There were violent scenes in Queensland's capital of Brisbane when police were ordered to break a picket line of over 600 meatworkers who were trying to prevent the loading of more than 1,000 live cattle on a boat bound for Japan.
CU & SV Trucks leaving for Darling Downs. (2 SHOTS)
SV Trucks surrounded by demonstrators.
SV Truck driving through picket line PANE TO picketer being dragged away by police.
SV PAN Policemen dragging demonstrator away.
SV Trucks arriving at terminal, surrounded by police and chanting crowd.
SV Policeman running after demonstrator. (2 SHOTS)
LV Cattle wandering past trucks after being freed.
CU Demonstrator being arrested PAN TO other protesters held back by police.
LV Demonstrator being held back by policeman inside terminal.
SV Police van driving from scene PAN TO demonstrators.
SACRE: "The cattle came from the Darling Downs in 16 semi trailers to be loaded aboard the livestock carrier Diana Clausen, bound for Japan, and the picket lines they encountered made a graphic example of how frightened these meat workers are of losing their jobs if live cattle are allowed to be exported. But it was clear right from the start the drives stopped at nothing to break the picket line. From here on in followed a series of violent clashes. Picketers throwing themselves in front of the trucks then being arrested one after another. But the trucks kept on coming. Not that hurrying through made any difference, because by this time watersiders had walked out on strike in protest at the presence of police at the waterfront. Graziers stood by to load the ship themselves if the wharfies wouldn't. The Meat Industries Employees Union was standing firm in its opposition to the exports saying the shipment was contrary to an agreement that the union had with the Cattlemen's Union. This limits the number of exports of live cattle.. But the pastoral company had said the shipment would go ahead no matter what.
By late morning the mood was off great anger by each of the sides in the confrontation. As arrests were made by the dozens, some picketers tried to run for it. Others apparently got inside the terminal. And they tried letting the cattle loose. Successfully it seems. In all today, there were 45 people arrested, 41 men, three women and a 15-year-old boy. The confrontation is bound to start another argument over law-and-order versus police brutality. While Police Commissioner Terry Lewis said that police had attempted to play a low-key-role, there were charges from picketers of grass and unnecessary violence. Cameraman Dan McGowan used a long lens on this incident where a picketer got inside the terminal. The loading of cattle began this afternoon and the ship sails early tomorrow, leaving behind one of the most bitter and violent scenes in Brisbane for a long time."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: There were violent scenes in Queensland's capital of Brisbane when police were ordered to break a picket line of over 600 meatworkers who were trying to prevent the loading of more than 1,000 live cattle on a boat bound for Japan. The pickets, members of the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union, claimed the shipment broke a four-year ban on exports of live cattle to Japan for fattening before slaughter. Haward Sacre of TVQ Brisbane reports.