Indian cabbies in Brisbane protest over discrimination

     About 45 Indian cabbies staged a protest at Brisbane International Airport here on Monday over discrimination by the authorities. Protests last night spread from the airport into the City and the Normanby Hotel as drivers locked their cabs and refused to take passengers. A driver who contacted The Courier-Mail today said they were ``protesting about everything''. ``Parking tickets are being issued if we stop against yellow lines waiting our turn in the queue and Indian drivers are being disadvantaged,'' he said. ``Anytime we do the slightest thing wrong we're reported to supervisors. It's unfair.'' He alleged an Australian Federal Police officer physically pushed a driver when he refused to move on. The driver said cabbies were also fed up with being soft targets for criminals with three of them robbed or assaulted on the weekend. In the worst attack at Albion in Brisbane's inner north, a driver was hit in the face with an iron bar. Police have released security images of the offender in the hope of identifying the man. Sunday night's strike at Brisbane Aiprort involved hundreds of drivers and was sparked by accusations of police violence and anger over unfair traffic infringements. Hundreds of passengers looking to go home were left stranded when drivers from Yellow Cabs and Black and White Cabs refused to work. The mob of frustrated taxi drivers complained police were moving them on from the ``taxi call forward area'' off Moreton Drive and booking them when they parked against yellow lines while waiting for a spot in the line. Brisbane Airport transport services manager Fiona McKenna urged the drivers to move on and said she would meet with them on Monday. "We'll talk to them when they're settled down," she said.

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