Monday, February 16, 2004

Redfern on Fire

One potential detractor from Sydney/Australia is its lack of diversity - more specifically, its lack of dark-skinned people. There are plenty of white folks and plenty of Asians - just no dark people. I can't really say whether the aborigines get roughed up in Sydney like black people get roughed up here in the States - my guess would be 'yes' just because Aussies, while easygoing, seem to be a rather isolated lot (image that). It was odd not to see any dark people in Sydney, but after a while I just got used to it. It felt like being in Grand Rapids, Michigan, or something. Anyway, the Sydney Morning Herald is the paper that I prefer. It's covering the race riots in Redfern.

I had heard Redfern could be a tough place - one friend of a friend I knew got his ass kicked and his laptop stolen when getting off the train there late one night. This particular bloke (u like?) was, I'm guessing, on route to or from the new ATP (Australian Technology Park), which is another one of those government-subsidized incubator-type places. The ATP is walking distance from the Redfern train station. The first time I hopped-off the train at Redfern to check out the ATP I was knocked back a bit. I saw what seemed like homeless people - my first taste of the Sydney not shown in the travel brochures. Didn't seem too bad, but I didn't venture off the path leading directly to the ATP, either.

This race riot thing is tough. I'm all for stamping out police brutality, but I'll be damned if I'll have my officers getting arms broken and all sorts of stuff like that. The aboriginal boy who died apparently impaled himself on a fence when running from cops - that's the story - so it was no Abner Louima-type beatdown. Time for a little Rudi Guilliani action over there.

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