From the archives: the 1996 Parliament House Riot

What is it with the Left and violence? Listening the Gillard, Combet, Brown and their ilk over the past day or so, you would think that the carbon tax protesters, mainly honest, hardworking Australians angry at the contempt shown to them by the Labor government, were a bunch of dangerous, radical extremists. And that is precisely what you are supposed to think. The Labor/Green smear machine works very well, with the help of the compliant ABC and Fairfax, spreading innuendo and bile to discredit anyone who dares criticise a Labor policy. But again, people have very short memories.

The 1996 Parliament House riot was flagged by a commenter, and a little research shows that the union thugs were a far uglier bunch than anything the carbon tax protesters could compete with (from Wikipedia) – and just look whose name crops up:

The Australian Council of Trade Unions called the “cavalcade to Canberra” rally to protest against the industrial relations reform agenda of the LiberalNational Coalition Howard Government. The protest began with senior Australian Trade Union officials including ACTU President Jennie George and Assistant Secretary Greg Combet, as well as senior members of the Australian Labor Party.The initially peaceful protest deteriorated into violent action when a new group or demonstrators arrived in the early afternoon and attacked the entrance to Parliament. Around 90 personnel were injured —including lacerations, sprains, and head and eye injuries. Damage to the forecourt and foyer of Parliament was initially estimated at $75,000 and the Parliamentary shop was looted. Nine rioters were arrested and charged with a variety of offences. (source)

Read also the graphic description of the violence:

[T]his group refused to accept police direction, forced a breach in police lines and ran towards the main front entrance of Parliament House. Unfortunately, it was apparent that some of these demonstrators were affected by alcohol. This group was supported by participants from the more general demonstration who were incited to join those involved in riotous conduct by a speaker from the official platform.

Police formed a protective line along the perimeter of the Great Verandah which was subsequently forced back to the main doors. The police line was withdrawn from this area due to the level of violence being experienced by officers and was redeployed to an area inside the front doors in support of parliamentary security personnel. This deployment stabilised the situation for a short period. However, demonstrators using increasing force broke through the first line of doors.

Once inside this area, demonstrators used weapons, including a large hammer, a wheel brace, a steel trolley and a stanchion torn from the external doors to break open the internal doors. Simultaneously, a second group of demonstrators used other weapons to break into the Parliament House shop, but were held at the internal doors. The shop was ransacked by demonstrators and major damage was caused by persons who subsequently occupied the area. After some two hours, the demonstrators were finally repelled from Parliament House and driven back onto the forecourt area and, shortly afterwards, they dispersed.

In addition to the events which took place at the front entrance to the building, incidents also occurred on the Members Terrace, the roof of the Great Verandah and the Queens Terrace. There were 197 Australian Federal Police on duty at the start of the demonstration, in addition to the Australian Protective Service officers and parliamentary security personnel. A further 60 Australian Federal Police reinforcements were called out under established contingency plans.

Michael Smith of 2UE has footage of the news reports, which I have uploaded to YouTube for a wider audience. Just look at the disgraceful scenes shown here, and compare with the politeness and respect (barring a few inappropriate placards) on show at the Carbon Tax rally (and we also get to see Combet and Bob Brown plying their trade):


Just one word from this: hypocrisy.


  1. Sounds like the same treatment the good people involved in the Tea Party rallies in the US get from the left. Glad to see we are not alone!

  2. Amazing isn’t it … how quickly they forget. Combet should be reminded of his groups actions at Parliament House in 1996.

    Don’t worry about the peaceful protesters calling for action about a carbon dioxide tax in 2011 … they’re puppy dogs compared to the union rabble that rioted back then.

    Yet again we see the mantra of the Labor/Green/Independent Coalition – ‘Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

  3. Bob Brown: The Australian Ethos of a Fair Go….
    So, how does that Ethos apply to the Carbon Tax… I don’t think anyone feels they’ve had a fair go…

  4. I’ve got this lovely mental image of the Ju-Liar protesters surrounded by exhaust pipes from cars and trucks, low rise smoke stacks, coughing, choking, unable to breathe waving placards that say “it’s a harmless trace gas”…

    • Not sure whether you’re joking or not, but you are falling into the trap set for you by the government. Carbon dioxide is not pollution. What you are referring to is toxins and particulates (which are pollution). The carbon [dioxide] tax has nothing to do with “reducing pollution”.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      I’ve got this lovely mental image…

      Propaganda only fools the gullible.

      Have you been fooled Rod?

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