A State of Force

The Repressive Policing of Contention in Queensland under Frederic Urquhart

in Contention
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  • 1 University of New England pj.bleakley@gmail.com
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Abstract

Australian history is littered with examples of situations in which police have engaged in the use of force—in some cases, disproportionate violence—to maintain order and stability. In addition to this effort to control the population and ensure social order, extreme use of force was a key factor in repressing civil dissent and preventing marginalized communities from exercising their voice within the social discourse. Former Queensland Police Commissioner Frederic Urquhart was at the forefront of several high-profile examples of police enforcing social control during his tenure with the Queensland police, including the punitive expeditions of the Native Mounted Police Force, the civil disorder of the 1912 general strike, and the chaos associated with the 1919 Red Flag riots. In developing an appreciation for Urquhart’s behavior and motivations, it can be seen that the Queensland police have always served as a body dedicated to ensuring conformity through any means necessary.

Contributor Notes

Paul Bleakley is a criminology researcher from the Gold Coast, Queensland. He earned a master’s degree in policing, intelligence, and counterterrorism at Macquarie University and is studying his doctorate through the University of New England (Australia). Before this, he worked as a journalist in Australia and the United Kingdom. Email: pj.bleakley@gmail.com

Contention

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