delay you should have been thinking about the inconvenience of hundreds of years of genocide, and racial and cultural persecution triumphantly summed up as a ‘lifestyle choice’.

  57. James says:

    Another post devoid of any actual points. Thank pto. only someone so devoid of facts could be so sure of themselves.

  58. James says:

    I think whole point is that I wouldnt do that. I wouldn’t expect others to sacrifice for my beliefs.

  59. pto says:

    If you think those posts are devoid of any actual points, your reading comprehension is about as good as your understanding of the term “selfish”

  60. Josh says:

    Running water is traditional? Electricity is traditional? Lmao

  61. Josh says:

    Running water is not a traditional lifestyle

  62. James says:

    Saying ‘your simply wrong’ without following it up with and proof, examples or context is pointless. I assume no one taught you how to form an actual argument, you know with facts and stuff. if twisting my words is the best you can do then it’s no wonder understanding definitions is beyond you.

  63. pto says:

    I didn’t follow it up because I, and many others, have clearly outlined why you’re wrong over and over already. So for now I’m just having fun seeing how you keep trying to defend the indefensible.

  64. James says:

    Please send me the previous quote where you yourself clearly outlined I’m wrong. I’m interested to see what you think passes as catagorical proof. this should be a laugh.

  65. Vivenne Kingswood says:

    Did it ever occur to you that maybe you’ve just lived a fairly privledged life and that you haven’t ever had fight for anything?

  66. Josh says:

    But does it matter if the government shuts down running water, electricity and healthcare, since these three things are not part of “traditional aboriginal life.” If they want to live “traditionally,” then by all means do it , but don’t go crying when the hot water gets shut off or when you need western medicine to save your ass.

  67. Josh says:


  68. Fred says:

    Lets face it, most of the protesters wouldnt have a clue what its like coming home from a hard days work.

  69. Fred says:

    I thin yhe difference is most protests are held on the weeekend, when people dont usually work.Easy to protest on weekdays if youre on centrelink of course.

  70. Vivenne Kingswood says:

    Yes. Of course. Because the only people in this world with a conscience are hippy dole bludgers who don’t eat pies and drink VB and carry tool boxes. Well done.

  71. pto says:

    “Please send me the previous quote where you yourself clearly outlined I’m wrong.” – Translation “I’m going to ridicule this guy’s argument, no matter what it is”.

    Well, you can read. It’s all there.

  72. pto says:

    You seem very intent on that nonsense argument. No one said they wanted to lead a traditional aboriginal life. The argument is that they have a traditional connection to the country, just like you likely have a connection to whatever part of the country you were born in and grew up.

  73. Josh says:

    but isn’t that parochial? they should embrace change and diversity.

  74. pto says:

    Who says they don’t? Just because someone doesn’t want to move from where they’ve spent all their lives doesn’t mean that they’re not embracing change and diversity.

    On the other hand, outsiders telling them what they should do might be seen as a bit patronising…

  75. Josh says:

    “Who says they don’t? Just because someone doesn’t want to move from where they’ve spent all their lives doesn’t mean that they’re not embracing change and diversity.”

    That’s exactly what it means. Those feelings of “connection” are irrational. It’s parochial and anti-change. Typical aborigines acting like right-wing loons who refuse to embrace change.

  76. pto says:

    No, of course that’s not what it means at all. I am a bit obsessed with new technology and get bored easily, so I’d say I’m someone who loves change. I don’t even mind moving, I’ve lived in three countries on three continents and worked in many more. But I would absolutely hate being essentially told that I have to move. I want it to by MY decision when I move! Where I live now isn’t even anywhere near where I grew up, if it was I’d be even more outraged about being made to move.

  77. Josh says:

    The premise of your argument is that Aborigines have some “metaphysical” connection to land, and that this connection justifies whatever cost it takes to maintain said connection

    Is this correct?

    My point: do white people in Europe have this connection to Europe? Does that mean immigration into Europe ought to be halted so that white people can maintain their connection to the land?

    If yes, then aren’t you a racist by saying that aborigines have a connection to land that no one else has on account of their race?

  78. Adam Abdullatif says:

    The message did not get overshadowed… the fact that you are commenting that on an article about the overall message not the traffic is mind boggling to me! what was trending was how one rouge news paper decided to focus on one minuscule nit pick, as if they were deliberately searching for something to condemn these people for… If the message got overshadowed, people from across the entire globe would not be commenting on the mistake of ONE news paper, and rallying in support of the mistreated indigenous people! Please don’t respond to this with another accusation of selfishness on my part, because I understand that you want me to say, “oh your just racist” or something, so you can get the upper-hand and say “I never said that, you are just making assumptions!” but I won’t…. I know your game James, I know it well…. Please don’t take that as an invitation to argue about that second last sentence, just pay attention to everything above that please….

  79. pto says:

    Nope. The premise is that everyone has a connection to the area they’ve grown up in. And every one hates to be made to move by outside forces.

  80. Josh says:

    so if aborigines “hadn’t” grown up there, then they would not have a right to “rekindle” their connection to the land (there)?

  81. pto says:

    They would have a slightly diminished argument, but even then, no one likes to be made to move.

  82. James says:

    “Well you can read. It’s all there” – translation, I can’t do it.

  83. Bigjobby says:

    You’ve rubbished this woman for not having an opinion yet have no opinion yourself? And then go on to attack her person? Sort it out lad.
    In my opinion these people who have been part of this land for god knows how long, who have been murdered,raped, robbed and literally wiped out by their colonial oppressors have a hell of a lot of good will owed to them. What good is going to come by moving these people from their traditional lands? We know they don’t assimilate well to this western society thrust upon them In this last blip of time. What do your leaders want with the real Australians land? Haven’t they taken enough?

  84. pto says:

    Reading comprehension = fail

  85. Josh says:

    *slightly diminished*

    Could you be more precise?

    The point i’m getting at is if white people claimed a right to land based on their “racial history with the land” ,then that would be considered racist.

    If you don’t want to be drawn into a contradiction, then concede that it’s not racist for white people to have a “connection to land on the grounds of race.”

    I support aborigines’ right to land and White people’s right to land in Europe. You must support both.

  86. James says:

    Cant read what isnt there.

  87. May Spencer says:

    Just want to clear up a few things about me to start with: first off, I wasn’t there, because I live in Sydney. I didn’t even go to the one here, so I’m very much talking about the protesters as ‘they’ rather than ‘we’.

    Secondly, I’m (still) morally opposed to the use of the word ‘impact’ as a verb, though I do concede that it’s quicker than saying ‘has an impact on,’ and also acknowledge that this battle is lost. Carry on, even though it’s kind of horrible.

    Thirdly, of course I see the difference between ANZACs and protesters. I even think you might have been setting up a little strawman version of me in asking that question. Like all similes ever, I used it to illustrate my point (that feeling good about something you’ve done doesn’t make it selfish, even if it harms others, which I also spelled out multiple times), not to say that they were actually the same. I also agree that Friday night commuters are not the same as those Turkish soldiers of 100 years ago, who acted with jaw-dropping decency and honour and went unflinchingly to their deaths at a rate more than twice that of the Allies in order to defend their homeland from invasion and the villages and cities of their childhood from destruction. I never intended, even sarcastically, to mention them in the same breath as astoundingly selfish Friday night commuters who actually think their convenience is so important that their getting home on time somehow trumps attempts to thwart the destruction of an ancient culture. To do that would be a terrible insult to the Turks.

    James, no-one can force others to think as they do without access to ‘re-education’ camps. No-one on the left is trying to do that. On the other hand, /the whole point of protests/ is to gain awareness for your cause, and as long as it’s peaceful, you can use all tactics available to you, even ones that annoy the shit out of others, and still be in the same tradition as some of the best, noblest people of the last hundred years. (I mean, those poor whites at the lunch counters in the South who just wanted to enjoy their break in peace without the nasty black people and police and camera crews making it all stressful, and they had *such* a busy afternoon coming up, full of meetings and deadlines!) As I’ve mentioned before.

    You know what? I was going to say some other stuff, and then make a summary of my points, and include a shout-out to pto there saying that you’ve probably realised you’re wrong but can’t back down now… and then I remembered you referred to commuters in your post above as ‘victims’, and – James… are you a troll?

  88. pto says:

    Yes, that’s why I’ve marked you fail. “Well, you can read. It’s all there.” = Go read those posts yourself if you want to find an argument that you want to ridicule with your misguided logic.

  89. pto says:

    I’m not really sure what’s unclear about that? It means the argument is slightly less strong than it would otherwise be, but it’s still there.

  90. Josh says:

    so that means one has a right to land on “racial grounds?”

  91. James says:

    Have you even read this article? there is one sentence outlining what the protest was about buried underneath 3 paragraphs about the reporting of it, you call this successfully getting a message out? And that’s in JUKEE, a left leaning website. Almost all the mainstream coverage in Melbourne was about the traffic congestion. Just do a type into Google news tab and every single headline mentions the traffic. In fact the only one that doesn’t is about Sydney protest because they didn’t treat the general population with contempt.

    Clever way to underhandedly call me racist completely out of context and for no reason but without accepting ownership of the claim, and then say ‘please don’t address that point’ in an attempt to remove my right of reply. WHY THE HELL TYPE IT if you dont want it address or pay attention to it. You’ve got a f%$#ing delete key, you could have taken it out if you didnt want me to address it. What a devious and callous tactic – I know your game. The fact that that is even on your mind shows you true colors, don’t hold back, come at me with your best slurs.

  92. James says:

    I’m saying it’s not there, you’re saying it is. The burden of proof is on you, it should just be a simple cut For you….yet 5 posts later….

  93. pto says:

    No, of course not and it’s nonsensical to even think that’s the issue. I know you’ve been trying to get me to say something like that for a long time, but it just shows how little you understand that whole argument.

  94. Bree says:

    Yes, we can hear you, Josh.

  95. pto says:

    What would be the point of running in circles here, just so you could repeat something as idiotic like “protesters are selfish because they get satisfaction out of protesting”. Come on, you don’t even seriously believe that yourself?

    Look, I reckon I know where you come from. When you say stupid things like this or that nice “free thought is the enemy of the left” to your equally pig-headed friends, everyone has a laugh and thinks you’re very clever and you all get to joke about the looney left and political correctness gone mad, etc. But as soon as someone actually questions that rubbish and you have to back it up you become George Costanza and double down on the stupidity with ever more ridiculous responses in the hope that eventually you’ll wear people out to the point where they’ll say “ok, ok, you’re right” even though you both know that’s not the case. Am I in the ballpark here?

  96. Josh says:

    how is what i said wrong?

    You’re saying that aborigines by virtue of their race have a right to maintain their ways of life in a defined geographical area. Why don’t Whites in Europe also have this right?

  97. pto says:

    How? By trying to make this a racial issue, by claiming that they are trying to lead traditional aboriginal lives and therefore shouldn’t have running water, by claiming they are anti-change, need I go on?

  98. Josh says:

    This became a racial issue as soon as you conceded that a group’s right to land was not dependent on said group’s “growing up in the land.” In the case of aborigines, it’s their race that connects them to the land IF they did not grow up there. This is because one must be of aboriginal ancestry to have a right to the land, and “aboriginal ancestry” is synonymous with being of the aboriginal race.

    the stuff i said initially about electricity and water was trolling. As i said a few comments up, i support aboriginals’ right to land precisely because i support white peoples’ right to land.

  99. James says:

    Still no examples….funny, How you say that am guilty of repeating myself, yet you use the same tired George Castanza double down shtick again. Did you actually just copy and paste that? Hypocrite. Btw the 90’s called, they want their reference back.

    “protesters are selfish cos they get satisfaction out of protesting” – see every time you try to define the conversation you make a complete fool of yourself. Is this what you honestly think the topic is? And you say I need to retread the previous posts. Don’t think the disruptions are part f this conversation?You’re ability to register nuance in a argument is staggering.

  100. pto says:

    “This became a racial issue as soon as you conceded that a group’s right to land was not dependent on said group’s “growing up in the land.””

    Do you even hear yourself? That’s just nonsensical. You’ve been building up to that argument for so long, you just had to let it out, even though it makes no sense at all here. The only person who ever brought race into this is yourself. I kept insisting that no one want’s to be forced to move, doesn’t matter who you are.

  101. Josh says:

    Let’s go back to what you said at the beginning:

    “. The argument is that they have a traditional connection to the country”

    WHY do they have this?

  102. pto says:

    I’m loving the irony that you’re using a 90’s phrase to call out using a 90’s reference. Clever.
    All your other stuff? Sorry it’s a bit lame. Try again, I’m sure you can do better than that. Oh, and read your own posts. That protesters get satisfaction bit actually comes from there.

  103. pto says:

    For the same reason as I have a traditional connection to the part of the country I grew up in. I’m sure you do too and I’m guessing neither of us is Aboriginal.

  104. Josh says:

    But earlier you said that even IF aborigines did not grow up on the land, they would still have a (diminished) right to it.

    This implies that the race of the aborigines is justifying their right to the land.

  105. pto says:

    Nope, that’s not what I said. I know you really wanted me to say that so you’re reading things that aren’t there. This is about not being forced to move, not land rights.

  106. Josh says:

    it’s exactly what you said:

    Me: “so if aborigines “hadn’t” grown up there, then they would not have a right to “rekindle” their connection to the land (there)?”

    You: “They would have a slightly diminished argument,…”

    You, on diminished: ” It means the argument is slightly less strong than it would otherwise be, but it’s still there.”

    So according to what you said, the argument for their right to land “is still there” even if they did not grow up on the land.

  107. pto says:

    In that case, I might have read your argument wrong. By “rekindle” their connection, I’m talking about the same connection I have with my home, not land rights. For me, and as far as I can see, for pretty much everyone else, this is not about land rights, it’s about forcing people to relocate.

  108. Josh says:

    OK then. According to your argument, aborigines who did not grow up in “so called sacred aboriginal land” have no right to it. Most aborigines would disagree. But if this is what you believe, then you have not made a contradiction.

    One aboriginal who is a pHD candidate said this:


    This is what most believe.

  109. pto says:

    Not saying I necessarily disagree with land rights, just that it’s a different issue. To be honest, land rights is a question where I haven’t really completely made up my mind one way or the other, or rather I don’t think this is simply a black and white (no pun intended) issue where one approach fits all.

  110. James says:

    Well…. yes, that saying originated from an episode of Seinfeld and I was using it ironically to illustrate the stupidity of your own reference. I thought for sure you would get that one, it appears I overestimated you….at least you can be sure I won’t repeat it…like you.

    And no, cherry picking parts of what I said and presenting it as my entire argument is just a weak tactic. I’ve come to realise your only ammunition is to try at twist my words. I expect that type of thing from a child.

  111. Matt Smith says:

    It is a metaphysical connection to land and more that originals have with the land they are from and grow up in. The more side is the destructive truth behind the governments financial decision. Originals would stay regardless of support from the government as they can see the destructive truth behind the governments plot to destroy the land for minerals only for economic gain. It is a longterm destruction of the earth original people see not just the house they live in. Its time to wake up Josh and support the preservation of our earths natural traditions and materials.

  112. pto says:

    Sorry, but that’s really not any better or effective than your last effort. Keep it up though, this is fun.

  113. Bree says:

    Context is crucial, and we (as humans) should all try to remember that when formulating opinions about how we think other people should live their lives. When it comes to deciding how our tax dollars are spent in Australia we really don’t have much say.
    Terry, BigC, there will always be issues in Aboriginal communities much as there are in every other damn community on earth; the issues are manifold, and I’d need an awful lot of hubris to think I could even graze the surface of an intelligent discussion of the complexities with a few comments here, but I’m enraged by the callousness of some commentors so here’s my two cents:

    When I think of the manifold issues Aboriginals face in modern day Australia my mind rushes back to the story of the Martu tribe.
    (If you haven’t already you can read about it briefly here: – there’s also a documentary and plenty of interviews to be found too).
    In 1964, when rocket testing was taking place in remote areas of the country (let’s not get into the issues of the fallout from the atomic testing), a small group of Aboriginal women and children were stumbled upon and subsequently tracked: “Before long, the Martu were taken to a church mission, where they were given clothes, taught English and schooled in becoming good Christians.”
    1964, in Australia, and these women and children had never seen a white man! Sheesh! So, then they were removed from their home, their land, and forced into assimilation because the government wanted to play on that land. That sounds familiar, eh? Imperialism in Australia has a lot to answer for.

    I wonder, for those here arguing that they believe Aboriginal people don’t want to/are incapable of tolerating change, if you’d still feel the same if history were changed slightly… what if, after WWII, Australia found itself occupied by a communist rule? How would tolerance of change be viewed in that light? You’re all so quick to dish it out but it comes across as though you’ve not for a second stopped to think about the historical contexts that have led up to this point.

    That the government want to close down Aboriginal communities is no surprise. That as a democratic nation, filled with empathetic and compassionate humans capable of self-awareness and hindsight, we can stand by in silence and watch it happen is tremendously disheartening and, just, really poor form. I think Australians need to do whatever is within their power to support the Indigenous Australian community in every aspect of every facet of ‘life’ that has ever been forced upon them.

    We all need to shut the hell up and start listening.

  114. James says:

    Well the protest in Sydney is what I would call a successful protest. Of all the articles I read the only one that didn’t get overwhelmed by news about the traffic congestion was one about the Sydney protests It was organised in such a way as to only cause as much disruption as necessary to conduct the protest. Can I ask why the organisers in Sydney didn’t feel maximum disruption was required? I have a feeling the organisers knew that would be a dick move. Are you upset they didn’t negatively effect more people?

    So a protest is allowed to use all peaceful means at their disposal? I assume you would stick up for these same rights for say a ‘White surpremicy’ protest?

    Also the fact you called the people effected ‘whites at lunch counters’ is the closest to racism I read on this thread.

  115. James says:

    Another fact free post pto. Congrats, that must be a new record for posts without and actual content. Maybe another George Castanza reference could jazz up your next post. I agree, this is blast.

    10 posts in… Still waiting.

  116. GHW says:

    I meant traditionally in the sense of “on traditional land”. Of course modern conveniences are not traditional, but there are many traditions that can be upheld in a modern context, and caring for the land of your family dating back hundreds of generations is one of them. That can even be done in harmony with modern enviro science to the betterment of everyone. There is nothing stronger in the traditions of Aboriginal culture than connection to country. It’s a symbiosis born of a time where they both sustained each other in a relationship a lot more harmonious than the one we have now, which just rapes the land that feeds us.

    This idea that aboriginal people must either give up ALL their culture and assimilate into Anglo culture if they want to take advantage of modern services, or that they must go back to living the harshest way without those introduced conveniences if they want to continue to retain any shred of their culture, is pernicious and ridiculous. From the time of the first colonialists white governments have been trying to force them to assimilate, breaking up their families so that they lose those stories and survival skills and trying to stamp out traditional ways of living while replacing them with modern ones (which weren’t always better). What kind of cheek must you have to say, after all of that, that now they can’t have the services we’ve basically forced them to come to depend on, just because they want to retain the last vestiges of tradition we haven’t managed to stamp out? It beggars belief.

  117. GHW says:

    Why would she when she likely understands they can’t be expected to have the same privileges as your average Caucasian who has no excuse? That they have lower literacy rates (not to mention higher incarceration rates and a much lower life expectancy) because our successive governments have failed them?

    I guess you don’t understand the impact of history on a people, when above you are claiming that we are all “the same”. That kind of shallow PC nonsense doesn’t allow for an entire cultural history and the effect of colonisation on that culture. Of course we’re all related, absolutely every single living thing is related, but that’s immaterial in arguments about cultural groups.

  118. Terry Wrist says:

    1964 is decades before i was born, can’t blame us for previous atrocities.Do you go around calling all Germans nazis too? Lets move into the 21st century, not live in the past.It’s a fact that welfare dependance has been terrible for aboriginal people, destroying their skills, culture, self esteem and self worth.Anything that can get them off the welfare dependance is great, maybe it needs to be done in a slower manner than what is proposed.

  119. Josh says:

    I don’t disagree with anything you said. But if you’r going to be consistent, then don’t white people in Europe have a right to preserve their race and culture in the face of mass immigration and multiculturalism?

  120. Bree says:

    1964 was decades before my birth too but that doesn’t make all the events up to this point in time irrelevant. To suggest such is a bit short sighted. And laying blame wasn’t really my intention but rather it was to highlight the complexities of the history. If we don’t examine the past how can we ensure mistakes will not be repeated? Isn’t that part of our responsibility in the here and now?

    I agree that passive welfare dependence isn’t advantageous for anyone. I bet there’s plenty of literature to support that. To what extent, empirically, are these communities affecting the portion of persons who are passive welfare dependents? What if the government shut down social housing in the major cities? How would that solve the issue of passive welfare dependence in that portion of our society?

    I don’t claim to have the answers to these complex issues. I also don’t think shutting down these indigenous communities is the great solution to all of the ailments of our society; I think it serves two objectives: contributing to the alienation of already alienated peoples, and furthering the economic greed of the current government, which all has very little to do with considerations for people’s culture, self-esteem, or self-worth.

  121. GHW says:

    That’s got absolutely nothing to do with this conversation/issue. White people in Europe don’t have the same cultural connection to land as Aboriginal people do, and this issue is specifically about shifting people with that connection.

    I don’t really wan’t to give your red herring any airtime, but I would say that fears about immigrants somehow taking away the culture of the dominant society already there is just xenophobia – multiculturalism, by definition, is the /adding/ of one of more cultures to a pre-existing culture, not a substitution. Just like people here are silly to think a hoard of Muslims will come here and somehow institute Sharia in place of Australian law, I would think it highly unlikely for similar fears to manifest in Europe, unless you can suddenly shift enough people into a place that they become the majority of the population and also somehow take control of the parliaments in question (i.e. it’s just not going to happen).

  122. GHW says:

    It actually depends on the qualities of the culture in question as to whether they have a connection to land or not. In aboriginal culture, their affinity is NOT just that they grew up there. It also involves the fact that over the 60,000 years they had to develop ways to live in an extremely harsh environment, knowledge of and protection of the land simply became so entwined with their culture as to be one and the same. No European comes from a culture that actually believes some of the living trees in their vicinity are blood relatives, turned to trees when they died. They don’t tend those trees with the same care that you would a relative. No Europeans (that I know of) looked at being on the land as a relationship, rather than just possessing the land. Many Aboriginals had or have a cultural SWORN DUTY to protect specific areas. They can’t do that from somewhere else. If your white family has lived in a place for generations then yeah, you may have an attachment to the place, but it’s never going to be the same thing, because the meaning of land in that culture is just different. So no, it really doesn’t apply in the same way to different ethnicities. The Aboriginal situation is unique.

  123. Josh says:

    but all of that is religious mumbo jumbo. Trees really aren’t their relatives. You’re invoking religious nonsense as right to land, which is exactly what the jews do in Israel. So are you saying that the jewish religion justifies everything that’s going on in Pal?

  124. Sally Cinnamon says:

    Sickening :(

  125. yo yo says:

    White Australia ruined the population of aboriginals via gun powder, kidnapping & genocide…

    The least the government can do it give them free water and electricity and most or all ‘their’ land. And for those who disagree you’re worthless and should go have a cuppa with mr. Abbott & ms. Reinhart the two most hated Australians on this wonderful land.

    This land belongs to aboriginals not the Australian government. I’m white and and ashamed of my race with the history that is attatched to it, do good not worse!!

  126. Samanjj says:

    nice way to disown the actual problem. we need to make sure as a community that we don’t have 3rd world stats anywhere in this country and ensure those impacted are actively involved and keep their dignity in any process to fix the issues.

  127. Samanjj says:

    i think it’s the way the governments dictate the solution no matter what that is also part of the problem.

  128. Josh says:

    “White people in Europe don’t have the same cultural connection to land as Aboriginal people do, and this issue is specifically about shifting people with that connection.”

    how does one become an “aboriginal”?

    “I don’t really wan’t to give your red herring any airtime, but I would say that fears about immigrants somehow taking away the culture of the dominant society already there is just xenophobia – multiculturalism, by definition, is the /adding/ of one of more cultures to a pre-existing culture, not a substitution.”

    Across the West, the “white culture” is declining. For example, London is no longer “majority white-British.” This is not adding. It is replacing.

    “just like people here are silly to think a hoard of Muslims will come here and somehow institute Sharia in place of Australian law, I would think it highly unlikely for similar fears to manifest in Europe, unless you can suddenly shift enough people into a place that they become the majority of the population and also somehow take control of the parliaments in question (i.e. it’s just not going to happen).”

    Given that minorities at their present meager share of the population are so highly placated too, i can’t imagine how much they will be placated too when they grow even larger!

  129. Josh says:

    what’s bad? The violence in and of itself or the fact that aboriginal people are slowly dying out as a direct result of British colonisation?

  130. Josh says:

    “very little to do with considerations for people’s culture, self-esteem, or self-worth.”

    right, which is why the government is doing nothing to stop the mass immigration into australia that is destroying Australia’s Britishness.

  131. May Spencer says:

    …So definitely a troll then. Using ‘effected’ instead of ‘affected’ was relatively subtle though, kudos.

  132. James says:

    Name calling and grammar correction. Yet even your grammar correction is incorrect, effected is exactly the nessasary word.

    These protest arguably encouraging aboriginal parents to raise their children in locations with substandard health and education, condemning an entire generation of aboriginal children to the quality of life gap that currently exists, all so these protesters can continue to romanticise this culture. Endangering children so you can pat yourself on the back is indeed selfish and not in any way comparable to the ANZACS

    But even putting that to one side, thinking that a public road should only be usable by you is selfish. I think in your heart of hearts you know it was a dick move which is why you defend it so staunchly. You think it’s ok to be a selfish dick if you think your cause is bigger than that, fine, but it still makes you a selfish dick.

  133. Bigjobby says:

    Mass migration is what happens when you destroy the country you’ve colonised. Europeans should be happy to welcome their subjects back to the homeland.

  134. Josh says:

    since Islam conquered all of north Africa, southern Europe and middle asia, does that mean the world has a right to invade modern day Islamic countries?

  135. California Boy says:

  136. Qazy Qwe says:

    Here we go again… only white people can be racist.
    Do you think blackface is racist? The US film “White Chicks” is about two black men that paint their faces white to look like white women.
    Racism goes both ways.

  137. Exactly what Vivenne said! Why shouldn’t the aboriginal community fight for what is theirs rightfully? To the greedy businesses, go home to where you belong! And oh yes the horse race interrupted traffic last year, so this protest shouldn’t be any different. Herald-Sun, you are the selfish one!