Freedom Ride Diary Entry Essay

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06/03/1965
Dear Diary,

Last month we went on a tour through Walgett, Gulargambone, Kempsey, Bowraville and Moree. There were about 30 of us university students and the total trip was around 2000 km. The whole trip took 2 weeks to complete and I believe our message about racism was sent. The reason for this tour was to experience the living conditions of the aboriginals and try and stop Aboriginal discrimination. We were welcomed by a warm welcoming Aboriginal community.
I was extremely shocked at the living conditions of the aboriginals. The majority of aboriginals in those towns were banned from most cafes and clubs. Service was not given to them when they entered a shop and most pubs would refuse to give them a drink.
We fought against discrimination at the Walgett Returned Services League, the Moree Baths, the Kempsey Baths and the Bowraville picture theatre. We didn’t just fight against these practices but we also made sure that our reports were broadcasted on television and radio.
In Walgett we fought the RSL because the RSL was refusing to allow aboriginals (who had fought hard in the war and risk their lives) to join the RSL club. The vice-president of the Walgett Returned Service League Club said ‘he would never allow an Aboriginal to become a member’. We did not succeed in the fight because a crowd full of white Australians grew and came quite aggressive and our bus was then run out of town which was in the newspapers not long after.
As the bus entered Moree we soon found out that Aboriginal Children were not allowed into the local swimming pool. Before we began our protest we got support from the aboriginal mission. Once we had received support from the aboriginal mission we headed for the pools and attempted to walk in with a few aboriginal children. We were rejected and told ‘sorry no darkies allowed’. So we calmly walked back out and blocked the entrance of the pools. The white Australians became extremely vicious and began to throw food at...

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