I'm an ordinary Australian, I think, by the standards of the right. I'm married and a mother. I've worked many years in private enterprise. I live in regional Australia. Heck, I go to church occasionally. I was even in the army reserve.
But I'd also be an ordinary Australian if I were a vegan lesbian living in Glebe and running an organic food co-op. That's the thing about Tony Abbott; promising to "unite Australia" whilst pitching a battle between his so called ordinary Australians, who support him and his vision, against the elites (and it is good to see that the right have finally dropped their coffee obsession, realising you have been able to purchase lattes in outer suburban Gloria Jeans for many years; lefties are now part of the "goats cheese circle". Well, whatever).
But as an ordinary Australian, and like so very many others, I'm incensed by the actions of the current Abbott government. I'll not reiterate why they're so bad - you can read more here, or here, or many other writers who have said it more eloquently than I could. I've been watching politics long enough to know I've never seen anger such as this at a government, the helpless frustration at the damage, cruelty and broken promises of this government.
It doesn't have to be helpless. There is something you can do - come join in the March in March, a national weekend of protest against what's being done to our country. As with the anger, I've never seen anything like the amount of interest in this - so many people who would never normally join a protest march are planning to attend. But as with any event like this, there are a few with concerns. Why bother? Millions marched against the Iraq invasion, and it still went ahead. Why would this march change anything.
Well, I'm not expecting that Tony Abbott would see footage of the march, have a fit of conscience and call a press conference to tearfully announce he's been all wrong. No. Even if the march changes nothing, I'll be doing it anyway, to announce to the nation and the world that the government does not act in our name. We do not give our consent by silence to the pointless, thuggish cruelty of the Abbott regime, the contempt for the electorate, the relentless determination to destroy the values of tolerance, diversity, generosity and openness which made this country great.
That's why I am marching and I hope you will, too.
Update: I was subsequently interviewed by The Age about my participation. You can read it here though I'm not sure where they got the bit about not protesting from.
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