Thursday, 26 January 2012

Riot police rescue Gillard, Abbott from protesters (video)

Dozens of police and security guards have rescued Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott from a group of angry protesters who had surrounded a Canberra restaurant.
The Prime Minister stumbled as she was rushed to an awaiting vehicle and was helped up by security officials who were confronted by the protesters.
It appears the mob was incensed by remarks made by Mr Abbott earlier in the day in which he said he thought it was probably time to reconsider the relevance of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
Around 200 protesters gathered outside the restaurant near Old Parliament House where Ms Gillard was handing out medals to emergency services representatives.
Mr Abbott was also inside the building.
At least 50 police, including the riot squad, were called to the scene shortly after 2.30pm (AEDT).
The protesters, involved in a nearby event to mark the 40th anniversary of the embassy, banged on the three glass sides of the restaurant chanting "shame" and "racist".
The two leaders, protected by police and security officers, escaped out a side door after about 20 minutes.
Protesters chased their car down the road, banging on its roof and bonnet.
There had been false reports that the Prime Minister had been tackled. Ms Gillard's office confirmed she lost her footing, and a shoe, as she was dragged by security.
ACT Police Sergeant Chris Meagher says no-one was injured in the fracas and he has praised the police response.
"Immediate response - we had about 35 to 45 police respond also with the assistance of uniform police from Parliament House as well," he said.
Some of the protesters scuffled with police after the Prime Minister left but there have been no arrests.



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