Civil disturbances in Western Australia

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Kalgoorlie after the 1934 race riots

This is a list of civil disturbances in Western Australia. Some of the civil disturbances in this list are considered to be race riots, prison riots, and religious conflicts – often Protestant versus Catholic groups.

The earliest civil disturbances were actions by the local indigenous population dealing with European settlers.

Demonstrations and Protests are linked to a range of issues over time.

In the convict era, there were collective actions by convicts. Organised labour had to deal with issues on the Goldfields in the 1890s and 1900s with demonstrations and protest actions, while in Perth these occurred in the 1960s and 1970s over war and race issues.

There are some incidents in the 19th century where the causes are less clear. A restricted press and limited means of some groups to gain avenues to express their grievances in a dominated society, means that some disturbances were suppressed literally and disguised in the public record.

In some cases some smaller disturbances (alcohol-related fights) in the Goldfields (Kalgoorlie, Boulder and Coolgardie for instance) would not be considered full-scale riots, but nonetheless the charges found either in newspaper or police records would suggest a significance beyond a simple incidence of drunken behaviour.

Incidents[edit]

Many of these events/incidents are difficult to find from direct references, and require diligent examination of sources. Some are unlikely to show up in newspaper reports at all. In some cases incidents need checking and more accurate dating.

  • 1834 - Race riots against Lascars (Portuguese creole stokers) - Perth[1]
  • 1853 - Convicts on 'Phoebe Dunbar' - "a disturbance of a rather serious nature" while at anchor.[2]
  • 1854 - Convicts riot over religious issue - Fremantle Prison. Prisoners revolted when mass was canceled due to the suspension of the Roman Catholic Chaplain for calling the Protestant Chaplain "an Agent of the Devil" during a sermon. Five prisoners received 100 lashes each as an example.[3]

- see also Riots at Fremantle Prison between this date and 1988

  • 1894 - Riot at Mallina - Pilbara Goldfield - over Goldfield Warden Decision - [4]
  • 1897 - Riot after Catholics attacked Protestants during 12th July parade - Coolgardie [5][6]
  • 1898 - Riot in September on leases - Kalgoorlie [7]
  • 1899 - Riot on Wharf during Lumper Strike - Fremantle [8]
  • 1899 - Riot in September on leases over alluvial regulations made by '10 ft Ned' Wittenoom [9][10] - Kalgoorlie
  • 1901 - Conflict between Catholics and Protestants - Kalgoorlie
  • 1901 - Anti-Protestant conflict on 12 July - Boulder 12th July parade
  • 1905 - Race riots - between Chinese, Japanese, Malay - Broome
  • 1905-10? - Race riots Anti-Italian riots - Gwalia and Leonora
  • 1910 - Tramway Strike riots - Perth and East Perth [11]
  • 1914 - Race riots - between Japanese, Malay - Broome [12]
  • 1915 - Race riots - anti-German riot - Fremantle [13]
  • 1916 - Anti - greek riots - Perth (October), Kalgoorlie (December) [14]
  • 1917 - Anti-Conscription riot - Cue [15]
  • 1919 Fremantle Wharf riot
  • 1919 - Race riots - anti-Slav riot - Fremantle
  • 1919 - Inter union violence Kalgoorlie/Boulder [16]
  • 1919 - Protests against increase in price of beer - Kalgoorlie [17]
  • 1920 - Broome Race Riots of 1920 - Japanese vs Malay and returned servicemen - Broome [18][19]
  • 1922 - Demonstrations against Mitchell government [20]
  • 1923 (1925?) - Hotel Workers Strike - Perth[21]
  • 1924/6 - Seamen's Strike - Fremantle [22][23][24]
  • 1929 - Mutiny at Fremantle Prison over shaving - Fremantle
  • 1931 - 'Treasury Building' incident - Perth [25][26][27]
  • 1934 - Anti-Italian/Slav riot - Kalgoorlie [28]
  • 1940/45 - American/Australian Servicemen incidents - various locations
  • 1944 - 11 April “Huge riot” in Fremantle High st involving 500-600 people [29]
  • 1946 - Pilbara Pastoral Strike [30] meetings in Perth - broken up
  • 1947-55 - 'Cold War Violence' - incidents between CPA, and opponents and police - various locations
  • 1956+ - Dock strike scuffles and incidents - Fremantle [31][32]
  • 1967+ - Demonstration Anti Vietnam war events until the 1970s - various locations
  • 1971 - Demonstration Anti Apartheid/Springbok Tour incidents- various locations
  • 1974+ - Demonstration "54b of Police Act" incidents - various locations [33]
  • 1988 - Fremantle prison riot and Fire - Fremantle
  • 2016 - Aboriginal protest[34] - Kalgoorlie

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stannage, Tom; Perth (W.A. : Municipality). Council (1979), The people of Perth : a social history of Western Australia's capital city, Carroll's for Perth City Council, ISBN 978-0-909994-86-0 
  2. ^ "Domestic Sayings and Doings". The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News. 23 September 1853. p. 3. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Domestic Sayings and Doings". The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News. 13 January 1854. p. 2. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Accounts in Northern Public Opinion 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26 Sept 1895 see - ""NORTHERN PUBLIC OPINION."". The Pilbarra Goldfield News. VI, (291). Western Australia. 7 August 1902. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2016 – via National Library of Australia.  see also Northern public opinion and mining and pastoral news, Alexander Wilkee Watson, 1894, retrieved 24 November 2016  and see also Northern public opinion and mining and pastoral news, Hugh Bismarck Geyer, 1894, retrieved 24 November 2016 
  5. ^ "THE COOLGARDIE RIOT.". Kalgoorlie Miner (WA : 1895 - 1950). WA: National Library of Australia. 14 July 1897. p. 3. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "THE TWELFTH OF JULY.". The Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth, WA : 1855 - 1901). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 16 July 1897. p. 4. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Dwyer, J.J. (John Joseph); HRRC (1899), Alluvial trouble. Diggers released from Fremantle Gaol, demonstration on return to Kalgoorlie, retrieved 18 October 2016 
  8. ^ "The Advertiser.". Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 - 1950). WA: National Library of Australia. 1 April 1899. p. 3. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  9. ^ ""Ten-Foot Ned."". Kalgoorlie Miner. 4, (974). Western Australia. 19 January 1899. p. 2. Retrieved 18 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  10. ^ Webb, Martyn J. (Martyn Jack); Webb, Audrey; Kalgoorlie-Boulder (W.A.). Council; Webb, Martyn; Webb, Audrey (1993), Golden destiny : the centenary history of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, Published by the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder as a contribution to the centenary celebration of 1993, ISBN 978-0-646-14254-8 
  11. ^ "TRAMWAY STRIKE". The Examiner (Tasmania). LXIX, (204). Tasmania, Australia. 27 August 1910. p. 8 (DAILY). Retrieved 18 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  12. ^ "RACIAL RIOT AT BROOME". The West Australian. XXX, (3,964). Western Australia. 14 December 1914. p. 8. Retrieved 18 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  13. ^ Latter, Bill (1992), The night of the stones : the anti German riots in Fremantle 1915, retrieved 18 October 2016 
  14. ^ Yiannakis, John N; Hesperian Press (1996), Megisti in the antipodes : Castellorizian migration and settlement to W.A., 1890-1990, Hesperian Press, ISBN 978-0-85905-218-4 
  15. ^ Oliver War & Peace chapter 3
  16. ^ pp. 78-81 of Williams, Justina (1976), The first furrow, Lone Hand Press, ISBN 978-0-9598402-2-3 
  17. ^ Williams, Justina (1976), The first furrow, Lone Hand Press, ISBN 978-0-9598402-2-3  pp. 81-82
  18. ^ Schaper, Michael (1995), "The Broome race riots of 1920", Studies in Western Australian History (16): 112–132, ISSN 0314-7525 
  19. ^ Broome riots 26 December 1920, 1920, retrieved 22 July 2015 
  20. ^ p.228 ofOliver, Bobbie (1995), War and peace in Western Australia : the social and political impact of the Great War, 1914-1926, University of Western Australia Press, ISBN 978-1-875560-57-8 
  21. ^ "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XLI, (7,126). Western Australia. 30 March 1925. p. 7. Retrieved 18 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  22. ^ Gifford, Peter (2005), No winners : the British seamen's strike of 1925, Hesperian Press, ISBN 978-0-85905-355-6 
  23. ^ Williams First Furrow pp.95-96
  24. ^ Oliver War and Peace pp.253-256
  25. ^ Williams First Furrow pp.119-122
  26. ^ Bolton, G. C. (Geoffrey Curgenven); Edith Cowan University (1992), A fine country to starve in (New ed.), University of Western Australia Press in association with Edith Cowan University, ISBN 978-1-875560-36-3 
  27. ^ S Wilson, Police perceptions of protest: the Perth “Treasury riot” of March 1931, Labour history no 52, May 1987, pp. 63-74
  28. ^ Williams First furrow pp. 143-147
  29. ^ many injured, 2 killed see A J Barker, Yanks in Western Australia: The impact of United States Servicemen in Gregory, Jenny (Jennifer Anne) (2000), On the homefront : Western Australia and World War II ([New ed.] ed.), University of Western Australia Press, retrieved 24 November 2016  p. 126 and appendix II. see also Barker, Anthony J; Jackson, Lisa, 1970- (1996), Fleeting attraction : a social history of American servicemen in Western Australia during the Second World War, University of Western Australia Press, ISBN 978-1-875560-74-5 
  30. ^ "NATIVE QUESTION.". The West Australian. 62, (18,706). Western Australia. 27 June 1946. p. 11. Retrieved 18 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  31. ^ "STRIKE HOPES HINGE ON ACTU[?] AND CABINET". The Argus (Melbourne). Victoria, Australia. 30 January 1956. p. 5. Retrieved 26 November 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  32. ^ "WHARFIED TO CHALLENGE 'ILLEGAL STRIKE' RULE". The Argus (Melbourne). Victoria, Australia. 28 January 1956. p. 5. Retrieved 26 November 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  33. ^ 54B affects you!, Civil Liberties Action Committee, 1980, retrieved 24 November 2016 
  34. ^ Kalgoorlie protest: Arrests made, officers injured in violent riot over teen's death, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 31 August 2016, retrieved 4 November 2016 

Further reading[edit]