Saturday, January 29, 2005
Democracy’s enemies are disrupting Iraq’s election—in Australia:
A Sydney polling booth for Iraqis voting in their country’s historic election was shut down for an hour today after a punch-up involving protesters and a subsequent bomb scare.
Organiser of Australia’s overseas voting program, Bernie Hogan, said the fight erupted when a group of around 20 protesters started yelling at voters leaving the Auburn centre.
“They were on one side of the road protesting against the election while voters were coming out proudly with ink on their hands,” Mr Hogan said.
Here’s one of the protesters. Check the t-shirt. More:
Mr Hogan said [the protesters] were holding the same black flag with white lettering that has appeared as a backdrop in videos released by Iraqi insurgents featuring foreign hostages.
International Organisation for Migration Iraqi adviser Thair Wali said the protesters’ flag and Arabic slogans identified them as Wahabis, or followers of an austere brand of Sunni Islam practised mostly in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Wali said the fight was sparked by protesters taking photographs of voters leaving the station.