In this still image taken from video, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard is rushed into a waiting car during a protest by supporters of Canberra's Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra January 26, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/NINE Network via Reuters Tv
Gillard was making an appearance with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Canberra to recognize emergency services workers on Australia Day when Aboriginal Tent Embassy demonstrators surrounded the building. They were upset about a comment Abbott had made about the embassy earlier in the day, Australian media report.
The tent embassy is a semi-permanent collection of protesters, signs and tents on the lawn of Old Parliament House in the Australian capital that was created in 1972 by a group of four men in response to the then-government's refusal to recognize Aboriginal land rights.
Protesters were gathered at the embassy Thursday to mark its 40th anniversary.
Earlier Thursday, when a reporter asked about the relevance of the tent embassy, Abbott finished his answer by saying that "it probably is time to move on from that," The Australian newspaper reported.
Gillard lost her shoe as she stumbled while being escorted out of the restaurant.
Protesters had initially said they planned to keep the shoe and auction it off on eBay to raise money for the tent embassy, but the group said in a statement that they would like to return the shoe as a gesture of friendship, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.