Thousands of angry demonstrators pelted Australia's Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, with missiles on Friday (26 August) to protest against the government's decision to develop the country's vast uranium resource.
GV: Demonstrators outside University building in Sydney
GV; Demonstrators chanting and holding flags and banners
SV: Demonstrators being arrested by police
GV & SV: Demonstrators banging sticks on rubbish bins and chanting (FOUR SHOTS)
SV: Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser leaving
TRANSCRIPT: MATHESON: "About 2,000 demonstrators waited for up to two hours for the Prime Minister to arrive at the university. It was only when Mr. Fraser's car pulled up that the demonstrators surged forward. The chanting students tried to break through barricades but police thrust them back. Bodyguards assigned to protect Mr. Fraser sensed the danger and rushed the clearly-shaken Prime Minister inside the building, amidst a barrage of rubbish and water bombs. It was no small effort on the part of police to keep the demonstrators back. Many times the police traded punches with mob. At the height of the melee one uniformed officer was kicked in the eye and had to be taken to hospital. One person was arrested. Mr. Fraser went ahead with his scheduled address to the audience, but the demonstrators wouldn't go away. All through the dinner they pounded incessantly on garbage bins, the noise was deafening. Police and security men were worried by the violence. There was a suggestion that Mr. Fraser should use a back entrance when he finished his speech there by avoiding further ugly scenes. The Prime Minister decided against this and confronted them, face to face. The time the demonstrators had no chance of pushing through the barricades."
REPORTER: BARRY MATHESON
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Thousands of angry demonstrators pelted Australia's Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, with missiles on Friday (26 August) to protest against the government's decision to develop the country's vast uranium resource. Mr. Fraser was arriving at the University of New South Wales in Sydney to address a dinner. Police have asked for riot gear to face further violent protests. Barry Matheson of Channel Nine filed this report on the Sydney demonstration.
Anti-uranium groups have promised to plunge Australia into the worse civil disobedience since the Vietnam war protests of the late 1960s. The government decided to lift a four year ban on developing and exporting uranium earlier this month.