Jan 26, 2010, 12:15 PM EST
It is my great ambition to one day be known as an “artist/activist.” It would spiff up my resume, and aid me greatly when trying to bum clove cigarettes. I’d sit around all day at trendy cafes, talking with my friends about art and politics, occasionally pausing to ogle women wearing backpacks and woolen leg warmers. Except if I lived in Australia. Then I’d be stuck doing things like this.
Van Tanh Rudd, who happens to be the nephew of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, was kicked out of the Australian Open complex today for protesting while wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. A member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (note: does not look good on a resume), Rudd was protesting recent attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and calling for refugees to be granted asylum.
Rudd said that wearing a KKK outfit highlights Australia’s racist hypocrisy, and was aimed at being an Australia Day “attention grabber.” He denied it was anything but peaceful.
“We weren’t doing anything that was physically dangerous to anybody,” he said.
But police have disagreed and issued the fines for “riotous behaviour” to Mr Rudd, 36, and fellow protestor Sam King.
Soon after being released, Mr Rudd maintained his rage against the state: “The Australian Government should condemn the attacks on Indian students as racially motivated, and also we wanted to draw attention to the shocking treatment of Sri Lankan asylum seekers.”
Mr Rudd said he had no qualms using his connection with the PM to draw attention to his cause, but would not be trying to twist his uncle’s arm at the next family gathering.
“I can’t avoid being of the same family. But just like any other family there are differences of opinion.”
I’m going to have to start paying more attention to the Australian Open. For those who find the time difference too confusing, these things have happened: We’ve had Marcos Daniel fighting with fans, a ball boy causing a major delay by peeing on himself, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick not even surviving the quarterfinals, and the fractious Venus Williams underwear controversy. Who knew tennis could be so fun?
PM’s nephew marks ‘Invasion Day’ with anti-racism protest [Sydney Morning Herald]
PM Kevin Rudd’s nephew ejected from the Australian Open after KKK anti-racism protest [Herald Sun]
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