Police forced to rescue John Howard from Union protest
FORMER Prime Minister John Howard had to be "rescued by police" after accidentally stumbling upon a crowd of angry protesting unionists in Sydney today.
But the 77-year-old one-time Liberal leader appeared to be thoroughly enjoying being a union target once again, as he was booed and followed by those protesting the cutting of Sunday penalty rates, as part of widespread action across the country.
In footage captured by Seven News, Mr Howard can be seen smiling as he walks along the street, accompanied by police officers, a CFMEU banner behind him.
Mr Howard had been attending a conference on Pitt Street when he walked out to find dozens of people shouting, booing him, holding up CFMEU flags and making profane gestures.
I condemn CFMEU's thuggish harassment of John Howard today. A reminder of why ABCC is needed. Bill Shorten should condemn CFMEU as well.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 9, 2017
While the former prime minister had initially been shocked, NSW Police "came to the rescue" to move him away and he was fine, a spokesman for Mr Howard told AAP.
Malcolm Turnbull, one of Mr Howard's many successors as prime minister in the nine years since he was dumped from the top job, immediately took to social media to condemn the union targeting the 77-year-old and called on Labor leader Bill Shorten to do the same.
he CFMEU held rallies in capital cities on Thursday to protest against what the union says is the federal government's "attacks on working people".
The largest and most vocal were in Sydney and in Brisbane, where thousands of protesters marched through the CBD, bringing it to a standstill.
The crowd, dominated by members of several trade unions, gathered on Thursday at Roma St before marching through the city to the Commonwealth government's offices at Waterfront Place, where they presented a petition.