30 December 2021

UPDATED: Police investigating protestors over Old Parliament House fire

| Albert McKnight
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Old Parliament House

Police guarding Old Parliament House after the fire was extinguished. Photo: Supplied.

UPDATE 2:30 pm: Police are investigating the action of protesters in relation to the fire at Old Parliament House at around noon today (30 December).

An ACT Policing spokesperson said there had been ongoing protest activity at the front of the building in the past fortnight.

“Old Parliament House was evacuated earlier today after protestors started a fire at the front doors of the building – this was quickly extinguished by ACT Fire and Rescue,” they said.

“A police investigation into the cause of the fire has commenced.

“Old Parliament House will remain closed until further notice.”

Old Parliament House fire

The fire at Old Parliament House on Thursday. Photo: Supplied.

1:30 pm: A fire broke out at Old Parliament House at around noon today (30 December), damaging the entry to the building.

A spokesperson for the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House said the historic building would be closed for the foreseeable future due to fire damage, as well as from water used to extinguish the flames.

The museum’s social media account alleged the fire damage had been caused by protesters.

“We will let you know as soon as we have more information to share,” the museum said.

A local tour operator, who happened on the scene soon after the blaze started, said he was in total “disbelief and dismay” that an icon like Old Parliament House appeared to be targeted.

He said he saw the fire start at the base of the front doors and saw the doors and canopy above it ablaze.

There was also a “chaotic mix” of people there, he said.

“It was absolute chaos. People were all over the road, some clapping and cheering, some dismayed and in a state of disbelief that this could happen in Australia,” he said.

When he returned later, he said it looked like the front doors and canopy had been destroyed.

The building was also damaged by fire last week.

 

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@ J D re your comment ‘’I can hardly wait to see what happens on ‘Invasion Day’.’’ I think your right.
If this is just a warm up, then invasion day will be a real humdinger.

The dear old embassy keeps on giving.
Supported by the green/labour assembly, the trades and labour council (who initially paid for their amenities hire), and all propped up by our local paper thing.

A tweet (now deleted) from the Victorian Greens senator Lidia Thorpe.

“Seems like the colonial system is burning down. Happy New Year everyone.”

What are the views of our Greens?

Lidia Thorpe is quite happy to draw a $200k+ colonial salary though

Arson is arson.

I suspect that like in the USA, where looters and arsonists did their illegal activities through multiple riots in mainly Democratic states in 2020, the perpetrators will not get prosecuted, because they will use their race or cause to escape detection and prosecution.

Capital Retro10:48 am 31 Dec 21

That’s how it works.

Pretty poor coverage from the ABC, last week they blamed the police and today are basically accusing them of starting the fire.
The group they blame antivax are either stupid for letting the tent embassy join in their protest or they have some weird ulterior motive.
Clear proof that some factions of particular racial groups just want to see the rest of us burn and don’t care about moving on.

And yet again an example of the ideology of the ABC.

In recent years the ABC has trashed its own reputation.

While not yet a left wing counterpart to Skynews it seems to be heading in that direction.

As a publicly funded body, it doesn’t seem to serve the public.

Maya123, antivaxers, pull the other one, it still plays jingle bells.
“Commander Linda Champion from the Australian Federal Police said the fire likely began during a smoking ceremony performed by protesters, which police were aware of and had approved to occur.”
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-30/act-protesters-set-old-parliament-house-on-fire/100731444

If this is true, then surely it highlights the inherent dangers of smoking ceremonies.

Do they follow the same rules as other fires (i.e. are they not allowed on Total Fire Ban Days)?

If they don’t then they certainly should.

Capital Retro10:50 am 31 Dec 21

Mmm, was it a “smoking ceremony” that also started the Ororral Valley fire too?

Nobody, You will notice I was just reporting what was reported by Sky news and the Guardian. Several other news sources had similar comments at the time. No where did I say what my views were, because I wasn’t there. Were you?

It was reported that the fire at Old Parliament House last week was also a smoking ceremony.

Thankfully the conditions then and with this event were relatively mild.

If it had been a Total Fire Ban day it could have been catastrophic.

Smoking Ceremonies are demonstrably too dangerous to be unregulated.

Finagen_Freeman7:47 pm 30 Dec 21

It’s all relative.
That building represents colonial oppression. The invaders built it. It’s history – yes. But it’s not the full history.
The full history shows it’s no seat of democracy, when the original land owners had no rights, and were forcible moved on from their ancestral homes.

Less we forget.

If it wasn’t the British who colonised Australia, it would have been someone else. That’s how it is

Capital Retro10:52 am 31 Dec 21

Which history book are you reading?

And it is “Lest we forget”, (or it used to be).

manonthewestoncreekomnibus7:41 pm 30 Dec 21

It has become almost formulaic now to refer to ‘stolen’ and ‘unceded’ lands in acknowledgements of country. This is the logical consequence of that wording: if this land is indeed stolen, then there is technically no reason why those who own it should be barred from entering and using it. No doubt there were the usual thugs and troublemakers who took advantage of the situation, but the fact remains, if you say you are on stolen land, then you must make reparations and acknowledge that those who set fire to OPH were well within their rights to do so.

The frequent “Always was, Always will be Aboriginal land.” Is partially responsible for this.

As well as the obvious fact that it simply isn’t true, it raises a whole heap of issues that lead to actions like we saw.

For the people sprouting that slogan, please clarify what it means,

So is it Aboriginal activists, anti vaxxers or marxists from extinction rebellion??

Already, it does not get any better – In her now-deleted Tweet, a Greens Senator for Victoria, Lidia Thorpe retweeted a video of the fire, saying: “Seems like the colonial system is burning down. Happy New Year everyone.”
How inflammatory was that !
The Senator evidently needs a prudent mentor.
I can only assume that she’s never been into the Museum to learn anything about some fundamentals about our Westminster-based democracy which did away with the hereditary House of Peers, for an American-modelled Senate supposedly to preserve States’ rights.
Why am I offended – far too thinly-skinned, obviously.

Antivaxers according to this article.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/dec/30/fire-at-old-parliament-house-damages-entrance-to-historic-canberra-building

“A group of Covid-19 anti-vaccine campaigners broadcast their protest and parts of the fire on social media.

One protester told Sky News the group was there “for positive reasons” but added they “had to burn that door down just to get the message across”.

Nobody believes that it would be a “real” Marxist (well, maybe a Groucho).
Instead, may I remind readers that on Tuesday 10 August 2021, “Extinction Rebellion” took its string of recent protests to [new] Parliament House, with members of the non-violent civil disobedience movement allegedly gluing their hands to the ground, graffitiing buildings and setting a child’s pram on fire.
That as well as today’s pathetic event gives a wholly new meaning to non-violent civil disobedience.
Presumably it also means that the ‘accidental’ fire last week was not sufficiently extinguished ?
Nobody in their right mind would fire bomb a national museum that celebrates everything democratic since Magna Carta, not just from our so called ‘Federation’.
I can hardly wait to see what happens on ‘Invasion Day’.

Just saw the 5pm news on Ch10. Outrageous that this should happen here to an historic and iconic building. Reporters trying to capture images were told “no camera”. No wonder, the cowards didn’t want their faces to be seen. There was talk of this being done for “legal rights for indigenous people”. What a load of bulldust. I suspect political agitators behind this. Whatever the reason those responsible will face a backlash that may well hurt the people they are claiming to be obtaining legal rights for.

old canberran5:31 pm 30 Dec 21

Just how low can some people get? That building is more than an icon, it embodies the history of this country from Federation to now. Some of us grew up watching it being added on to over the years and seeing the black shiny Buicks dropping off and picking up the politicians. I do hope these arsonists are caught and prosecuted.

I don’t care who they were or what their protest was about, anyone who sets fire to an historical landmark building needs to go to jail.

A polite request to “nobody” – proof, if you have it please, that even one of the perpetrators was a Marxist. I know only one Marxist in Canberra, and he is far too old to be a demonstrator.

I agree that I haven’t seen any evidence it was Marxists.

What will be interesting however will be to see what our various political parties have to say about this.

Hopefully their united condemnation will be as loud and as clear as if someone attempted to destroy the tent embassy.

(Not that it is claimed that people from there were responsible)

Capital Retro3:39 pm 30 Dec 21

From this article: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-18/hammer-and-sickle-sparks-war-of-words-in-act-election-campaign/12560816?nw=0&r=HtmlFragment

“Rick Kuhn, an honorary associate professor at the Australian National University, describes himself as a “proud Marxist”.

So, is this guy the “only” Marxist in Canberra then, Roy?

Roy, I’ll pass on the opportunity to debate an ANU academic on the various confounding and conflicting terms used by the radical left to describe themselves.

Capital Retro2:43 pm 30 Dec 21

I’m glad the nearby embassy wasn’t damaged. That could have sparked and international incident.

Museum for Democracy set alight, again, while marxists chant “let it burn”.

Will our magistrates have enough decency to take real action against these perpetrators or will they give them a token slap on the wrist?

Capital Retro3:41 pm 30 Dec 21

The perps. have to be caught first. That may be a challenge for the ACT Police because an online report will have to be filed first, ha ha.

The perpetrators would have more chance of being arrested for not wearing a mask than that of committing arson

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