Australian PM urges activists to ‘turn heat down’ after US consulate vandalised

10 June 2024, 08:54

Boarded up window outside the consulate
Australia US Consulate. Picture: PA

The building was attacked overnight with a sledgehammer in Sydney.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has urged activists on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian debate to “turn the heat down” after the US consulate in Sydney was vandalised.

CCTV footage showed a person wearing a dark hoodie using a small sledgehammer to smash nine holes in the reinforced glass windows of the building in North Sydney after 3am local time (6pm on Sunday BST), a police statement said.

Two inverted red triangles, seen by many as a symbol of Palestinian resistance, were also painted on the front of the building.

Mr Albanese urged people to have “respectful political debate and discourse”.

“People are traumatised by what is going on in the Middle East, particularly those with relatives in either Israel or in the Palestinian Occupied Territories,” Mr Albanese told reporters.

Forensic officers at the scene
A suspect is believed to have smashed nine holes in the reinforced glass windows of the building in North Sydney (AP)

“And I just say, again, reiterate my call to turn the heat down and measures such as painting the US consulate do nothing to advance the cause of those who have committed what is, of course, a crime to damage property.”

The consulate was closed on Monday because of a public holiday in New South Wales state but will reopen on Tuesday, a consulate statement said.

New South Wales premier Chris Minns said an overwhelming majority of Australians did not approve of such vandalism.

“We can make our point in this country without resorting to violence or malicious behaviour,” Mr Minns said.

The consulate was sprayed with graffiti in April, including the words “Freee (sic) Gaza”.

The US consulate in Melbourne was vandalised by pro-Palestinian activists on May 31.

By Press Association

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