22 Aug 2019

    Pauline Hanson Doesn’t Understand Why Her Tweet Suggesting Cattle Prods Be Used On Protesters Was Offensive

    “Let’s use one of these on them, I think they’ll soon move.”


    Facebook / Via Facebook: watch

    Australian senator Pauline Hanson was temporarily suspended from using Twitter on Thursday after suggesting that electrified cattle prods be used on climate protesters in a widely mocked and criticised video.

    Her account was still visible on Thursday, but had not tweeted since Wednesday, when the offending video was posted and later removed.

    In the roughly minute-long video, the leader of the far-right One Nation party can be seen holding a cattle prod as she casually walks past a truck.

    “Well I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these before. It’s called a jig, in other words, a cattle prod,” she said, wielding the prod.

    “When the farmers have trouble with the cattle ... they just touch them with this and they soon move, doesn’t matter how big the beasts are!”

    She referred to the possibility of climate change protesters disrupting traffic or airports, which, according to Hanson, would be bad!

    She put forward various scenarios, including: “How about if you needed to get through the traffic? Maybe take a loved one to the hospital?” and what if you “desperately need to get to your job or something’s happened?”

    “I reckon the solution — let’s use one of these on them, I think they’ll soon move,” she said.

    Reaction to what her office described as a “unique suggestion” was a mix of horror, hard eyerolls, and, of course, mockery.

    @PaulineHansonOz @OneNationAus And what should the authorities do with the peaceful protestors in Hong Kong blocking the traffic and airports? Run over them with tanks perhaps? Your tweet is a dog whistle to violence. Shame.

    hello! I'm from middle australia! we're super quiet! just out here expressing my extremely normal desire to electric shock peaceful protesters with a cattle prod

    Others said her idea was just the latest example of her being unfit for public office.

    @PaulineHansonOz @OneNationAus You have just shown Australia and the world that you are totally unfit for any public office. Cattle prods to be used against our citizens, the sort of gormless idea after your dalliance with the NRA . I think Australia has had enough of your mindless offerings .

    @PaulineHansonOz @OneNationAus What an absolute state of complete inanity we see when a member of the Australian senate preaches violence towards the people. Disgraceful and something needs to be done to rein this tosser in.

    But her supporters were into it.

    @PaulineHansonOz @OneNationAus I’m glad we have people like Pauline, who make great, effective plans to deal with LOONY people !! 🇦🇺🇦🇺👌👌 This was brilliant and hilarious!!!!

    @MifWhy @PaulineHansonOz @OneNationAus Fantastic! Can't wait to see some of those swampies *zapped* with an electric jigger!

    Hanson’s cattle prod suggestion was in response to protesters who have caused traffic jams in Brisbane as they try to raise awareness around the world’s “sixth mass extinction” brought on by climate change.

    Darren England / AAP Image

    Climate change protesters march through the streets of Brisbane on Aug. 9.

    There have been reports that they are also considering taking a page from the book of protesters in Hong Kong and disrupting an airport.

    In her response to Twitter’s suspension for “violating rules against abuse and harassment,” Hanson claimed a double standard was being applied.

    She cited tweets wishing her harm during her planned climb of Uluru, which is a sacred site to Aboriginal Australians.

    The Anangu people have long asked the public to respect their culture and law by not climbing the rock, and the climbing route will be closed off to the public in October 2019.

    @PaulineHansonOz Dear Uluru, make it look like an accident

    “I don’t see how my tweet was somehow offensive and potentially harmful, if those tweets wishing I’d fall off Uluru are not,” Hanson said.

    Jason Wells is the deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

    Contact Jason Wells at jason.wells@buzzfeed.com.

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