Violence broke out i Sydney o Thursday (13 November) as thousands of Labor supporters demonstrated against the sacking of Australia's Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, earlier in the week.
Violence broke out i Sydney o Thursday (13 November) as thousands of Labor supporters demonstrated against the sacking of Australia's Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, earlier in the week. Mr. Whitlam was dismissed from office by Australian Governor-General Sir John kerr in a shock move on Tuesday (11 November) after weeks of political deadlock.
The demonstrators mainly students clashed with police around and inside the Sydney offices of News Limited -- the newspaper group owning and publishing the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, and the country's only national newspaper, The Australian All three papers have Opposition leader Malcolm Fraser to form a caretaker minority government until general elections are held on 13 December.
The trouble erupted after a mass rally in the city's Hyde Park, addressed by Mr.Whitlam's former Labor minister, Senator Jim McClelland. Despite Mr. McClelland's repeated calls for calm an appeal made by all Labor and trades union leaders many of the demonstrators began a march through the cit centre to the News Ltd. offices.
Police barred the entrance to the building, and scuffles broke out as the protesters forced their way inside, chanting "We Want Gough" and "Stop Fraser". Four people were arrested. Demonstrators unable to get inside then began hurling bundles of newspaper from passing delivery trucks, and setting fire to them in the street.
An urgent appeal for calm was made by Mr. R.Pringle, a former official of one of Australia's largest unions, the Builders' Labourers' Federation. He called on demonstrators to act peacefully, and to sit-in on the streets to prevent late editions of the Dally Mirror leaving the building.
The Sydney demonstration has been the most violent in a nation-wide series of rallies backing Mr.Whitlam. Labor supporters have been incensed at what they describe as the Governor-General's "unconstitutional" and "undemocratic" action. Both Mr. Whitlam and Mr.Fraser have expressed a belief that democracy will triumph at the polls.
Film includes parts of Mr. McClelland's address to the Labor rally in Hyde Park. A transcript follows: