For the record: my personal first hand account of events that led to Gillard and Abbott’s dramatic “escape” and subsequent clash between police and demonstrators from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The scene outside the offending cafe

 

For the record, this is my personal account of events that led to the Honourable Prime Minister Julia Gillard being dragged along by her body-guard and bundled into her waiting car. I am not claiming to speak on behalf of anyone else who was there. This is my individual, personal account of these events.

 

On the morning of the 26th of January hundreds of people gathered at the Australian National University for a welcome, music, dancing and talks before embarking on an organized march up to Parliament House and around and back to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy near Old Parliament House. The march was fantastic and we arrived at the Tent Embassy in the highest of spirits.

 

Some time after the march we were milling about with some people listening to speakers etc., when word spread that Tony Abbott had been reported as saying that the Tent Embassy is no longer needed, that people should just “move on”. Not only this, but that he himself – right now – was no more than 50 meters away at the Porkbarrel café. (Upon close inspection one can actually see the colour of the Tent Embassy infrastructure in the photo of the cafe below.)

 

We brisk-walked over to the café. In the main the feeling was that we should tell Abbott what we thought of his comments. There was also a feeling of outrage and disbelief – that he would be so insensitive and disrespectful to say such a thing and then think it peaceably dandy and fine to dine and quaff champagne at the closest possible venue to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy at the very moment they are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Tent Embassy and reasserting their people’s right or claim to sovereignty. It seemed almost unimaginable.

 

At this stage many people (including myself) were not aware that Gillard was also there.

 

When we reached the café we could barely believe our eyes – the café walls were double-glazed clear-as-clear-day glass. We could see absolutely everything that was going on inside and the venue itself was tiny – it was a tiny little fishbowl and we gathered around to see. And what did we’ith see? There before our eyes was not only Tony Abbott but Tony Abbott with the Honorable PM Julia Gillard, quaffing champagne and schmoozing. They were no more than five meters away and divided only by glass.

 

The café had three glass side-walls and we gathered around two of them. There were two doors to the café (neither of which were locked as far as we know). One of these doors was on the side where no one was gathered (until later in the piece).

 

 

Initially, we chanted things like “shame, shame, shame on you.” Abbott and Gillard pretended not to notice we were there. They continued sipping their drinks and making polite conversation with other guests in the room. One or two people started banging on the glass (with an open palm) at this stage.

 

In the twenty minutes following, more people at the Tent Embassy became aware of what was going on and came to join us. The various chants melded into a strong and steady chorus – “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.” Abbott and Gillard continued to pretend they could neither see or hear us. More people started banging on the glass.

 

There were approximately sixty people (maximum) at this stage and one or two gathered around the far side where there had previously not been anyone. This is when a number of police entered the café without incident. They walked in through one of the two open doors.

 

A few minutes later there was a dramatic fluster of movement on the far side of the café (at the other entrance door). It was the kind of hurried dramatic movement that usually indicates an arrest or attempted arrest of demonstrators in situations like this. Everyone ran around to the side to see what was going on. It was not demonstrators being man-handled this time around – but the PM and opposition leader! It was completely surreal and ridiculously dramatic – they were bundled into a waiting car in the most ridiculously panicked and violent way.

 

If we had wanted to enter the café we could have at any stage; to our knowledge neither door was locked until police arrived – what were they so afraid of?

 

In the panic to bundle Gillard and Abbott like rag-dolls into the car Protective Services knocked a well-known and respected Indigenous elder down the stairs. Other people were pushed aside and pushed to the ground as well. Some people were shouting at the police. Some people were shouting at Gillard and Abbott for what they perceived as cowardice. A few people banged on the windows of the two cars (no more than four or five people). One person threw a plastic water bottle and two individuals (that I saw) attempted to stand in front of the two cars.

 

All in all the two cars left with a lot less fuss than I have seen at other demonstrations. The two individuals who stepped in front of the cars may have slowed their exit momentarily but that is all.

 

At this stage – after Gillard and Abbott had departed – the police and Protective Services started (re)acting hyper-aggressively. No one could make sense of this. They tossed people aside and to the ground and shoved people by the throat and began yelling “move back, move back” despite the fact that they themselves were not in any cohesive line. Many assumed they were telling us to “move back” to the Tent Embassy because they had not otherwise made it clear where we were supposed to “move back” to and we were all dispersed in any case.

 

By this stage there were approximately one hundred of us. Many were shouting at the police to stop pushing, shoving, grabbing and punching people. Yes, the police were punching people, in the face in some cases – I saw this with my own eyes. What was a dispersed crowd became a tight-knit gathering as people came to one another’s defense and told the police to back the f*** off and calm the f*** down.

 

Things became slightly chaotic at this stage because it was evident that the police were trying to escalate things or scale things up. One particular Indigenous elder from the Tent Embassy tried to calm everyone down and suggested we go back to the Embassy before things get worse – and what happened? He – this one particular elder who was calling for calm and a return to Embassy grounds – was set upon by Protective Services. In his defence and in something of a panic many people started yelling and screaming and trying to pull the police off and away. Things were getting crazy.

 

By this stage the police had linked arms to form a police-line. They started advancing towards us shouting “move back, move back.” Meanwhile individual Protective Service men were singling people out from the crowd – paying no heed to the police line at all. They singled people out – pointing directly at them – before shoving, grabbing and (in at least two cases) punching them – shouting “move rear, move rear, move rear”. What did they want or mean – “move rear??” In one case a pepper spray bottle was shoved into a woman’s face. There were additional threats of pepper spray and arrest that were made and at least one female police officer drew her baton.

 

Some people linked arms to form a counter-line to hold off and hold back the police. This was broken by the police who continued advancing – shoving, pulling and pushing people. The Protective Service men continued to advance as well, singling people out from the crowd and setting upon them.

 

We started to move back towards the Embassy faster than police were advancing and eventually the police-line came to a halt, to form a stationary line on the road.

 

The rest of the story is irrelevant to the Gillard ‘slipper-gate’ affair.

 

 

I would be interested to hear other first hand accounts if anyone would like to contribute.

 

38 Comments

Filed under Current social issues, General personal writings, Indigenous Rights

38 responses to “For the record: my personal first hand account of events that led to Gillard and Abbott’s dramatic “escape” and subsequent clash between police and demonstrators from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

  1. Thank you for this. They have lost the plot bigger time than usual. Thank you for writing.

  2. Pingback: For the record: my personal first hand account of events that led to Gillard and Abbott’s dramatic “escape” and subsequent clash between police and demonstrators from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy | Fieldnotes & Footnotes | METHINKS SHE DOTH PROTE

  3. Pingback: For the record: my personal first hand account of events that led to Gillard and Abbott’s dramatic “escape” and subsequent clash between police and demonstrators from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy | Fieldnotes & Footnotes | METHINKS SHE DOTH PROTE

  4. Pingback: For the record: my personal first hand account of events that led to Gillard and Abbott’s dramatic “escape” and subsequent clash between police and demonstrators from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy | Fieldnotes & Footnotes | METHINKS SHE DOTH PROTE

  5. Not a problem. I think we were all surprised how distorted media reports of the events were – even for commercial mainstream media. Thanks for your comment. B.

  6. bennelongboekhoudt

    Great account of what happened exactly what I saw… We were on our way from the bus stop and saw people walking over to the cafe and thought we should go and have a look. Maybe only 15/20 people at the beginning… Had No Idea what was going on and I think alot of others were in disbelief that the PM and Abbott were 50m next door.. Just crazy… I think they should seriously look at their security.

  7. I wonder whether or not an anthropological kind of study will ever get made to validate the fact that a strong sub-culture exists within EVERY Australian prison, which is Aboriginal in origin, SPEAKS ITS OWN LANGUAGE, (mate I thought it was real only in Dreams until I got invited to the house of a recently released bloke recent, but they normally don’t talk in it outside of prisons at all, and only men who have spent a long time in there speak in it. I knew it but, from my partner who speaks it fluently, but I’d only ever heard it in Dreaming before recent. It is a men’s lingo, not for women to learn. But I wonder, what with anthropology PhD student’s with white skin, experiencing the kinds of violations of law and order in police conduct, which Aboriginal men have been experiencing constantly, without abate, since 1788, whether any anthropological interest exists in how such criminal sub-cultures come into existence, and whether any sound basis exists for such sub-cultures outside of the prisons. Thanks for your account of the event, it is rather more illuminating that the media can feel job security in reporting.

  8. Hi Bennelong-B

    Thanks and great to hear – the more corroborative accounts from people who were actually there – the greater the likelihood of interrupting (and proving false) the dystopian nonsense portrayed in (or conjured up by) the mainstream media.

    Best, B.

  9. G’day Rebekah,
    Thanks for the interesting comments – your insights and comments re Indigenous culture within and carried on from the Prison system are really interesting and intriguing. There have been studies of all sorts of subcultures and minority groups and their experience of the Prison System but not within Australia as far as I know – so I’m afraid I’m not of much help on the topic.

    I do know what I think of the Prison System itself though – I think we should be working toward abolishing all Prisons everywhere. Altogether.

    I wrote a piece that includes the latest statistics on incarceration rates of Indigenous mob in the Northern Territory just recently. May be of interest re current stats:

    https://fieldnotesandfootnotes.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/a-birfurcate-merging-post-christmas-thoughts-as-divided-into-dress-ups-indigenous-incarceration-rates/

  10. ricky dungay

    Can’t take criticism well can you?

  11. @ Ricky: I have a policy of deleting obscene language. Your comment included obscene language. Feel free to comment without expletives. Best, B.

  12. Zazie

    Great to hear your first hand account of this extraordinary incident Bree. Had wanted to attend the
    Tent Embassy 40th anniversary but am currently up north.

    All the best
    Zazie

  13. oppressed farlong

    i was at home online on the 26/01/2012 “invasion day for me for them another year to lie, blame and discriminate” THE DAY MY PEOPLE RE–AFFIRMED OUR RIGHTS AS OWNERS
    i find it funny as they try to step aside thinking we will keep running and they can carry on with business as usual
    Unfortunately i have been aggrieved and abused by their rules for so long they have broken their own rules.
    I understand their words of use discretion those rules only for us/ME! i watch the clips to see their lines gee it helps me unwind.
    For i thought it was me who had just had enough and I do however believe in their way stolen is stolen even if it is re-birthed id have to give it back!!!!!!!yeah????
    I also believe/know their rules a bit and as i have had enough I have been carrying on telling them of their pending misfortune for a while and they stupid enough to teach me how to play chess + some more both through their use and the certificates i hold as i study not to be told like lets not get too bold. but u know the gov they just like thier insurance companions too they not too keen on giving me my entitlements OR so much cash but they are thier rules.
    like foxs they still lookin for a hole but time is running out for my friends just like terra nullis i think i found my nulla nulla
    tobob yep named after cash rainin ?
    we will see oppressed

  14. Thank you for this account! I was at the Embassy in the morning but left just before Gingerellagate began. I have been shocked at the media footage and descriptions of the event…the first half of the day was so great, such a wonderful feeling on the ground, and then to read about “riots” and violence was just stunning. All I could see from the photos was a lot of aggression from police, some confusion and shouting, Michael Anderson being shoved down the stairs, then manhandled as he tries to calm people down. I haven’t written up my account of the day yet, but I’d like to link to yours when I do, is that okay?

  15. @ Trin – please do – I can embed the link to your post in the comments here once it is written. Thanks!

  16. Tim

    Interested to hear your thoughts on the burning & spitting on of the Australian flag on the steps of parliament. DESPITE whatever stance you want to take on the whole debacle 100,00+ men have laid down their lives for that flag & that includes ALL people of this country be their skin, black, white or pink with purple polka dots. Can’t think of a single better way to loose the sympathy & support of so so many Australians…

  17. Hi Tim, thanks for the interesting question.

    First of all I have to admit – despite the fact that I was about 2m away – I completely missed the flag being burnt! There were camp fires at every occasion and stop-point so I thought nothing of the smoke… and I thought the rise in applause was for the traditional dancers. The camera crews from the media had encircled the dancers and key-speakers so tightly that it was difficult to follow what, exactly, what was going on.

    From a distance, however, what do I think of burning the flag from an abstract moral, ethical or political point of view?

    I think representatives of Government and non-Indigenous Australians “burn” the Aboriginal flag every time and everywhere that they hoist, fly or salute the other ‘Australian flag’, which is that born of (and pertaining to) the original British colonists and settlers (hence the prominent Union Jack ).

    This is the more important issue in my mind and the flip-side of the ‘Australian coin’ that deserves a great deal more attention in the National Economy of Concern and Worry.

  18. diddyeh

    Tim I was going to ask the same thing ! Bree, In my opinion you haven’t answered Tim’s question ! Where I work , we fly all 3 flags and I am proud to be part of that, but i don’t agree with the burning and ‘spitting on’ the flag. I know myself, i would never think of doing such a thing and it was very sad to e young children involved.

  19. Pingback: Personal first hand account of events that led to Gillard and Abbott’s dramatic “escape” and subsequent clash between police and demonstrators from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy | Fieldnotes & Footnotes « The Left Hack

  20. seamus mcarley

    Hi Tim,
    Isn’t it a bit naïve to say ‘100,00+ men have laid down their lives for that flag’. The flag, with the Butcher’s Apron in the corner, is just a piece of cloth, most likely synthetic these days. Surely lives were ‘laid down’ for something greater than a flag? Liberty, the right to choose ones own future, to live without discrimination, to stop persecution, to free persecuted peoples. I’m of the view that Aboriginal peoples protesting through the Tent Embassy forum are fighting for these same values. Their endless plight gets little attention, light a flag up and you have the spotlight, despite the negativity you may get heard. Let’s keep burning flags until the values that so many laid their lives down for are provided to the Indigenous Peoples of Australia. seamus mcarley

  21. Franz Reidel

    Hi
    Thanks for the account. It always looked like the whole incident was completely blown out of proportion by media and politicians to further their low agendas.
    I also agree with Seamus about the flag.
    The burning of the flag is a form of protest. How about tea towels, bikinis and other merchandise bearing the Australian flag, disrespectful? Or all those drunken louts wrapping themselves in the flag on Australia Day thinking that their xenophobic and racist views are the standard of this nation?
    Burning the flag is legal in many countries including in the US where the Supreme Curt has upheld the right to burn the flag. No doubt good things have happened ‘under the flag’ but so have bad things and the poor treatment of aboriginal people for 224 years is one of them.
    The celebration of the national holiday on the day the original inhabitants were disposessed always astounds me. It is shamefull and an extreme insult to aboriginal people and can only be marked by protest
    Franz

  22. Yes, my own thoughts and sentiments lie with ‘Seamus et. al. above’. I think it is also important to keep in mind that ‘burning of the flag’, on this occasion, was a direct response to Tony Abbott’s suggestion that it is time to ‘move on’ from Tent Embassy and the issues and concerns it represents.

  23. Rob

    Great article and thank-you for sharing – though you tarnish it by using the term “Gingerella” at the end. Maybe it’s being used in the media – but either way it is *irrelevant* (the colour of someone’s hair or skin etc) and doing this is dehumanising and highly offensive to many red-haired people like myself who have often had a life-time of being harrassed in such ways.

  24. Oh no – @ Rob – I honestly hadn’t thought of that!
    The term ‘Gingerella’ was being used by folk at the Tent Embassy as a personalised version of ‘Cinderella’ (rather than a de-personalised, broad reference to any phenotypic expression or trait). It was in this sense that I use it above (without thinking it may play into broader stereotypes).
    I really do apologise – I should have been more thoughtful. I will edit the post accordingly.
    Best, B.

  25. About that flag burning. In 1988 an now deceased Aboriginal Wiradjuri fellow burned the Australian flag at the opening of new Parliament House, (among a much larger group of protesters, and police rapidly came to put the fires out, and media did not get footage), but the same individual had also done a ceremony to himself on top of the mosaic then recently made, which is sacred Art designed especially for the converging songlines in Canberra, by a man from out west of Alice, (a woman I know who lived at Nyripi mentioned she met the Artist, and that he came from further out west than there, but probably along the Uluru songline Canberra is also along), and I knew that many traditional men present that day, were very distressed about the whole incident, and that it had included a flag burning. However, from that same traditional point of view, the politicking of the Tent Embassy got shifted off the mural, by a kind of re-enactment at 27th. So maybe not such a bad result true.

    thanks for those stats

  26. JJ

    Oh Hi,

    I have a 6 minute video that disputes just about everything you have said.
    Also have one of protesters on the march screaming “alice Spring Police are murders” on the steps of parliamant at 10am and some clashes with police there. oh and my video shows multiple hundred people and many kids.

  27. @ JJ – Thanks for commenting but I’m sure why the ‘counter-accusatory’ stance.

    This is not an adversarial Court of Law; it’s just a forum for discussion. In any case, no one is withholding or suppressing evidence or suggesting anyone do so. Please, feel free to share your own account of the events – they are just as valuable as any other person who was there. The more first hand accounts the better – whether they they converge or diverge from each and the other. Open dialogue is my primary objective in posting on the issue.

    I look forward to hearing more about your experience and account of the day’s events.

    Kind Regards,

    B.

  28. patriciawa

    Thanks, Bree. Your account rings true to me. Even from WA and just catching news bulletins it seemed like police massive over-reaction to me, though I guess the PM’s personal security is a major responsibility, particularly when you think of the kind if inflammatory and personal hate messages being flung around on the media these days. At the time, on hearing that no charges would be laid, I thought that was a good way to cool things. But looking at TV bulletins later one could see that no charges could be laid, or rather only against police who were pretty heavy handed with the so-called rioters.

    I think your take on the insult and insensitivity coming from Tony Abbott early on this special day amounting to incitement is spot on. I’ve become increasingly outraged as day after day the Coalition try to blame it all on Julia Gillard’s press office, even suggesting that she had some role in it herself. I deal with my anger by trying to lampoon the Opposition. Your story confirms my hunch that it was all a big hullabaloo set off by Tony Abbott, dog-whistler supreme, followed by news stories relaying his real message loud and clear on MSM very soon after his comments and long before he went to lunch The photos I’ve used to illustrate these verses below show very clearly that no ‘rioters’ caused the PM discomfort, only police and her security.

    http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/shoeless-in-canberra

    What a hullabaloo!
    Dame Julia lost her shoe,
    But Abbott lost the media edge
    And wondered what to do.

    Ignoring all the hullabaloo,
    Julia took back her shoe,
    Then got on with governing,
    Which made poor Tony spew.

    “I’ll make a hullabaloo!
    I’ll demand a police review.
    I’ll attack her credibility.”
    That’s what he thought he’d do .

    “It was just a hullabaloo.
    There’s nothing more that we can do
    To help you, Mr. Abbott, sir,”
    Report back the boys in blue.

    Then what a hullabaloo!
    The hissie fit he threw!
    “AFP conspiracy!” he yelled
    A shakeup’s overdue!”

    “Don’t give me hullabaloo!
    One shoe! I really needed two!
    You bastards should’ve let me through!
    I’d ‘ve grabbed the pair, stepped into them!
    Shoo-in for PM without a bloody coup!

  29. @Patricia – a hullabaloo indeed! And what a great Poem!
    B.

  30. can’t help myself but add my two cents worth in poetry also, after being more diligent than usual at reading all my e-mails, to follow up on whether there are responses to my own posts; and although I really ought not be turning Bree’s PhD web log into a poetry comp, here it is:

    Julia Gillard lost a shoe,
    worth being rushed by police to lose,
    after Tony Abbot spoke too soon,
    about what no government dare boon,
    was “time to move on”
    from Tent Embassy strong,
    when what was there to lose,
    was naught but two shoes,
    for a real win is won,
    and undercurrents of subconscious victory sung,
    every time anybody can so much as claim:
    “I acknowledge traditional owners here this day,
    and in the Reconciling Spirit we meet,
    Respect Past and Present,
    every Elder whose wisdom will let,
    this day Reconcile our collective past’s fey,
    with a future in which,
    Every Australian Child will live safe,
    here and at every place.”

  31. actually, now having placed my poem here Bree, I ought to tell you that I’ve been sort of trying to make poems and poetic prose kind of writing, in which I am hoping to be able, (and allowed by Mparntwe Nungkari), one day, in enabling convergence between indigenous language forms, as I get the thought patterns, (mainly from Warlbiri but, and their lingo is more enabling of cohabitation with English thought forms), and something approximating intelligible English grammar in an academic mode of the delivery of word strings, (aka sentences), maybe something like this sentence is, which maybe somebody like yourself could have an opinion about, one way or another, but maybe whatever your view, I know my own mind well enough to keep my English thought structures well enough aligned with my Warlbiri family, whenever thinking of my sister, at Yuendumu, however the above example got itself mostly structured around quotes and so I dunno

  32. Hooraaayyyy for poetry!! You guys just made my week🙂 – thank you! I couldn’t think of anything more delightful than having the weblog transformed by poetry. Thanks again (and will reply in more detail re above v soon). Breex

  33. Too tired

    Can I ask, why dismiss the Australian flag? I am an archaeologist who works often with local Aboriginal groups, many of which do not understand why they have an Aboriginal flag. A flag signifies a unified nation and please correct me if I am wrong but Aboriginal people are not one nation and are only unified in poor treatment dealt to them. As a white Australian I am proud of my flag and proud of my family members who fought under that flag. My family are Irish convicts forced to this country, but that does not make it any less my country. When I celebrate Australia day I celebrate who we are as a nation TODAY and where we are heading in the future. The actions of the protestors make me feel homeless. Why punish me for something some people did before I was even born? I recognize the plight of Aboriginal people and work everyday to try and restore Aboriginal knowledge and identity. I know from the media that the reaction of the pollies and their people was ridiculous and over reactive, but I feel that the actions of demonstrators was also uncalled for and although harmless appeared aggressive.

  34. Too tired

    By the way, I am surprised that, as an anthropologist, you did not remain the observer but became involved and reactive.

  35. Trin

    Too tired, flags aren’t limited to nations, boy scouts have their own flag. Territories have their own flag. As for the unity issue, of course as diverse people, we have diverse interests and needs. Know any other societies like that? How about Australia? It’s not like there’s more unity amongst mainstream society…many many more interest groups with diametrically opposed aims still share the Australuan flag regardless of whether they are all unified and in agreement. The more I think about this, the more I feel it’s a ridiculous argument. It’s not as if mainstream society qualifies for the flag through some cooperation competition. I can’t speak for the communities or people you mention as not understanding the reason behind the flag (and I’m not sure how respectful it is for you to do so either). You yourself mentioned acknowledge we are diverse mob so I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Are you merely pointing out that not all Aborigines are on board? Yeah, that’s a no brainer. What it looks like your doing is taking what you know of one or two groups, and rejecting the validity of any group who is not behaving the same.

    By the way, I’m not 100 % sure, but your ancestors are more likely to have fought under the Union Jack as the Australian flag wasn’t our military standard when we fought as allies for Britain.

    I want to allude to your feelings of homelessness that the demonstration evoked in you. Firstly, I’m sorry it had that effect on you. The intention of the Embassy is not to make any white person feel insecure, homeless or threatened. It’s really not about white society or people at all. It is about our sovereignty that was never ceded or recognized. I do understand how you could have felt that reaction though, because it is the way Aboriginal people, particularly the Embassy activists, feel EVERY SINGLE DAY. The whole reason the Embassy was established was because we felt like aliens in our own land, and as aliens we needed an Embassy to protect us. Three of the four founders went to their grave as still fairly young men, still with that feeling of being homeless, having felt like an outsider and rejected and unwanted their whole life. I think that’s an absolute tragedy, and please excuse me but your momentary feelings of discomfort seem kind of trivial next to a lifetime of them.

    Did you watch the footage that made you feel uncomfortable and reactive as an archaeologist or as an observer? Just wondering.

  36. Te Moananui a Kiwa

    Hey too tired, you every heard of action research? You need to.
    Mmm, Irish and happy with the butchers apron in the corner of the Australian flag, interesting.
    Don’t blame me for the past, ever thought of all the benefits that flow to you from past activitives, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals. Sometimes bad stuff comes with the good and we need to think about it. take something to help with the tiredness, illegal if you have to, and wake up

  37. didn’t know “action research” had a name, but surely that debate in anthropology is well enough known for an archaeologist to know, that a variety of academic positions exist, about how much involvement would not sustain the cultural requirements of being an anthropologist and academic, versus, how much involvement is essentially necessary so as to sustain real accuracy in anthropology, . . . eg how many anthropologists won’t know what initiatory rituals are for, until an anthropologist took the plunge and accepted real belief in the actual increased social status of true initiatory ritual, (not to be confused with diminishing social status caused by criminal falsifications of); in every situation of inter-cultural interactions, whether or not official status exists in one culture, for the students of another culture, people have wondered about the necessity of undergoing ritual initiation, and in every situation in which people have accepted the process, they have realized that initiatory rituals have an inner essence which is the exact same in every culture, (and if they did not know it of their own culture, they could try letting evangelists do you via full immersion Baptism, or try reading one of the allegorical stories written for the exact purpose, eg the Ramayana, or try fasting at Ramadan, etc etc etc), basically if you don’t let yourself in at least that far, you’ll never know what the true culture is
    . . . . now let me think, why didn’t I continue studying anthropology after first year, . . . maybe because I couldn’t find academic texts saying what I am writing here, and so became somewhat dismissive of the possibility of intelligent thought in anthropology

    not that I intend being rude toward Bree or any individual anthropologists, and in fact I reckon it might need to become normal for anthropologists to learn the initiatory way of one’s own culture, before being “qualified” as an anthropologist, . . . I guess at least the French have their bede’

  38. Pingback: Eye-witness accounts of the protest on Invasion Day -The Tent Embassy protest on Invasion Day / Sovereignty Day 26 Jan 2012 « WGAR

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