The March in March was a very powerful event. For one thing, for the first time in a quite a while, the turn out was bigger than the people attending on facebook. (Over 120,000 nationally is a conservative estimate).
For those not in the know, March In March was a national protest, organised as a unified message that we are not happy with the way the government has carried itself in its first term. Dredging our reef, detaining and murdering those seeking asylum, breaking promises and just generally being terrible. It is a grass roots movement, with no political affiliations and no corporate sponsors. The message was spread entirely over social media so I had no idea what to expect.
My first impression was a jostling, crowded hall leading from Melbourne Central to the square. I was cranky, I’d just eaten a Coles muffin, because I didn’t want to seem like a class traitor and buy a cake at a patisserie. So I was ready to be disappointed.
I emerged into the throng out the front of the state library and the thoughts of my supermarket muffin dropped from my mind like the crumbs from my mouth. I saw for the first time the power of one message on thousands of lips.
The electricity in the air was tangible. Hippies, crust punks, mothers, fathers, suits, rags, the people. All walks of life there to show their vote of no confidence for our government.
What the elite ruling class forgets is that the more people they cram into the disenfranchised lower classes, the more of ‘us’ there is than ‘them’.
There were thousands of people there, all gleeful, energised with the sudden realisation that they are not alone. The message was clear – free refugees, act for human rights, act on climate change and act on behalf of the people, not the ruling elite. Give us an NBN, don’t touch our unions and don’t sign the fucking TPP without showing us first.
All we ask for is decency, transparency and accountability. The simple things promised to us, the government’s side of the social contract.
The entire march was a huge testament to the power of collectivism. So many disparate groups coming together to declare their lack of faith in our government. Exercising their hard won right to hold the ruling class accountable for their actions. There were a few high points for me though
• Dancing around a roaming drum circle/jazz band/beatboxing fusion crew.
• Floating between the islands of chants like: “Shame Abbott Shame”, “Newtown students got it right, Tony Abbott’s not that bright” and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Tony Abbott’s got to go”.
• Massing on the stairs of parliament, where a megaphone was passed around, creating a platform for anyone to speak. It was a real parliament on the steps of a false one. I actually got up and had a little rage about the new move along laws.
• My friend lifting his daughter into the air to the disgruntled traffic cut off by the parade. “We’re doing this for her, not for you” I crowed, proud to fight for her future and mine.
• No violence, no roughness and no litter.
The People’s Mandate
It’s clear, the people’s mandate has been declared. Our current government no longer represents the will of the people.
• They have taken our interests and sold them to the highest corporate bidder.
• They have traded basic human ethics to pander to a xenophobic elite, who control the minds of the masses through a media monopoly.
• They have traded our future prosperity, the very habitability of our planet, for today’s profits margin.
Tony Abbott, Rupert Murdoch, Gina Reinhart and the rest of the ruling oligarchy can squeeze workers, hurt our brothers and kill our world, ’til their dollar buys nothing but dust. Or they can end corporate welfare, divert resources and funds to a sustainable economy and ensure a high standard of life to anyone that falls within our care.
You have two years left Mr Abbott. Use the time to undo what you’ve done, or forever have the blood of generations on your hands. Face the crowds, thousands strong. No number of fluorescent vested foot soldiers will stop you from answering for your crimes.
The thing is, we can’t just go back to sharing memes on facebook, we need more. We need to engage with our local political groups, protest, organize rallies, and stand up for what we believe in. Don’t let the opiates of a captalist society dull your edge. Don’t skip the protest because of a hangover. Party all night and rock up drunk if you have to.
Together we are strong. We will be told we are weak, by the media, and those who have chosen to believe it. But inaction and complicity puts as much guilt on us as it does on those in power.
Get the facts on whistleblowers, information and data exploitation and the TPP. – The free world as we know it is under threat.
Read the litany of Tony Abbott’s crimes here. – Be sure to have a stiff drink on hand.
Find your local representative here. – Write, call, email. Tell them what matters to you.
Fight, protest, write, and volunteer. We can build a world of peace and prosperity, a world that lasts. A world that innovates, then shares the fruits of that to all.
It starts today. It starts with you.
UPDATE: Man apparently run down by police after refusing to move (screen cap of post about it for posterity). News.com.au is reporting it as a collapse. Will report further as facts emerge.