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God is Great (but you are SH*TE)

By DeusExMacintosh

Muslim film protest in Sydney CBD turns into riot

EIGHT people are expected to be charged after violent clashes between hundreds of police and protesters erupted in Sydney’s CBD.

Six police were injured and 17 others were treated for the effects of capsicum spray today when a demonstration against an anti-Islamic film got out of hand.

Eight of the protesters were expected to be charged with a range of offences, including affray, assaulting police, resisting arrest and throwing a missile.

Police said they would also begin poring through “a significant amount of evidence” that had been gathered through the media and officers, and that anyone caught committing offences would be “vigorously pursued”.

Saturday’s angry scenes began after about 1pm (AEST), when an “unannounced and unapproved” group of people gathered at Town Hall as part of a global protest against an anti-Islamic film.

Police said the group began walking along George Street towards Martin Place, where they attempted to enter the US consulate, which is located in the MLC Centre.

It was here, according to police, that violence between officers and the growing group first broke out. Tempers flared again when the demonstrators – then about 300-strong – took their rallying cry to Hyde Park.

Capsicum spray was fired, leaving faces red and inflamed, while one man was seen being dragged along the ground with blood dripping down his face.

Superintendent Mark Walton later said he believed some people went to the protest “armed”, with a view to cause damage and assault police…

Tallying up the damage, Supt Walton said eight people had been arrested, two had been taken to hospital for dog bites and 17 others were treated for the effects of the capsicum spray.

Meanwhile two officers were taken to hospital, another four were injured and at least two police vehicles were damaged.

All levels and sides of politics were quick to condemn the protest with Prime Minister Julia Gillard issuing a statement saying: “Violent protest is never acceptable – not today, not ever.”

“The right to protest comes with an equal responsibility to do so peacefully,” NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said.

“That responsibility has been comprehensively ignored today.”

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told the Seven Network it was “completely, utterly and absolutely unacceptable”, adding those responsible for the violence should be prosecuted.

Greens leader Christine Milne said there was no place for violent protests in Australia.

“We welcome clear statements from leaders and members of the Islamic community in Australia condemning the violence and noting that this protest is not representative of them.”

Despite the violence Supt Walton said “there was potential for it to escalate” far more than it did and that he was “quite comfortable” with the way police reacted.

- The Australian

As half of an Assistance Dog partnership who has ‘enjoyed’ the full toxic-taxi experience in the UK, my sympathies here are entirely with the police dog.

54 Comments

  1. Posted September 16, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    1. How often do assistance dogs get refused?

    2. How often do the offenders become ex-taxi drivers?

    3. What’s the excuse? It’s not like there is anything attributed to a sky fairy saying anything about taxis.

    4. Wonder how many fundies get a change of heart, like when diabetic and offered porcine insulin, or need an assistance dog themselves (although perhaps they can try training an assistance cat … good luck with that!)

  2. Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Yep, I’m all for sooling the dogs onto them. Furthermore I’d have dropped bacon onto Hyde Park from a helicopter.

  3. Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Steve … I don’t eat mammals, but that’s a waste of pig.

    actually, there is vegetarian or turkey “bacon substitute” … Dropping that, cooked up so it does the imitation best, would probably get them just as panicky, but you could prove you weren’t being insensitive to people so moronic they need to be protected by the Disability Discrimination Act.

  4. Posted September 16, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    There’s footage of this all over YouTube, most of it amateur (shot on phone cameras etc). I find the rank stupidity of the demonstrators just staggering. I’m used to Occupy and anti-capitalist protesters being wrong but at least articulate. This lot made me want to know who was on quality control when they queued up at customs.

  5. Posted September 16, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Dave, your answers are:

    1. Often

    2. Never, but once in a blue moon they have to pay a fine for breaking the law.

    3. Dogs are considered ‘unclean’ in Islam and in many of the middle eastern countries – particularly Egypt – there is a residual medieval superstition that black dogs in particular can be possessed by the devil (much as Christianity thought could happen with black cats once upon a time). Personally, I love the idea that I can get Satan to sit on command. ;-) Some Muslim taxi drivers will refuse to carry any kind of dog including Guide Dogs even though this is against the law.

    4. The first Guide Dog allowed in a UK mosque made huge headlines a few years back (the Koran allows the possession of working dogs for security or herding for example) but dogs are still considered untouchable so most Muslims would not use them anyway.

    This guide to Islamic hygeine is quite useful, even though it makes me want to find the author and give him a kicking.

    Co-incidentally, having trashed the Sydney CBD the local muslim community will be having a fundraising dinner at the Grand Royal, Granville on September 30th to raise money to build a Sydney City Masjid (mosque).

    Will there be a retaliatory Hangi and hog roast in Hyde Park at the same time? One wonders…

  6. soberama
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    This lot made me want to know who was on quality control when they queued up at customs.

    These kids were second possibly third generation.

    Cheap shot, but not very perceptive or aware.

  7. kvd
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    This lot made me want to know who was on quality control when they queued up at customs.

    They would have you believe it was Mohammed

    These kids were second possibly third generation.

    Probably more like 60 they, again, would have you believe..

  8. soberama
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Interesting that so many of the cops in the footage were grinning, obviously enjoying the prospect of a punch up against lebos. And as for the dog squad. Simply squalid. Bully meet target.

    Gang meet gang.

  9. Conrad
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I feel sorry for the dog too, and given the ridiculous over-reaction, no doubt we’ll see Innocence of the Muslims II, III, etc. . so the dog will get a lot of extra work.

    “This lot made me want to know who was on quality control when they queued up at customs.”

    I presume the real idiots fighting the police were probably born in Aus — if not, perhaps they could have their visas cancelled on character grounds.

  10. Posted September 16, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    soberama, I’m really have trouble seeing how the police are to blame at all. The evidence clearly shows the tactical position of the police and necessity for the level of force that was used.

  11. Posted September 16, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Soberama has got a problem, a big one.

    The police were there to take back control of the streets.When the police control the streets, those streets are safe.

    When a mob of violent hooligans control the streets, those streets are unsafe
    When those violent hooligans are unhinged loonies, threatening to top anyone who says anything adverse about their imaginary friend, then those streets are most unsafe

    The police were doing their job. A pity they didn’t crack more skulls.

  12. kvd
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Boston Tea Party, Apostles, Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davidson, Martin Luther King (or just Martin Luther for that matter), Ghandi, Steve Biko, French Revolution, Stonewall Riots, Tiananmen Square. And so it goes…

  13. Posted September 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I note your sympathy for the dog, DEM. I’m not sure that I find this footage quite so sympathetic. It’s hard enough to attempt to ensure that presumably well-trained police officers use force proportionately in situations of excitement (eg, here; inquest opens tomorrow – the man shot dead was in fact unarmed), but I would have thought even harder to use a dog as a weapon in a lawfully measured kind of way.

    Not that I suppose you use your own dog for that purpose.

  14. Posted September 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    They were a street mob on the verge of a full scale riot. They were striking fear & alarm into the hearts of law abiding members of the public who were quietly enjoying a Sunday in the city (as citizenry are entitled to do).

    They were assaulting police, & destroying police (ie public) property.

    Using dogs & batons on them is not only justified, it is a reasonable response.

    Using police dogs on muslims is a particularly delicious touch!

  15. Posted September 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Look, I am always careful not to assume that ‘cops are tops’. On my facebook page I made a joke (albeit one with a serious point): Cops v angry Muslims – it’s like Alien v Predator.

    It’s worth pointing out that the NSW Police are still a ‘Force’ (unlike those north of the border, who have become a ‘Service’, partly to wash away at least some of the memories of the Joh era). However, that doesn’t take away from the main issues:

    1. A riot was developing, where – as the Super pointed out – the violent elements rapidly overwhelmed the non-violent elements in the protest.

    2. Many of the marchers were engaging in open incitement (the beheading posters, clearly mass produced and carried by men, women, and children – not just the blokes). Some of the beheading posters had been modified so that they called directly for the killing of the filmaker.

    3. The marchers were willing to hit police officers. Unlike in the London riots last year – and perhaps because we are dealing with the NSW Police, and not the Met – the police hit back. Dogs were very effective, in part, it would seem, due to Muslim superstitions about dogs. Did this cause the violence to escalate? It appears not, but I am not in possession of all the facts and will have to wait and see.

    4. A notable lack of brains on the part of the protesters; I’m sorry, it has to be said and I’m willing to repeat it. The stupidest piece of incoherence I saw came from one flag waving beardy-weirdy with a Brummie accent. Watching that was slightly surreal.

  16. Posted September 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    @Skepti: Pedantic point. The NSW cops are not “still” a force, they are “again” a force. A recent police minister made the change back to the old name.

  17. Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Ah, interesting, SATP – I didn’t know that. I assumed they had kept their name unchanged throughout. Learn something every day!

  18. Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    @Skepti, if I had a better connection (am sitting by a campfire, with laptop on my knees) I’d look up who was behind the re-naming to “force”, but I’ve a feeling it was Michael Costa (the one with the Yul Brynner hairstyle).

    He certainly believed there was no place for the word “service” in connection with the police, and that “force” was a more butch word, that better reflected the role of the police.

  19. Mel
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Maybe skulling a pint of beer and eating a pork sandwich should be part of the citizenship test :)

  20. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    SATP@18: It’s like the Deceptacon police car (Barricade) in Transformers with the motto on the bodywork, “to punish and enslave”.

    Marcellous @13: That’s not the policeman setting the dog on a protestor, that’s the police handler trying to get his dog to let go (you don’t grab the muzzle, the dog would bite you).

    Police dogs aren’t trained to savage people, they run up (which certainly looks intimidating), bite (which certainly hurts), and then hold on for grim death until ordered to release the suspect once officers have cuffed him. Sometimes an over-excited dog is a bit reluctant to let go and you can see the copper in this case lifting the dog off his paws by the harness pulls. If some beardie whack-job tried to kick me in the head you’d have to pull ME off him as well…

  21. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Mel@19 … Well I would fail – alcohol off the menu (epilepsy) and I won’t eat dead mammal (part taste, part environmental, part woos) – would wearing pig count?

    Shocked by DEM’s description of slack rules for licensed taxi drivers.

    Oh …. And evil me is thinking what the police should have done is show the dogs being feed lots of bacon and trotters in front of the protesters … Would bacon-covered teeth make them back off more readily?

  22. AJ
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Boston Tea Party, Apostles, Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davidson, Martin Luther King (or just Martin Luther for that matter), Ghandi, Steve Biko, French Revolution, Stonewall Riots, Tiananmen Square. And so it goes…

    No, I am pretty sure “someone posted something on youtube” is the stupidest reason for violent riots to date.

  23. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    AJ, it’s pretty much the embodiment of YHBT. YHL. HAND.

  24. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    A violent outbreak of SIWOTI syndrome, AJ…

  25. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    A clear case where the green crayon brigade responsible for the comments under YouTube videos takes to the streets…

  26. Davoh
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    There is no god but ME! Eek, does that mean I have to take responsibility for my own actions?

    Interesting thought.

  27. Posted September 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    But DEM, before that the dog was surely set on the protestor? And the protestor is expected to know all that you are telling us now?

  28. Posted September 17, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    No, marcellous. Technically speaking the dog wouldn’t be “set on” the protestor unless he was “loosed” and that dog is clearly still on the lead/in harness and controllable. Most people have seen police dog demos either on television or at their school so yes, he IS expected to know that they hold rather than tear. At the time I doubt that protestor knew much more than that he was wearing the painful end of an Alsatian.

    As per proper procedure, the dog squad wasn’t called in until after pepper spray had been deployed. Would you expect the police to rule out using the dog squad BECAUSE of the protestors religious sensibilities?

  29. kvd
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    However, that doesn’t take away from the main issues:

    Call me a cynic, but all this is a tiny sideshow to what may be coming down the road. Still, anything which polarises the populations on both ‘sides’ of any issue can be put to good use by our various leaders.

    I am pretty sure “someone posted something on youtube” is the stupidest reason for violent riots to date

    English soccer fans.

  30. Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Hell… handbasket…

  31. Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Still, anything which polarises the populations on both ‘sides’ of any issue can be put to good use by our various leaders.

    Good point.

  32. kvd
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    LE@34 I agree with you, but I must say I am disappointed by the reactions above – talking about bacon, and pork, and dogs and Muslims.

    This blog is written for, and commented upon, by some fairly cluey people. Yet here we are, again, painting an entire ‘Other’ with responsibility for the stupid deeds of 20-25 young aggressive idiots.

    Shame on them, yes. But shame on us as well if we cannot think past that.

  33. Posted September 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I’ll challenge you KVD.
    If a group (say..20-25 young idiots) play up old harry, striking fear into the public, then I’d be using every weapon in my arsenal to make the streets safe again.
    If they don’t like having bacon fat fired at them from a water truck, dogs sooled onto them, & being arrested by cops wearing pigskin gloves, then they always have the option of not rioting.

    I’d be conducting a greasy pig chase right through the middle of them.

    I don’t respect them, they are not entitled to my respect, and they won’t get it.

    Contempt is what they deserve, and I’d give it to them in full measure.

    They want to brutally attack Australian citizens because of some skit filmed on a camcorder half a world away, then I’d give ‘em brutal violence back. Cracked skulls, broken legs, dog bites, smashed teeth, and anything else it takes to not only stop them, but to brutally supress them.

  34. kvd
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Steve@36 for a guy who spends half his life slagging off at police inefficiency (not to say stupidity) and the other half deriding lawyers, I’d say you are demonstrating a ‘turnaround’ in your support worthy of Dame Margot.

    This ‘they’ you speak of? If you are confining yourself and your reactions to a small group of out of control hotheads, then go for it. But if you are painting all Muslims with the same brush then you are part of the problem, not any possible resolution.

  35. Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    KVD neither am I going to embrace the “it’s only a small minority meme that gets put around.

    We’ve seen plenty of small minorities of muslims murdering & creating mayhem in the past dozen years.

    I’m seeing a pattern, there certainly is a problem, and that problem, contrary to your statement, is not me.

    I’ll be part of the solution. *loads .303*

  36. Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Steve@38,

    How about we line up impact on Australians of the ‘small minorities’ of Muslims that cause trouble against the impact of the ‘small minorities’ of night club/pub culture that cause trouble? I assume you’re willing to accept culpability in all the pub bashing, glassing, rapes, etc that are clearly a problematic pattern in the culture you’re a part of?

    Or maybe guilt by association is not such a reasonable idea…

  37. Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    No Despis, why would I accept responsibility.
    You don’t have much in the way of critical thinking skills if you “assume” that I’ll be accepting responsibility for that.

    Start with explaining why I’d accept responsibility for rapes.
    Follow that with the rest.

    Then explain what the Sam Hill that has to do with a bunch of goat pleasurers rioting in the CBD down south.

  38. Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    kvd@35, I’ve been quite disappointed with the way much of the Australian blogosphere has polarised on these matters. The right seem to have gone for the ‘OMG Islamic invaders!’ rabid scaremongering, while the left have gone for the ‘OMG Government oppression of minorities!’ inane drivel. It’s enough to make the mainstream media seem balance and reasonable…

  39. Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    DEM@29

    DEM, as I thought was plain from my original comment, I’m actually not keen on dogs being used offensively (ie, other for their sniffing talents) on humans at all. Ante or apres pepper spray doesn’t really alter that.

    As a dog person, it seems your views are different.

    If you are not a dog person, you probably don’t watch dog demonstrations on TV, and I can’t say I remember the police visitors to school dwelling on this aspect. All I can recall is stuff about pedestrian crossings and traffic, not accepting lifts from strangers and not to play with detonators. The last seems rather old world – maybe there were more detonators lying around unsecured in those days – though I notice a kid recently either died or was horribly injured playing with them.

  40. kvd
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Steve@38 you might have a point. But maybe wait till they reach a turning point; say, if they begin using more militant tactics such as chaining themselves to railings, setting fire to mailbox contents, smashing windows and occasionally detonating bombs?

    And also, back in 1912 you might actually be able to replenish your .303 ammo. So it’s a win-win ;)

    btw this is in response to SL’s suggestion@23 that I was perhaps trolling this thread. Compared to your “Cracked skulls, broken legs, dog bites, smashed teeth, and anything else it takes to not only stop them, but to brutally supress them” I thought my comment on responses by authority was quite simplistic.

  41. Posted September 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    steve@40, I took your comment at 38, about rejecting the ‘small minority’ meme to mean you felt it was Muslims as a whole that were the problem and responsible for the violence. You seemed to justify this view on the basis of a pattern of violence within that particular group. I was merely attempting to apply your reasoning to another group with similar set of facts.

  42. Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    No Despis, you were going off on an incoherent tangent.

    If you expect me to back off rioting mobs, just because you or your kids have no manners & can’t handle your grog, you are very mistaken.

  43. Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    @KVD. It may have escaped your notice, but the suffragettes were wanting nothing more than to vote.

    Unwashed morons, bringing an atmosphere of fear to Australian streets, urging the murder of anyone who insults their imaginary friend, and who then violently assault Australians who are simply doing their job, are something else altogether.

    To liken the two groups is vomit-inducing.

  44. Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I don’t expect you to back off rioting mobs. I just hope you have the sense to realise that the rioting mob isn’t the be all and end all of Australian Muslims.

  45. kvd
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    rioting mobs

    20 to 25 young hooligans out for a bit of biff? Last time that happened where I live the local policeman rang a couple of their mothers, and he and they sorted it out. Steve, when you talk of bringing an atmosphere of fear to Australian streets you do realise that 25 yokels in a city of 2+ million leaves quite a few undisturbed gaps in your theory?

    I’m now waiting for Melbourne’s 15 and Hobart’s 3 to become ‘atmospheric’.

  46. Posted September 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    kvd, I wasn’t suggesting you were trolling the thread at all (once again I am confronted with the difficulty of clarity online, and I am a professional giver of written advice and author, gah).

    I was suggesting that the YouTube video was an exercise in trolling, and that the response was a physical manifestation of the attitudes evinced by the people who write illiterate and angry comments under YouTube videos.

    And yes, SATP, you are getting too bloodthirsty for my tastes. Like many people I am shocked at seeing these scenes in Australia. I have come to expect them in Britain, where mass immigration has been far less successful and where wider trust bonds (as Lorenzo discusses in his post) have been notably loosened. However, the fact that they are ALSO turning up in Australia means that it behooves us to be very bloody careful to get our facts right, be clear about the extent of the problem, and to ensure that any reaction is both proportionate and accurate.

  47. Posted September 19, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has some observations about Muslim rage and free speech.

  48. kvd
    Posted September 19, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    There’s a difference between freedom of speech (“all calathumpians are idiots”) and incitement (“behead the unbelievers”) which is getting lost. The first is directed against some “other” while the second is an encouragement to one’s own supporters. Happy to support the rights of the former; not so the latter.

  49. Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    @Despis #47: I’m insulted, your comment is personally offensive. What got into you? This isn’t larvatus prodeo, where comments threads were overstocked with window lickers and very sick puppys.

    Give me some credit. I’m a fully paid up adult.
    More than a quarter of the people I work with are muslim, as are several of the people in town who I deal with, my town has a mosque, etc etc. I don’t expect (or hawk for) blog readers, but if you’d been reading my blog you’d have noticed that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in hardline muslim (ie “dry”) provinces. That I’ve spent quite some of my career immersed in the “muslim” wholesale economy in Australia.

    It’d actually be more accurate for me to assume that it is you who doesn’t know which end of a muslim eats grass!

  50. Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    @ Skepti #49:

    …SATP, you are getting too bloodthirsty for my tastes

    That was not the intention. I was being pragmatic, offering the only practical & workable solution.
    To paraphrase Corporal Jones (Dad’s Army) “Give ‘em cold steel, they don’t like it up ‘em).
    One good hit in the gizzard (so to speak) and these fellers fold.
    They used to rule Cabramatta, but now it is the only part of Sydney they won’t go into.

    There is a reason for that.

  51. Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

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  1. By Skepticlawyer » The year in review on December 30, 2012 at 1:06 am

    [...] on Sydney streets. Of course, DeusExMacintosh does what one ought to do with religious nutters: takes the piss out of them. Then there is the small matter of bank penalty fees, so Legal Eagle provides a case note on the [...]

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