Landmark Event: Freedom Rides

Essay by RainmakerUniversity, Bachelor'sA, August 2004

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Landmark event: Freedom Rides

The landmark event that I have chose to focus on is the Freedom Rides of the late 60's.The Freedom Rides against racial discrimination in New South Wales country towns held during the 1965 was a landmark event in Aboriginal political activism. The attitudes towards the Rides and their participants at the time are interesting from a social and political perspective. By analyzing newspaper articles written around the time that this event occurred one can gain some understanding about the attitudes that existed then. Following is an analysis of three newspaper articles written about the rides at the time. By referring to articles written at the local, state and national levels one is able to gain an indication of attitudes across Australian society at the time.

Note: Copies of the articles are attached at the end of this assessment.

ARTICLE 1: State- based article. The Sydney Morning Herald: 26th February 1965 pg4.

This article appeared on page four. Even though it was connected to the Freedom Rides and what they were concerned with, there was no violence or upheaval caused by the incident and therefore it did not receive front page attention. It may have also appeared on this page because the paper may have felt that an article related to the treatment of Aboriginal Australians was not important or interesting enough to warrant the article being placed closer to the front page. However, this hopefully was not the editor's belief and, rather, the fact that the article was even in the Herald pointed to an increasing awareness of, and interest in, the treatment of Aboriginal people.

The article comments on the harshness of discrimination against all Aboriginals in the Kempsey district. The paper printed a statement in which Mr. Charles Perkins describes the discrimination...