Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made an early exit along with opposition leader Tony Abbott from an awards ceremony being held on Australia’s National Day Thursday as protestors from a nearby indigenous rights event arrived and began banging on windows of the Canberra restaurant Gillard and Abbott were in according to an Associated Press article.
Around 200 protestors chanted “shame” and “racist” outside the restaurant, directing the words at Abbott, as police escorted the political leaders away.
Australia Day, or Invasion Day to aborigines, marks the arrival of the first fleet of British colonists. The day marks the land settlement without treaty.
According to AP, Abbott had angered the protestors earlier, as they were celebrating 40 years of its tent embassy, saying it was time the embassy “moved on.”
While many mainstream indigenous leaders have condemned the activists who mobbed the restaurant, those responsible accused Abbott of inciting racial tensions accorting to an article in The Australian.