Lest we think that Jets fans are the only ones who form drunken mobs for the purpose of sexually harassing and assaulting women, a new story shows that Australian car enthusiasts partake in the activity as well. Click over to see footage of the mob and a slew of frightening pictures, but be warned that some contain nudity.
The Summernats car festival takes place in Canberra every year, and lovers of souped-up cars gather to watch legal “burnouts” — the practice of spinning car wheels to create a huge cloud of smoke, for the apparent pleasure of destroying one’s tires. As most car cultures are, this one is extremely stereotypically macho. And what does “macho” mean? Well, apparently it means getting really drunk, forming a mob of a couple hundred, give or take, and marching through the streets demanding that women display their breasts.
Police said that the group had organised a snap rampage in protest against the eviction of three people from the event.
At least one young woman was reduced to tears and was shielded by a male companion as the mob, which covered 5km around Exhibition Park without being stopped, yelled at women to take their shirts off.
The ACT Government yesterday warned the show’s organisers to do more to promote tolerance and respect for women. The event, in its 21st year, attracts more than 100,000 people.
ACT Police Minister and acting Chief Minister Simon Corbell said police had told him the protest began after three people were ejected by Summernats security.
Mr Corbell said show organisers had rejected police help.
“In relation to comments . . . such as asking women to remove their shirts, regrettably this does occur at this event,” he said.
“It highlights the need for Summernats organisers to continue to improve the environment at Summernats so it is a tolerant and respectful environment.”
Summernats spokesman Dale Brittain yesterday denied the parade was in protest against the eviction of three people and said a full investigation into the cause of the mob action was under way.
Alcohol was a factor, he said.
“It is a new phenomenon; we have never had that happen at the event before,” Mr Brittain said.
“We haven’t received any official reports of damage.”
[. . .]
Summernats organiser Chic Henry today said the protest mob was the first ever seen at the three-day festival, describing the mob pictured as a “big group of happy people marching around”.
But witnesses crossing paths with the mob said they had been terrified and described young girls as being in tears as jeering youths demanded they flash their breasts in a repeat of the event’s raunchy origins when stripping competitions featured.
Images of the girl who was crying, with a boy who looks much smaller and younger than the rest of the crowd trying to defend her, are over at the article, and they’re quite terrifying. I’d like to see Henry take a look at those photos and say again that this was just a “big group of happy people” engaging in some kind of harmless fun.
The conflicting accounts of whether or not this is a “tradition” or first time occurrence are interesting if not amusing. But regardless, the practice couldn’t be more similar to the Jets phenomenon if it tried. Huge crowds of men, large quantities of alcohol, demanding chants, extreme sexual harassment and intimidation of women, police refusing to do a singe fucking thing about it. Notice the spokesman saying that there have been “no official reports of damage.” Appallingly enough, the police chief makes almost identical statements:
Acting Chief Police Officer Shane Connelly said police had dedicated significant resources to the festival.
“Overall, notwithstanding the alleged disturbance which occurred on Saturday night, from a policing point of view the event could be described as slightly quieter than last year,” he said.
Mr Connelly defended a police decision not to intervene when a mob of more than 200 intoxicated men marched through the festival chanting and reportedly harassing women.
He said police had been informed on three separate occasions that police were not needed.
“No property damage or criminal behaviour was reported,” he said.
That’s right: no “property damage” occurred during the “alleged disturbance.” I seriously can’t even wrap my mind around the concept that when people complain of large-scale, frightening and unstopped sexual harassment of women occurs, the men in charge see fit to talk about how no property was damaged. Clearly, this is the fault of the husbands and fathers at the event for not complaining about the effect the mob had on their wives and daughters. If you don’t report the damage to your property, guys, how do expect them to do anything about it?
On a less snarky note, since when do police decide whether or not to take action against an angry mob based on whether or not the organizers of the angry mob ask them to? I’m pretty sure that if cops run into a fistfight on the street, but the guys doing the fighting say that the police really aren’t needed, that the officers will just shrug and walk away. But hey, screaming chanting mobs of men chasing women and demanding access to their bodies? Whatever. Surely, as we know, police routinely and systematically ignore crimes against women, particularly against poor women and women of color. But usually, they don’t go so far as to ignore angry mobs. The previously unmatched irresponsibility has reached new levels.
But the good news is that they managed to issue more than 500 traffic tickets.
Buddy at the top of the screen, I hope that somehow, some way, someone who knows you finds these pictures, attaches your name to them, and they haunt you for life. I only wish that there were such clear and incriminating photos of the rest of the hundreds of men. But of course, in reality, we know that’s not going to happen. The only ones who will have photos haunting them for life out of this debacle are the women who actually lifted up their shirts. Because physical intimidation and verbal threats equal youthful indiscretion. Showing your tits equal dirty slut who deserves to be shamed for life.