Adelaide One Nation Launch -
Wednesday 11th June 1997

Report by Nelson.

Findon Road was closed off by the police, and the diverted traffic congested the surrounding streets which had been narrowed by hundreds of parked cars on both sides. It was 7pm, and most people wanting to hear Pauline Hanson, or abuse her, were already at her Adelaide venue.

As I arrived at the Convention Centre, I saw that a crowd had gathered outside, I heard the chanting of the protesters, and I avoided the dung left by the police horses. The TV outside broadcast units were parked at the best vantage points, with antennae extended.

The meeting was not due to start until 7.30pm, and some people were still trying to get inside. The protesters were making this as difficult as possible, pushing, shoving, jostling and yelling abuse at anyone trying to get in. The police were everywhere, on horses, taking videos from the roof of the convention centre, manning the barricades, and a few were walking around the perimeter of the crowd. The police helped a few elderly people on the verge of collapsing, but most others had to fend for themselves.

The protesters were the usual bunch of chanting ferals, druggies, ageing hippies, and the dreadlocked with their pierced eyebrows, noses, tongues and lips. They had the chance of protesting in the city, where the city council and the major parties sponsored a "non violent, non confrontational, peaceful clebration of multiculturalism", but they prefered their own violent, confrontational, provocative version instead. They threw their eggs at the building, and the police did nothing. They screamed abuse into one old lady's ear, from a distance of about two inches. Luckily the TV cameras turned on for a live update, and the police decided to help the old lady over the barricade.

At about 7.10pm, the police stopped anybody else from going inside. Dozens of people who already had tickets argued with the police in vain. The police said that the building was full - it was only meant to hold 800 people and it already had 1200 inside, many without a seat. I still don't know if this was true or not. The ferals taunted the people with tickets who couldn't get in, telling them that Pauline had ripped them of. The Hansonites shrugged their shoulders and said that their money went to a good cause. Most of them then stayed to argue with the ferals.

The funniest part came just after the Hansonites accused the mob of being professional protesters, not that any of them denied it. One of the feral latecomers turned up, and was overheard complaining that he had brought the wrong banner: his banner said "Save the ABC". The Hansonites laughed themselves silly. The absent minded feral held up his banner anyway, and got some of his mates to join in chanting 'Save the ABC'. No doubt he will go to his next protest with an anti-Hanson banner.

I was surprised by the relatively small number of people outside the venue. I had heard that the media method of crowd calculation was to take the upper estimate and quadruple it - it makes for better copy. I counted about 50 people, estimated how much space they filled, and came to the conclusion that there were only about 400 people there, plus about 100 police. The media later reported that "up to 2000" protesters were present. I suppose they didn't lie, given that 400 is in the range between 0 and 2000.

Regardless of how many people were actually there, the number of protesters was less than half of the total. This was probably why they had so much trouble in sustaining their chanting. Some of the crowd (maybe 10% - 15%) were Hansonites who couldn't get inside, and weren't about to leave with their tail between their legs. But the biggest component was the unaligned bystanders - ranging from curious to the soccer thugs ("I'm just here to see the riots, mate!")

These unaligned bystanders were the first to leave; it was a cold night. One guy seemed to sum up thier mood - "I still haven't made up my mind about Hanson, but I'm tempted to vote for her just to irritate those mindless dickheads (indicating the chanting ferals)". It honestly wouldn't surprise me if the ferals are attracting more votes for One Nation than Hanson herself.

By the time 10pm came, only the diehards from both sides remained - a total of 170 or 180 at most. I was distracted by some infighting with a group of Aboriginees. Some had been drinking, and others were telling them to stop before the TV cameras took their picture. One of the drinkers, who hadn't previously caused any trouble to anyone, eventually had enough, and told his tormenter to "Fxxx off Whitey". "Whitey" wasn't impressed at all - I'm not white, I'm a Koori! "Well you look like Whitey, and you act like whitey, so fxxx off".

At that exact moment, all the police on horses lunged forward into the remaining crowd and cleared the driveway to the convention centre. A government car zoomed out about five seconds later. The ferals, having missed their opportunity to abuse Hanson as she left, yelled abuse at the departing Hansonites instead, and demanding to the police that they let them through. The trouble was that the ferals were outnumbered by at least five to one by then, and the police were now more likely to be needed to protect them.

I heard one old guy say to his wife: "Why are you scared of them, look they are only kids!" The self proclaimed voices of Australia's conscience were not impressed, and left dejected, and even worse, ignored.

Pauline Hanson's speech at the Adelaide launch

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Letters received regarding
launch of One Nation at Adelaide

Subject: Launch of One Nation at Adelaide

I was at the One Nation launch in Adelaide in order to hear for myself what this woman is saying. This, it seems, is enough to cause the tolerant liberal-minded politically-correct in our society to turn out in droves to prevent other law-abiding citizens from hearing a different point of view. I had with me, my wife, a blind girl in her twenties and an amazing lady in her seventies who all wished to exercise their democratic right to experience "the case for the defence" first hand. We were subjected to verbal abuse, the foulest of obscenities, our path was physically blocked, we were pushed and shoved, we were kicked in the shins and attempts were made to trip us. This last action,in that crush, could have been lethal and I consider that it amounted to an attempt at grievous bodily harm. Fortunately no significant injury occurred, but bruises and sore shins were with us for days. Our police force were present in numbers but totally failed to prevent this assault or to keep the public thoroughfare open.

The scene was repeated a number of times as people tried to gain entrance to the venue. At least at the time of our arrival, some 20 minutes before the start time on our tickets, no clear passage through the barricades erected by the authorities was open and we were forced to clamber over the top. This "running of the gauntlet" was largely created by the police who directed us into the main mass of protesters when we enquired about the way in. We could more easily and safely have climbed the barrier at the edge of the crowd.We assumed that a break in the barricade was available to us in front of the main doors but on clearing this obstacle we found that it was continuous. We were left with the impression that the police were doing all they could to discourage people from attending the meeting. It was reported in the local press that some ticket-holders were actually turned away at the door, by police, after having made their way through that disgusting crowd. One older Gent inside the venue was even covered with spittle!

Having now heard for myself the ideas of Pauline Hanson, and seen for myself the behaviour of many who disagree(?) with her, as well as having read the lunatic arguments put up by the powers-that-be and the chattering classes, (I love that term- it's so descriptive)I can only hope that the lady has the "cohones" to keep up the fight and give us a real choice at the next election.

Rick Pagano

Subject: Adelaide Meeting


People are judged by their enemies, and, judging by the scruffy, noisy, rude people opposing her, Pauline Hanson is a solid pillar of the community.

Whilst I cannot condone these rowdy activists disrupting those wanting to listen to her, the more television scenes of un-disciplined yobbos confronting ordinary middle-class Australians, the more votes One Nation will receive.

It's hard to believe people could be so stupid as to actively work against their own political movement. Going by the result in Oxley in 1996, there's an awful lot of ALP voters who would support One Nation rather than vote for the Coalition.

Peter Mackay.

Subject: Launch of One Nation at Adelaide

i was there with my mate..and one of my sons ..we could not get in remained outside..this report on adelaides spot on ..we split into 3 locations and did our own head count ..then compared notes ...400 is about right ........the protesters we thought a little less, than NELSON.'S count ..everthing else ...correct.........

signed...WAYNE .D .HICKMAN.

p.s. many people said .....wait until we have our vote at the next

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