Protest movements are an aspect of history garnering closer attention in recent years, in particular those instigated by ethnic minorities or diasporic communities from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, when governments introduced discriminatory policies. This article will survey Chinese protest movements in this period in Australia and around the world with a focus on the Northern Territory (the ‘Territory’) as a case study of organised, sustained, and varied resistance. The Chinese in the Territory, led by wealthy merchants, were active protesters around the time of Federation and the formulation of discriminatory legislation, such as the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act. Remarkably, such protests were often made in English and were supported by some Europeans.
Keywords: Chinese diaspora, Northern Territory, petitioning, protest, governance, racial discourse, White Australia policy