Australian PM Stumbles Before Angry Protesters

Published January 26, 2012 6:45AM (EST)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stumbled and was caught by a security guard as riot police helped her force a path through a crowd of rowdy protesters during a ceremony to mark Australia's national day.

Some 200 supporters of indigenous rights surrounded a Canberra restaurant and banged its windows on Thursday while Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott were inside officiating at an award ceremony.

Around 50 police escorted the political leaders from a side door to a car. Gillard stumbled, losing a shoe. Her personal security guard wrapped his arms around her and supported her to the waiting car, shielding her from the angry crowd.

Australia Day marks the arrival of the first British colonists in 1788. Many Aborigines call it Invasion Day.

By Salon Staff

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