A week ago, NSW Police employee Curtis Cheng was shot dead by a 15-year-old boy outside police headquarters in Parramatta, NSW. The intervening seven days have been filled with rhetoric around radicalised youth, stigmatisation of the Islamic community and sadness.
Today, a group of anti-Islam protestors planned to picket in Parramatta. Streets were blocked off for hours in the CBD, with a reported 75 police deployed to deal with an expected 300-400 protestors.
Big show of force from NSW Police to shutdown street of Parramatta mosque ahead of protests. pic.twitter.com/oGlAXc6OeP— Eryk Bagshaw (@ErykBagshaw) October 9, 2015
That number did not come close to being realised.
100 m exclusion zone now in place, cops protecting journos from other journos at this stage. pic.twitter.com/r5s0A3dDs7— Eryk Bagshaw (@ErykBagshaw) October 9, 2015
This is seriously the entire anti-Muslim side of the protest. pic.twitter.com/Yywj75EBSS— Lucy Carter (@lucethoughts) October 9, 2015
Incidentally, the website at the bottom of that poster (partyforfreedom.com.au) returns this result and appears to be an unregistered web domain:
However, the few -- very few -- who did mobilise made up for their small numbers in energy and ridiculousness.
For example, take this guy:
Racistman makes his appearance. pic.twitter.com/H5YcZcGIdT— Dylan Welch (@dylanwelch) October 9, 2015
Where do you start, really? This guy had, in summary:
- A luchador wrestling mask of the Australian flag;
- A hoodie featuring patches of Ned Kelly and the Australian Army; and...
- 'Such Is Life' and 'Aussie Pride' written in flowing English script; not to mention...
- The Eureka Stockade flag in the crook of his arm
Protestors clutched signs proclaiming “multiculturalism has utterly failed,” “ban Hizb-ut Tahrir now” and “stop muslim and socialist brutality against police”.
While it is unclear which socialist brutality they are referring to, it is less vague what some of their signs are actually made of:
That’s a sign for Pacifico beer. Which isn't from Australia. The irony, seemingly lost on the outspoken few.
Nearly as quickly as it began, the protest dissipated.
Anti-Mosque protesters now focussing attention on pro-Muslim supporters. Chanting 'Go back to Newtown.' It's confusing. #ParramattaMosque— Lucy Carter (@lucethoughts) October 9, 2015
Protest is dispersing. A few riot police are escorting anti-Muslim protestors to the RSL.— Lucy Carter (@lucethoughts) October 9, 2015