The fallout from the Ferguson, Missouri, protests in 2014 has taken a darker turn for the police and political elites in the US.
The violence and unrest in the city led to the resignation of the police chief in St Louis, and led to protests in Baltimore, New York and Los Angeles.
Now, the same unrest has taken place in Australia.
The events that transpired in Ferguson, and similar incidents in cities across the US, have left many wondering how similar the US experience could be in the future.
“There’s a Ferguson effect,” said Nick Gass, director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Political Communication.
“What I find fascinating is that it was happening in a US city, and we’re seeing the same effect in Australia, and that it’s happening with a different target audience.”
He explained that the Australian electorate was more likely to be white and middle class than people of colour, and therefore the “black vote” was more important to the establishment.
“If the police are perceived to be more aggressive towards people of color, that’s going to be perceived as a backlash,” he said.
Gass also highlighted the importance of the “national anthem” as a way of drawing attention to police brutality.
“The national anthem is an incredibly powerful tool for mobilising and mobilising people,” he explained.
They see them as human beings. “
People who watch the national anthem have an incredibly high degree of empathy for police officers.
They see them as human beings.
And so they’re going to see the police as a human being, and not as an animal.”
Gass believes that the “political establishment” is particularly affected by the Ferguson protests.
“When you talk about the political establishment, you talk a lot about a ‘corporate elite’ in power,” he noted.
“And so it’s the people who are in power who are the people that are responsible for the violence and the police brutality that we see in America.”
A ‘national anthem’ for the state Gass said the role of the national flag in Australian politics is particularly important to “people who watch it on TV”.
“If you watch the anthem on TV, you’re watching something that is a very powerful tool,” he added.
It’s very important for people to be aware of that and have a conversation about what it means to be an Australian and who you are.” “
We’re seeing that in Australia with the police officers who have been involved in the Ferguson riots.
It’s very important for people to be aware of that and have a conversation about what it means to be an Australian and who you are.”
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has also been vocal in its criticism of the events in Ferguson and the use of the anthem in Australian elections.
“In Australia, we have a long history of flag burning,” said Australian Electoral Commissioner Mark Field.
“That’s a pretty good example of why it’s important that we have that flag removed from our state electoral rolls, but it’s also important that people know that flag burning is also not acceptable in Australia.”
While the AEC has not commented on the use by politicians and politicians themselves of the flag, the AIC has issued a number of statements, including a statement that it “rejects any attempt to link the use or desecration of a flag to the conduct of a political party”.
The statement also notes that flag desecrations “may be an integral part of political debate”.
The AIC also warns that “the flag despoiling incident” in Ferguson “did not result in the loss of life, injury or property”.
“The use of a national flag as a political symbol or as a flag-burning symbol is prohibited under the Australian Electoral Act 1988,” the AAC said.
The Australian Labor Party also took aim at the use and desecrating of the Australian flag, issuing a statement in support of the use.
“Labor is committed to removing the flag from our electoral rolls and to making it clear that flag-raising and flag-waving is prohibited,” the statement read.
“This includes any actions that are deemed to be politically motivated, and it also includes actions that involve violence.”
The AEC and the AFL have not responded to requests for comment.
The AFL and AEC are also facing questions over their handling of the issue.
The AFL’s deputy national president, Matthew Guy, said on Friday that the AFL was reviewing its use of flags.
“As soon as we have the final information, we’ll be taking it into account,” he told the ABC.
“I think the flag is an important symbol of Australian unity and we have to respect that.”
Guy also defended the use in the 2016 election of the union flag as part of the AFL’s “symbolic campaign” and noted that the union had been criticised for “refusing to be a part of” the flag burning protest