Lesson 2: Student Response

Student Response (Word document)

 



THE MOREE TIMES

February 1965


FREEDOM RIDERS

A group of University students have recently arrived in Moree as part of their protest known as a 'Freedom Ride'.

 

They aim to raise the awareness of the Australian public to the conditions faced by Aboriginal people today.

 

The students arrived here yesterday, departing in a bus sporting a banner 'SAFA', standing for 'Student Action For Aborigines'. The protest is not intended to be violent; it is rather a diplomatic stand for what they believe is right.

 

Their journey began on Friday, February 12, when the group of 30 students left Sydney destined toward rural NSW.

 

Whilst here in Moree it came to their attention that the local baths did not allow Aboriginal people to enter. This outraged the students and led them to talks with the Mayor, whilst supportive placards were displayed outside.

 

After much protest, the students won. The unjust regulations were eradicated and six Aboriginal children were allowed to enter. For many, this was the first swim at the pool that they had experienced.

 

The students delighted in watching the children's dream become reality, but were forced to move on. They left with a promise to the people that if ever there was a need for them to return, they would do so without question.

 

Unfortunately, they did have to return, due to the fact that soon after the students left, the Mayor went back to prohibiting Aboriginal people from the pool.

 

Sadly, during their second protest here in Moree the huge crowds turned violent. Eggs and fruit were thrown at the protesters who, throughout the hostility of our prejudiced locals, stood their ground.

 

Fortunately for the Aboriginal people of Moree the Mayor discussed with his councillors the problem and came to the idea that he was wrong to not have equality within the town.

 

After leaving Moree the students plan to travel to Grafton, Bowraville, Kempsey and finally back to their home town of Sydney. Hopefully the students have as much success in their endeavours as they have had here in Moree.

 

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