Twenty one young-to-elderly protesters were arrested as they stood across the entranceway to Beaconsfield Primary School — where Premier David Bartlett and his senior ministers were holding a Meet The People Forum.
Neither the Premier nor his ministers anticipated or were prepared for the scenes which unfolded on a day heralded by TAP Into A Better Tasmania as a meeting of the Real Community Forum, “ïn opposition to the sham Government one inside.”
More than 1,000* protesters carrying tins, pots, pans, drums, whistles, party whistles, trumpets, umpires’ whistles, bells, tambourines, goats bells, and cymbals lined up on either side of the appropriately named Grubb St to welcome Premier Bartlett, David Llewellyn, Doug Parkinson, Lara Giddings, and Graeme Sturges, and an unknown number who went in the backdoor way.
As he swept by in his tinted-window limo Sturgo appeared to have another (but he does have some powerful backing) fizzing moment; raising a finger to the soapbox. Or was it two.
In his pass down the Valley of Deafening Anger, David Llewellyn appeared to be huddled against the front door window.
Michael Aird and Doug Parkinson took the long walk across a lawn having missed the entrance; Aird giving a wave…
The Premier, arriving late, was alerted to the protest and snuck in a back door to meet his people.
One of those arrested and charged was handed a map of the exclusion zone by the police … the zone included all of Beaconsfield. The police then released her into the exclusion zone; and she was wandering the streets wondering what to do.
She look non-plussed and said: “I don’t know what to do. The police have released me into Beaconsfield and I’m not allowed to be here.”
It was unclear as to whether any Beaconsfield residents were excluded from their home town.
Thirty speakers spoke on the community soapbox, an example of proper democracy Tamar Valley style, said TAP Into A Better Tasmania spokesperson Bob McMahon.
“As expected brave Premier Bartlett didn’t have the guts to face the people of Tasmania.It must have come as a shock to the Premier because in Labor’s delusional state they imagine the people love them.
“He snuck in the back door thus guaranteeing he will get the vote he deserves.
“While politicians under siege inside the primary school might have imagined an uprising was taking place, take a deep breath because it is yet to start.
“What is underway in Tasmania is a a movement to reform government from the grassroots up, concentrating immediately in a push to have elected at the local government level, candidates whose intent it is to represent the public interest in opposition to the unprincipled dross of too many who, in a credit to the embalmers’ art, occupy the chairs of local government.
“The Government’s farcical misreading of the public mood resulted in a call for police reinforcements.
“Four speeding carloads of police, including what appeared to be officers in riot-squad gear arrived at the primary school after all the protesters had gone.”
*TAP’s figure for attendance during the whole of the protest. Other estimates varied between 200 and 500.