Timeline of Events

A timeline of key, anti-apartheid events in Brisbane between mid-May and early August 1971 (with arrest numbers included).....

Friday May 14: ANTI-APARTHEID MOVEMENT FORMS after a forum held in the refectory addressed by former Wallaby, Tony Abrahams, and Black African, Sekkai Holland, during the South African Surfing Tour. They argued strongly that such tours should be stopped, and that anti-tour protests should also be a focus for highlighting racism in Australian. Click to see photo of Tony Abrahams

Saturday June 26: ON STAGE VIETNAM Opening night at the Rialto Theatre, West End, performed by YETI (aka Young Yeti Theatre) and produced by Paul Richards.

Monday June 28: PSYCHOLOGY LECTURE DISRUPTED during Third Moratorium campaign, confrontation with UQ Administration officials resulted in 12 students facing disciplinary charges.

Wednesday June 30: THIRD MORATORIUM Large march from campus - rally at Roma Street where revolutionary position stated - mass march through the city by over 5,000 demonstrators.

Wednesday July 14: STATE OF EMERGENCY declared by Qld. State Government for one month covering the Springbok Tour in Queensland. The legislation gave police carte blanche to counter the actions of the trade unions and protesters. Bjelke-Petersen told the powerful Queensland Police Union that officers would "not be penalised for any action they take to suppress" the demonstrators during the State of Emergency. Click to see headline

Wednesday July 14: UQ REVIEW Opening night of I HEAR WHAT YOU SAY at the Schonell Theatre. Click to see poster

Saturday July 17: ON STAGE VIETNAM Closing night at the Rialto Theatre.

July 19: UQ TEACH-IN on the State of Emergency

Wednesday July 21: "State of Emergency" DEMONSTRATION 1000 marched from the university to Parliament House, violent clashes with police who used "excessive" force - TV cameramen and press photographers were harassed by police. Legal observers had their film confiscated and destroyed. 36 arrests. Click to see photo

Thursday July 22: Springboks rugby team arrived in Brisbane and were accommodated at the Tower Mill Motel, Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill.

Thursday July 22: TOWER MILL DEMONSTRATION & POLICE CHARGE approximately 300 demonstrators and 500 police - police charged demonstrators and rioted, widespread brutality, many injured, 18 arrests - Peter Beattie bashed (suffered a suspected spinal injury) and was then arrested inside Trades Hall.

Thursday July 22: REFEC MEETING spontaneous night-time meeting in uni refec where reports by victims and eye witnesses were shared immediately after the police riot. Widely felt condemnation of the police brutality unleashed earlier that evening.

Friday July 23: UQ STRIKE At a lunchtime meeting at the uni refec, 3,000 students at the University of Queensland voted to go on strike as a political protest against racism and the State of Emergency. Mass condemnation of the violent police tactics used the night before.

Friday July 23: TOWER MILL DEMONSTRATION a second demonstration held at the Tower Mill which was peaceful. The nearby Holy Spirit hospital complained about excessive noise (from the chanting) disturbing their patients. After an appeal for consideration, the protesters agreed to conduct a silent vigil. Click to see photo

Saturday July 24: SPRINGBOK vs. WALLABYS RUGBY UNION MATCH the drama surrounding the lead up to the football game kept the crowds away in droves. Only about 6,000 attended instead of the anticipated 30,000 full house. State Government had moved the match from Ballymore Park (the main Rugby field) to the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds, where extensive security fencing was erected. Click to see photographs

Saturday July 24: VICTORIA PARK with the oval at the Exhibition Grounds ringed by barbed wire, protesters decided instead to launch a demonstration in nearby Victoria Park (organised by the ALP). About 2,000 people turned up faced by 900 police. Led by Labor Senator George Georges, the marchers then went down Fortitude Valley and staged a rare sit-down in Queen Street. Violence was minimal during the day as march leaders, including Labor MP Bill Hayden, urged caution. Click to see photo

Saturday July 24: TOWER MILL DEMONSTRATION third demonstration at the Tower Mill. About a thousand gathered at the Tower Mill that evening. Police Commissioner Ray Whitrod was there again to command his forces. Whitrod ordered that the roadway be kept clear, but when the lines of police moved forward, they charged the demonstrators and rioted once again. More injuries, some serious, and 9 arrests. Click to see photo

Sunday July 25: Refec. Strike Meeting

Monday July 26: MASS MEETING GREAT COURT UQ Strike escalates - speeches by Senator George Georges, Dan O'Neill, Pastor Don Brady, and Len Watson – 4,000 of 5,000 (80%) at meeting voted to support the strike – clash begins with Student Union executives over the use of Union facilities during the strike. Click to see photo

Monday July 26 & 28: NEW RADICAL FILM FESTIVAL at Rialto Theatre.

Tuesday July 27: DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS re disrupted psychology lecture (June 28) - 12 were disciplined (included 6 expulsions and 3 court actions). This forced a division vote at the Strike forum 2/3 against supporting disciplined students.

Tuesday July 27: BLACK FACES DEMONSTRATION 150 march to town; protests at Adelaide Hotel and Regatta Hotel - Dan O'Neill arrested. Click to see photo

Student Union president (David Luck) gives a deadline for strike activists to evacuate Union rooms (July 28) in order to shampoo the carpet.

Thursday July 29: MEETING IN GREAT COURT Vice Chancellor Zelman Cowan reads a statement condemning the Strike and refuses to answer questions afterwards. The general resolve to continue the Strike was reaffirmed.

Sunday August 1: PICKET organised by the ALP (Gerry Jones) outside the entrance to the Exhibition Grounds before the second test match the Springboks played against Australia. Click to see photo

Wednesday August 4: TOOWOOMBA SPRINGBOK MATCH 80 demonstrators, hostile crowd, spectators attack demonstrators while police look on, injuries (broken nose) - one arrest (Brian Tovey).

Thursday August 5: 'BLACK DAY' Mass collection on campus raising $3,000 for Tribal Council.

Friday August 6: UNI STRIKE ENDS the Strike was formally declared closed at a 'High Tea' ceremony in the J.D. Story Room - the Last Post was played on a trumpet. The strike has lasted 15 days.

Saturday August 7: KUP MURRI with food cooked underground was the first campus social gathering between Aborigines and students. (Kup Murri is a traditional style of Aboriginal cooking of meats and vegetables using hot rocks with everything buried underground.)