A Queensland YouTube star has been slammed for filming a tone-deaf publicity stunt at a Brisbane Invasion Day protest.
Luke Erwin, 26, claimed he was “giving back to the public” as he started shopping at a Brisbane BWS.
“This is what it’s about. Giving back to the public, not giving a f***,” he says in his YouTube video.
Erwin wanders through the bottle shop, picking up 14 cases of beer and ferrying them to his van.
He later reveals he spent more than $500 on alcohol at the BWS.
“We’re giving back to the Aboriginal people. If the cops shut us down, they can suck my f***ing d***. I wonder how quickly we can give away cases, let’s go,” he said.
“I’m not giving out open stuff in public so it’s not illegal, but I’ll probably get a move along order pretty quickly.”
As Erwin arrives at the protest, where dozens of Indigenous Australians are protesting Australia Day being on January 26, a punch-up between a handful of men occurs.
It’s not known what sparks the fight however it was happening before Erwin started handing out beer.
Opening the boot of his van, Erwin yells for protesters to come and collect a case if they want.
After giving out a handful of cases, Erwin is approached by a number of women telling him to leave.
An older female protester, wearing a T-shirt with an Aboriginal flag on it, approaches Erwin and closes the boot of his car, telling him to “f*** off”.
“You need to go. Get out of here now. You f***ing listen now, get out,” she said.
“I’m giving back to the people,” Erwin claims.
Eventually, Erwin leaves but sticks his head out the window as he’s driving away, telling protesters to meet him down the road if they still want free beer.
“What’s their problem?” he asks the group that followed him, referring to the women that told him to leave the protest.
“I’m raising awareness for their day,” he adds.
A group of Queensland Police officers, that had been driving past the peaceful protest, spot the group that’s now congregated around Erwin and approach the YouTuber, asking him to be careful with who he’s giving alcohol out to.
“That’s all good man, just make sure you’re giving it to people who are over the age of 18,” the officer says, after Erwin again claims he’s “raising awareness” for Invasion Day.
After the car of police officers drive off, Erwin is again approached by police.
One officer tells Erwin they’ve received reports he was giving alcohol to underage people.
“Some of the people at the park are alleging that you’re giving alcohol to people under the age of 18,” the police officer said.
“They’re not under 18,” Erwin replies, with the group around him agreeing.
“Is this an organised thing or is this something you decided to do off your own back?” the police officer asks.
“There was a fight before I got here … but I’m raising awareness in the Australian history and using my f***ing platform to do that.”
After leaving the protest, Erwin does a piece to camera, explaining that police looked at his footage and saw the ages of the people he was handing alcohol to.
“It was pretty obvious that we weren’t giving it out to minors,” Erwin said.
“Yes there were a lot of minors around the car … I’m a bit drained after that … Hopefully all good comes out of that and we try and do a good thing.”
A handful of Erwin’s fans praised the YouTuber but his video was overwhelmingly slammed.
“You had good intentions … but could’ve handed out water, food and essentials to mob that would’ve been a smarter decision,” one wrote.
“Also capturing the fight and giving away alcohol is just adding to our stereotypes and stigmas that we are trying to break down and challenge.”
Another woman said his stunt was furthering harm to the community.
“A lot of communities are dry communities, alcohol is a major concern and health problem for a lot of their communities,” she said.
“You never did this out of the goodness of your heart or trying to give back to the community, you did this because you give zero f***s about Indigenous communities or their people. You done this for views,” another said.
One commenter said despite Erwin’s claims he was “giving back” there was no “constructive activism in the video whatsoever”.
“You have a huge platform – using it to highlight to our First Nations peoples voices. I don’t see any constructive activism in this video what so ever,” they said.
Queensland Police has not commented on if Erwin will face charges for the stunt.