Lambing Flat Riot

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The banner “No Chinese. Roll Up ”is considered to be the first racist symbol in Australia

The Lambing Flat riots ( Lambing Flat riots ) were six violent confrontations between Chinese and European gold seekers in the years 1860 and 1861 in Australia.

Chinese prospectors

In 1861 there were around 13,000 Chinese in New South Wales, 12,200 of whom were working in the gold fields. The Chinese migrated from one gold field to another, where they worked in labor-sharing groups of 30 to 100 people.

The gold on the Lambing Flats lay in the alluvial land on river banks that were interspersed with sand and clay. It contained mostly gold tinsel and a few nuggets . It was wet and dirty work. The overwhelming majority of the Chinese were farmers and were used to long daily hours and such work, and also worked on Saturdays. They lived a simple lifestyle. In contrast, the Europeans were after nuggets and mostly work alone and in small groups.


The Lambing Flats are in the Burrangong region and the gold fields were on the banks of Spring Creek, Stoney Creek, Back Creek, Wombat, Blackguard Gully and Tipperary Gully. Violent altercation, Lambing Flat Riots, took place within 10 months from November 1860 to September 1861.

On December 12, 1860, the prospectors expelled the Chinese, injuring some. When Captain Zouch, the commander of the Southern Police Patrol , questioned the Chinese, they are said to have given no information about the injured. At the end of January 1861, the Chinese were again driven out by force of arms, whereupon they turned to the police. The police were then reinforced. With the roll up banner and accompanied by music, gold prospectors marched to the Blackguard Gully and drove out 200 Chinese.

The government of New South Wales brought 20 armed police officers and 130 soldiers, including cavalry with three guns, to Lambing Flats on February 25, 1861 . The Prime Minister of New South Wales Charles Cowper came on March 2 at the Lambing Flats. When 80 prospectors formed the Miners Protective League on January 31 , they complained that the Chinese were wasting the water they need to prospect for gold and demanded a 6p fine if a river ran dry. They announced this to the Prime Minister, who promised that he would take care of it, but demanded that no attack on Chinese people or property be allowed.

When in the middle of 1861 it was reported that 1,500 Chinese had landed in Sydney and were moving to Lambing Flat, the European prospectors felt threatened and formed meetings and voted in "Roll Up." No Chinese ”(the Chinese are disappearing). On June 14, 1861, there was the strongest riot when 3,000 gold prospectors, some of them drunk, marched to the Chinese gold digger camp. There they set fire to their tents, including clothing and furnishings, and destroyed the equipment at the gold prospectors' workplaces.

The government of New South Wales enacted the Chinese Immigration Act in 1861 . The later White Australia Policy prevented the immigration of Asians from 1901 and made it more difficult after the Second World War .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Lambing Flat Roll Up Banner c.1860s at , accessed April 11, 2010
  2. Young History: A colorful history emerges from the goldfields at Lambing Flat on ( memento of the original from October 30, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed April 11, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /