A photo posted to Reddit shows a car with its windshield and back window caved in, and with Russian flag stickers appearing to be on it. The image, which is yet to be verified, has prompted a debate among the r/Sydney Reddit community about the pros and cons of community panel beating…
A car sitting in a petrol station car park in Erskineville (about 20 metres away from The Imperial) is alleged to have been smashed up at 1am on Sunday morning. Though damaged cars are often seen in this parking area (there is a mechanic next door), one Reddit user claims they saw the incident happen in the early hours of Sunday morning (the poster of the image, for their part, says it’s “a story that tells itself”).
One Reddit user wrote: “OMG I SAW THIS HAPPEN LIVE, I WAS WONDERING WTF WAS GOING ON, IT HAPPENED ON SATURDAY. Some dude jumped on the car and windshield and kicked the [sic] shit out of it, couldn’t see the russian paraphernalia [sic] from where my mates.”
Another added: “1am Sunday Morning, was leaving the imperial. Some dude by himself looked like he was in an ice rage he was so apoplectic. No police around when I was there, there would of been like 20 witnesses though.”
The photo sparked plenty of debate over whether smashing up the car was the right thing to do (or counterproductive, potentially playing into the hands of the Russian state media machine), and about the potential for Aussies to accidentally identify the wrong flags (“there’s probably a few nervous Dutchmen with Netherlands Stickers”).
“I’d be furiously scraping of anything resembling a Russian flag right now. So many variations of the tri-colour flags over the years,” one commenter wrote.
Another joked: “That dude must have been devo walking out of the signage store with a [prohibited] sticker to see the destruction wrought on his car.”
Yet another quipped: “I’m printing a crap tonne of Russian flags to start slapping them in those double lane Parker’s at Westfield. Finally a solution.”
More funnies included: “NATO sends their warm regards” and “Ford Trampoline.” Ah, Reddit, you never let us down. Unfortunately, moderators have now closed the comment section because “people can’t keep any form of civility here.” Before the thread was shut, however, further comments included the questioning of mob justice and the defending of it.
One wrote: “I’m u comfortable with the fact that some people would want to destroy property based off a flag. We have both Russian and Ukrainian shops, businesses etc here. Does ‘mob justice’ really do anything other than make the aggressor feel better and the victim of the vandalism aggrieved?”
“I’m Russian and living in Sydney. This may be an unpopular opinion but acts like this just perpetuate hate and do nothing to ease the sufferings of the Ukrainian people.”
“Yes, the person was an idiot for using the flag, but that doesn’t justify the destruction of property.”
“As it stands, this is an unwarranted act of vandalism that just serves to create further rifts in an already politically fractured climate.”
Others defended the smashing up of the car, saying no-one puts national flag stickers on their cars, and that this was clearly an act of provocation, the likes of which they are fine with resulting in a window whacking. On second thoughts, maybe we now understand why the moderators closed the thread…