Author Topic: Several uncontrolled pro live export supporters caused trouble at rally  (Read 1074 times)

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Several uncontrolled pro live export supporters caused trouble at rally
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 05:23:52 PM »
Rivals clash over live trade   POLICE were forced to keep supporters and opponents of live animal exports apart as two competing rallies almost boiled over and extra officers had to be called in near Fremantle port yesterday.
With tensions high following the slaughter of more than 21,000 Australian sheep in Pakistan in September and last month, the rival protests faced off within sight of the berths where most of Australia's shipments for the Middle East depart.

      191112 live export WA height=366   Police drag away a supporter of live exports during a protest on Fremantle's Stirling Bridge yesterday. Picture: Colin Murty   Source: The Australian
About 1000 protesters against the trade lined up from one end of Stirling Bridge to the other in a "human chain", while on the foreshore below, a similar number of farmers, shearers, exporters and others who depend on live animal exports mounted a counter-demonstration.

Sheep farmer Michael Trant said he had sought to be provocative in organising the rally but condemned the actions of several men from his group who ran up on to the bridge and into the middle of the opposing protesters.

Police rushed on to the bridge to drag them away, as protesters chanted "no to live animal exports". Police issued two move-on notices, and had to hold back one of the men to avoid a confrontation as he was being taken off the bridge, when he turned to respond to taunts.

There were jeers from Stop Live Export protesters and cheers from the foreshore when a convoy of sheep and cattle trucks crossed the bridge in support of the live export trade.

The convoy ground to a halt when protester Paula McNamara took her eight-year-old girl Alice and stood in front of the lead truck. Ms McNamara defended her actions as a "calculated risk".

"I feel as if I'm teaching her to stand up for what's right," she said. "If I thought there was any danger in it, I wouldn't have done it myself, let alone my child."

But Katrina Love, organiser of the Stop Live Export protest, said she was "horrified and shocked" and did not support the action.

Ms Love said while the people on the foreshore might say they were horrified by the sheep cull in Pakistan, they were also "supporting the industry responsible for those barbaric acts of cruelty".

Mr Trant said he had wanted to show the impact any ban on live exports would have. "I wanted to say 'stuff you blokes, there's people you're trying to ruin'," he said. "And I wanted to put a face on those people, so the people on the bridge could see us and look in our eyes and still decide whether they wanted to shut us down or not."