MARCH 4, 1996
Melbourne protesters threaten teams
THE opposition to the Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park next weekend has been little more than an irritation to date. Last week, however, Formula 1 teams across Europe received padded envelopes from Melbourne containing metal U-shaped staples, of the kind used to attach wire fencing, with anonymous notes which said that these would be used to stop the racing. The letters explained that Bernie Ecclestone "does not listen" despite repeated warnings, and that "my darts like these will meet you and all will be blood if you drive in Australia in my Albert Park." The letters concluded: "Try my darts. See how they fly. I am ready for you."
This threatening behavior may prove to be the undoing of the Save Albert Park movement, as it is certain to alienate people who might have been against the race happening but cannot condone the use of such threats to stop the racing. One has only to remember what happened to Mika Hakkinen in Adelaide last year when his McLaren suffered a puncture to realize the dangers involved.
As a result of the threats, security in Melbourne will have to be increased, and it is possible that there might even have to be searches of spectators. The Melbourne police are likely to be asked to investigate the threats and it is possible that there will be arrests of known Save Albert Park members as investigations proceed.
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