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Patriotism under threat on Australia Day

By Sean Litchfield - posted Tuesday, 6 February 2018


By nature, I consider myself apolitical. I long ago ceased believing in either side of the political divide. I try to see everyone's point of view.

So on Australia Day, I had some time up my sleeve and was at a loose end on my way to a business appointment in Queen Street in the Brisbane CBD. I decided to attend the Invasion Day rally in the city, which I thought would be discussing the relevance of Australia Day and a potential date change.

Various people were there, including of course indigenous Australians, who quite rightly wanted their voice to be heard on something that is very emotional and important to them.

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A small Maori group arrived, with the words "Mongrel Mob" on the back of their jackets, and they then proceeded to do a haka in the gathering throng. I'm not sure why a Maori group would be offended by Australia Day, but perhaps they were simply there to show support for their indigenous brothers and sisters.

There were representatives from the CFMEU, MUA and various other unions in solidarity with the cause of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, or at least the activists in that community. Once again, I'm not sure why the unions would find Australia Day offensive, as their objective, as I understand it, is simply to maintain workers' rights.

There were flags of the now defunct Soviet Union on display, with far left groups championing a return to the heady days of Communism. I'm sure many of the victims of Stalinism would take umbrage at that suggestion.

And of course there were representatives of the Greens Party, supporting a cause dear to their hearts.

I stood back from proceedings a little, so as not to give the impression I was part of the group, or that I was opposed. You see, I hadn't made my mind up! Hence, I wanted to hear what everyone had to say.

Within 15 minutes, a gentleman strode up to me and asked me if I was a cop. I answered that I was not, and that I was just observing. Peacefully. I hadn't said a word nor engaged anyone in conversation. I kept as low a profile as I could.

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He made a gesture that he wanted to put his arm around me. I didn't want him to and told him so.

So amazed was I at the heady mix of different groups, I took two photos and sent them to my wife.

Immediately, I was swooped on by two members of the plain clothes constabulary, who wanted my name.

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About the Author

Sean Litchfield describes himself as an ordinary bloke who loves his country.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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