Times Past: April 16, 1969

By Isabella Gillespie
April 15 2022 - 7:00pm
Times Past: April 16, 1969

Students were equipped with hot soup and a tent, The Canberra Times reported on this day in 1969, as they took part in a 24-hour vigil opposite Parliament House. They were protesting over Aboriginal land rights, and had ordered soup, meat pies and coffee to sustain them throughout their demonstration. The attendant police had established a good relationship with the student demonstrators the previous year, after providing transport for sandwiches and coffee for the students. This did not go unnoticed, and the students invited the police to share their soup, pies and coffee with them once it arrived. The police were happy to repay the students when it started raining after breakfast, and brought them a 10-foot by 10-foot tent to shelter under. The tent became a refuge where students dispensed pies and soup to police, media and politicians who visited. Once the demonstration had finished, the students gave a thank you to the police for being understanding throughout the demonstration. The senior policeman thanked the students for being so cooperative.



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