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Why we march!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjaM3Iegw7M

Anybody who saw the above interview with March in March co-organiser Tim Jones would have felt dismayed that the media had so much difficulty in grasping the concept behind the March. How can they have so much trouble in understanding a simple message? In this guest post William Rattley spells it out for them. If the media wants to know why people marched, then they really need to start listening to and engaging with everyday Australians.

Dear Mainstream Media Outlets:

Over the past twelve hours I notice from many television reporters and journalists a reoccurring question in regards to the March in March movement that demonstrated in over thirty locations around Australia in which over one hundred thousand people, young and old, participated in.

That question of course is; “Why are you marching?”

It has come to the attention of a vast number of the Australian population, that our system is failing the people. Whilst it is true that the attention at most demonstrations were focused on the current Abbott-led Governments, and the disastrous decision making by the Liberals, the issues drawing people to march, are much bigger than the political playground.

At the base level people are marching because they are sick of being treated as a number, as a cog in a well-oiled, well-conditioned machine. People are sick of their health, security and happiness being taken from them simply to make a quick buck. People are sick of the environment being disrespected and destroyed.

Yet perhaps most profoundly, is that people are sick of everything being politicised. The people feel disempowered, they feel as though with every election they have to choose between the lesser of two evils, that the system of supposed “choice” really gives very little choice at all.

Issues like the environment, healthcare and education should not, as myself and others feel, be the chew toys of the politicians. Nor should human dignity be defined by how much money our Governments are willing to save for themselves. The people want the truth, not pre-scripted garbage designed to trap everyone in one lane.

People march because they feel that their fellow men and women are being denied basic human rights (marriage equality) or are being treated as less than human (asylum seekers). People are calling for a return to a sense of community . . . a sense of inclusiveness, compassion and respect. Instead of the fear, the divisiveness and the exclusiveness preached by a majority of the political playground and mainstream media.

Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/isthatthetruth

Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/isthatthetruth

People feel as though Australia has become cold, apathetic and xenophobic, in regards to the way we treat people who come to our shores to seek aid. Yet there is a sense that the apathy also includes the way we relate to the indigenous population… and truly the people are sick of being told who they should like, and who they shouldn’t like. In the end . . . we are all human.

Many demonstrators marched over the weekend (15-17th of March) because they are concerned with Christopher Pyne’s attempts to introduce a heavy Christian influence into our public schooling system. Australia is a land that is home to people of many different faiths, theistic and non-theistic, agnostic and atheist alike . . . they feel it is invasive for Mr Pyne to even consider enforcing his own Christian beliefs upon the majority of public school attendees.

Australians have become outraged by the Liberal Government’s decision to scrap the science portfolio, to abolish the climate commission, to dump on the Great Barrier Reef, and to begin revoking the protections on the Tasmanian forests. I understand personally why Mr Abbott does not believe in climate change, and I can respect his beliefs as a God-fearing Catholic.

However, as a God-fearing Catholic, Mr Abbott should then understand that as the earth is a gift from God, he has a responsibility to treat it with the utmost care and respect. As it looks Mr Abbott perhaps wouldn’t have just eaten one fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would have stolen the lot… and then tried to make God buy them back off him.

Humanity needs to learn moderation . . . and that is what people would ask of Mr Abbott, to think about the future, about his grandchildren, and our grandchildren and make lasting choices for the preservation of our society and our planet. That also means we need to learn to get along with our neighbors and many of the demonstrators are horrified by the image of Australia that Mr Abbott is presenting to the international community.

Humanity cannot afford to continue taking and taking. Our actions shape the world, and whatever we dish out, will have consequences. I personally do not feel that Mr Abbott, or his party, are equipped to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, and need to be called into account before their indulgence becomes our lack.

Though there are many other issues that people marched for, I wish to touch on one final topic. Australians are sick of getting biased media accounts of what it occurring in politics. Australians are sick of opening their morning paper to see declarations of Mr Abbott as the Messiah, by that self-serving multimillionaire Rupert Murdoch. Australians are sick of the criticisms leveled by the Liberal Government towards the ABC.

We want the truth . . . and if the major media outlets will not give us the truth, we will find it ourselves, and broadcast it ourselves. The Australian people are marching because they are sick of being stuck with second or third best. We want to put the “luck” back into the lucky country. We want to aim for an Australia we can be proud of again, and that others can visit (or seek asylum in) without feeling like second-class citizens.

We want a country of equality, where love, acceptance, empathy and the value of human dignity forms the foundation of our aims and achievements. We want a country where money serves the people, instead of people serving the money (or the corporations with all the money). Finally we want a nation that respects our natural resources and doesn’t destroy them, a nation that is not afraid to research and fund renewable energy resources.

We want our country back, and we’ll keep marching till we get it back. THAT is why we march!

Sincerely,

William Rattley

This article was first posted on Facebook.

28 comments

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  1. Gina

    Reblogged this on In my own opinion.

  2. CMMC

    Maybe we need a permanent demo, like in Cairo.

  3. mars08

    So the vacuous MSM bobble heads are asking: “Why are you marching?”

    How sad that these so-called reporters are so clueless about the decline of our society in the past 20 years. Do they notice anything that happens in the real world, or are they informed entirely by government propaganda?

  4. Joe Banks

    Tim Jones’ eagerness to widen publicity for March in March led to him being ‘set up’ by Sky News. Being ‘set up’ by the media was all too common for Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard (and I do not exclude the ABC). The quiet and subtle approach, via articles like this one, seems to be the only weapon available as the journalists in the MSM are still giggling in triumph (God knows why). MSM journalists all have families and sooner or later, surely, they will start to see THE BLEEDIN OBVIOUS.

  5. Dan Rowden

    I’m sorry, but Tim was grossly ill-prepared for that interview. I don’t think he was the person for that job.

  6. Graeme Rust

    abbott’s hatred of the Australian people is what pisses me off , he’s stirring up people with his hated, but his problem is it’s turning back on him, I would love to get a psycho doctors opinion of him, you would think that a ten pound pom would be grateful for being allowed to live here, but no all he wants to do is wreck , wreck, and wreck some more. if this is the lnp, then I can say with a lot of confidence that they will be in the wilderness for a VERY long time after the next election.

  7. Brian

    MSM has become addicted to the 3 word slogan. The march in March presented them with a level of complication the poor dears are no longer capable of comprehending. The convoy of no consequence had ditch the witch but the breadth and depth of frustration being expressed on so many levels, well it’s just beyond them. My own fervent hope is that the people who participated and who worked to organize the events do not relent in their determination to keep on pushing. Agitate, agitate. We must keep at it. Never give in, never back off. The more active we are, the more will join in. If 100,000 participated this time around then push for 200,000 next time. Why not a million? If people want Australia back as much as we believe they do then surely this is possible. Numbers like that will have this government shitting itself collectively. Abbott thinks St Patricks was the big news? Why not aim to show it was just a backyard picnic compared to the collective voice of the people when they are aroused. WE MUST PERSEVERE. If a million people took to the streets around this country there would be no need for slogans. The numbers alone would say it all!

  8. jasonblog

    The best character analysis of Chris Kenny was without doubt provided by his son. It should come as no surprise that Mr Kenny should fail to grasp what is happening. He described him as:

    “… a staunchly neo-conservative, anti-progress, anti-worker defender of the status quo. He is an unrelenting apologist for the Liberal Party. He was one of Alexander Downer’s senior advisers at the time of the Iraq War. He’s been known to argue for stubborn, sightless inaction on climate change. He spits at anyone concerned with such trivialities as gender equality, environmental issues or labour rights from his Twitter account on a daily basis. Recently, he characterised criticism of the lack of women in Tony Abbott’s Cabinet as a continuation of the Left’s ‘gender wars’. He is a regular and fervent participant in The Australian’s numerous ongoing bully campaigns against those who question its editorial practices and ideological biases.”

    Although, I do suspect that Kenny did genuinely want an explanation. But he wanted an explanation on his terms and in a way that made ‘sense’ to his world-view. I have read elsewhere (I can’t find the link) that one of the problems for the media overall in covering the March in March was how to present the ‘angle’ in a 90-second news segment. What they were left with was relying on footage and, unfortunately, that did tend to focus on the ‘F Tony Abbott’ statement. (Which is fairly tame given the language that freely permeates television these days).

    Kenny, like most talking heads, exists in a world of sound-bites without nuance. Unable to grasp that there is a groundswell of antipathy towards mainstream politics as played out by the ALP & LNP (and it must be said that perhaps the Greens get themselves into trouble by playing the mainstream game). Kenny probably genuinely can’t comprehend that there is a deep annoyance in some sectors against mainstream media. Kenny wanted to have all that neatly explained to him in five minutes. Kenny’s audience is small and most would be deeply tied to their political beliefs and entrenched habit of presumably voting for LNP regardless of what the party actually stood for. It’s the Pavlov’s dog response to democratic participation where conditioning overtakes discretion.

    The March in March may or may not become a tipping point that harnesses the disaffection felt by many in a positive way to influence desirable changes to the hegemony of Australia’s political class. That Australia is a nation comprised of individuals who have a variety of views on wide ranging topics and don’t want to be subdued into simply accepting the non-sense talk of ‘majority’ and ‘mandate’ when there was in fact very little choice on offer.

    If there was a unifying thread to the March in March, I would suggest that underpinning it all was a protest on Neoliberalism. That there is a collective visceral reaction to the extremes Abbott is intending to go. And the mainstream media message that Australians continually receive is in essence a reinforcement of the famous Margaret Thatcher line “there is no alternative”. Bull! There are other options and many Australians would like to start the discussion as to what they are…

  9. jasonblog

    @Dan Rowden

    I tend to agree.

  10. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan I agree as well. It was pretty pathetic. Too much anger and not enough dignity. These guys need to learn something about communications. Drop the angry indignant stance and clearly describe the facts. I know it takes time to feel relaxed in front of the media however he definitely needs a makeover. Bita humor always helps. Hawke is a master communicator so they need to watch and learn to be better speakers, not for their sake, but, for the sake of a progressive image.

  11. Jan Dobson

    I do wonder if we all, protesters, media, and general public, are ignoring the new dynamic of our world. Nothing is simple.

    This is a good thing. We no longer live in a homogeneous environment, enriching us all and empowering those who diverge. But it does mean that there are no longer any ‘one size fits all’ solutions. We forget, if there were easy answers, our policy makers and politicians would embrace them. The answer to the ‘Why We March’ question is equally complicated.

    Although time and geographical constraints didn’t allow me to march, I supported March In March. There were some issues, particularly those affecting farming and ‘indelicate’ signage, about which I am ambivalent or didn’t agree. And I am more disturbed by the issues of Gonski, NBN, NDIS, Refugees and Science than by Forestry, Marriage Equality* or Mining Subsidies. I would label our angst as a shared disdain for secrecy, inequity and partisanship. No doubt, each person marching would have different priorities. That does not diminish the protest in any way.

    We should not accept the propensity of our media and decision makers to condense issues into 30 second sound bites or three word slogans. Let us insist on substance over primary school level style.

    * This is not to say that I do not unequivocally support Marriage Equality

  12. silkworm

    Typical Dan Rowden, blaming the victim, in this case Tim Jones.

  13. joy cooper

    Who watches Sky News anyway? Their political editor wanted to only concentrate on “offensive” signs & not the marches, their rationale or the heartfelt signs. She lazily, not wanting to do any investigating herself, tweeted for people to send her images of examples of these types of signs. Maybe she had already stirred up Tim Jones. That is not beyond the realm of possibility.

    The general media gag about these marches was appalling. Ch 7 Sydney completely ignored the Saturday & Sunday marches preferring, instead, to feature a baby gorilla born by caesarian section several days earlier. To their credit, on Monday our regional Prime7 news did feature local marches. Their 6.30PM Australian/World news only featured Ch 7’s Mark Riley’s rather mocking report of the Canberra march. Expected better from him but he does tend to “toe the line” at times & do as he’s told, especially after previously having given a political report that’s not pro-Abbott.

  14. Kaye Lee

    What he should have explained, in my view, is that a growing number of people are outraged by the lies and bias that they read in mainstream media. Then go on to list a few like the overwhelming number of climate change denial articles or the truth about the Coalition NBN or the debt and deficit lie about $667 billion in debt. That puts Kenny in his place.

    Then go on to point out the ridiculous things we ARE spending money on compared to what we supposedly “can’t afford” eg 20 million for marriage counselling vouchers because Kevin Andrews and his wife have a business in that area but we can’t afford a few hundred thousand for the orphans of defence personnel. $3 billion for unmanned drones but we can’t afford the school kids bonus. $5.2 billion a year for paid parental leave for rich women we can’t afford years 5 and 6 of the Gonski reforms. $200,000 each for one-use throw away orange life rafts but we cant afford to fund public transport. $3 billion of bribes to polluters to upgrade their factories but we can’t afford the profitable clean energy finance corporation to fund renewable energy. Millions cut from Aboriginal legal aid but $2 million found to fund farmers and mining companies to fight native title claims. Cadbury vs SPC, Manly Sea Eagles and the Broncos vs South Sydney…the examples are endless. Over $1 million for Jim Molan, the Special Envoy and fixer of all things asylum who has never been heard of again. $320,000 for Tim Wilson to appear endlessly on the Drum, Warren Mundine, Sophie Mirabella – they find the money for the things they choose to spend on.

    That Mr Kenny is why we are marching. Your failure to adequately report these issues and to hold the government to account is why we are here. That and the atrocities committed against people seeking asylum in this country – something you like to dehumanise into “stop the boats” – and the condemnation from the rest of the world for our failure to act responsibly – this is why we march. We march for the truth.

  15. Keith

    Dan, you should not have to prepare for the crap that was dealt out at Tim. Tim got the message out but the so called interviewer pretended not to listen, the pretend journalist got the message alright. Many people with an open mind would see how Tim was treated and the interview then back fires can back fire on the neocons. The neocons are fanning the very hatred that the MiM is against.as shown in relation to the South Australian demonstration that Colin provided a reference too..
    Some of the useless Abbott gang will hopefully be doing some soul searching especially if they are in marginal seats. I can remember xPrime Minister Fraser years ago commenting on the dangers of too large a back bench. Some emails perhaps to back benchers might help them get a bit of a start with clips showing the marches. Some of them profess to be Christian and a clip of the wonderful Father Rod Bower would be great.

  16. Gilly

    It is a pity that Tim Jones did not take the chance to analyse the questions, or seek clarification of the wording of the questions, to illustrate the bias and suppositions that permeate the approach of most of the MSM.

  17. Keith

    Whoops editing!!!
    I have just posted Father Rod’s great speech to my local theoretical representative and placed it on his Facebook page.

  18. Dan Rowden

    silkworm,

    Typical Dan Rowden, blaming the victim, in this case Tim Jones.

    Victim? Grow up. Tim was embarrassingly bad in that interview. He got asked entirely predicable questions and had entirely predictable points put to him and he simply wasn’t up to it. That’s what happens when you go into a media interview with a great deal of attitude but nothing to back it up. I know he probably has no experience in that sort of thing, but that’s why he probably wasn’t the one to do it.

    Tim accused the interviewer of indulging in “rhetoric” but sadly that’s all Tim had himself. He needed talking point notes, he needed to be able to be precise and focused. He made assertions he was unable to remotely support. He spoke of “Destroying the ABC”. When rightly questioned about that he had precisely nothing to back it up. If you have a point to make, make it a real one, don’t engage in hyperbole or you’ll be caught out for it.

    Tim was long on platitudinous and, dare I suggest, sloganistic speech, but short of actual substance and points. That was due to being naive about the process (it was Fox News for God’s sake) and ill-prepared. Remember, he wasn’t going on that show to explain the March to people who already understood. He quickly fell into a nervous defensiveness when he realised he wasn’t going to get the red carpet ride he wanted. That is a consequence of lack of experience. I felt sorry for him, but there was no victim there.

    Anyway, Tim will take a lot from the experience of that interview and be all the better for it next time.

  19. Ardently

    Metrobogans live in an alternative reality. We have a popularly elected government doing exactly what the people who voted for them want them to do. You people are just bad losers.

  20. Dan Rowden

    Ardently,

    Bad losers? Yeah, I’m prepared to concede there’s an element of that floating around in the current approach of the “Left”. But, by and large it isn’t true. There’s a glaring flaw in the otherwise sound premise of your point, and that is that the Government is doing what the voters wanted them to do. I certainly agree that when a conservative government is elected and they proceed with the establishment of a conservative agenda, that the Left should pretty much shut their collective faces about it. The significant difference here is that the Government in place is running an agenda that is either not consistent with, or a wild variation from the agenda it offered the electorate. That is disturbing, and should disturb you as well.

    From their extraordinary dumping of a dedicated science ministry to this very moment they have enacted much that is not just politically unprecedented, but for a great many – scarily unjustifiable.

    Would you like a list? No, not one that I would just link to, but a properly relevant one with all the dodgy elements left out? i.e. do you want to know what it is that people are so deeply concerned about or are you happy to just be dismissive?

  21. Keith

    Under normal circumstances Ardently, your charge is right.
    But:
    . dearly held values are being bulldozed away by the Abbott gang
    .After 3 years of calling xPM Gillard a liar, setting up high expectations of the new government showing integrity, hardly had the ink dried on their Commission and they were already lying. Hypocrisy in its extreme..
    .xPrime Minister Fraser warned people that Abbott was a “dangerous man”.

    .We were told prior to the election that the Abbott gang supported the notion of climate change; they are now playing Russian Roulette with all our lives.with at least two bullets in the chamber. The opinions of deniers doesn’t match up to the information provided by climate scientists. The chemistry and physics is ignored.
    acidification is happening in oceans, an absolute fact
    oceans act as a heat sink, another absolute fact
    CO2 levels were at about 270 +- ppm prior to the Industrial Revolution, they are now hovering at 400 ppm. A fact,
    CO2 is taken up by bodies of water, a fact, the cause of acidification
    ice sheets are being lost in the Arctic circle, a fact. The volume of ice was 80% less in 2012 compared to the 1950s. The structure of the ice sheet in 2013 was not structurally sound being quite thin in comparison to 1950s.
    .despite what deniers have been saying, global temperature has continued to go up.
    .methane and methane hydrate are being voided in the Arctic region at high levels.

    These are all facts; nothing to do with computer models, people might have an opinion but an opinion doesn’t rate compared to what science is saying.

    Science suggests with the small change in sun spot activity that we should be going into a ice age, the countervailing heating of the globe means that the impact of cooling is not having the expected impact. There is still much research being carried out in relation to the impact of sun spots so I have not included it in the absolute facts.
    During the Pliocene period the CO2 level was about 400 ppm and the planet would pretty well be inhabitable for humans.

    It is the totally irresponsible attitude that the Abbott gang take on this matter that angers me. Being past retirement age climate change will not have the impact on my life as it will for my children and younger relatives and friends.
    So, Ardently we urgently need a Science Minister and proper Minister for the Environment.

    After all the nonsense about xPrime Minister Gillard lying it is contemptible that Abbott has been lying, breaking promises and manipulating the electorate. Abbott talks about women of caliber, a feature that he does not display.
    There is plenty more but that will suffice for now.

  22. Stephen Tardrew

    With you Dan and Kaye.

  23. Paul Raymond Scahill

    After reading most of the comments posted above, it is very clear that Tony Abbott and an obvious majority of his so-called Ministers are out and out liars. It would also appear that so long as YOU are prepared to lie you are for consideration into the Cabinet. It would be remiss of me not to mention Bronwyn Bishop who could only be thought of as the very worst of any person, living or deceased, to hold the position of chair (Speaker). I do believe that the people responsible for the proclamation of marching venues, times/dates, and locations, should have posted the same much earlier than they did. I also think that we should emphasise the importance of humanity (where genuine refugees are concerned) NDIS, NBN, Gonski et.al .are the issues and ensure our voices are heard bu the MSM, way above that of the Government. Come on people lets join collectively to make our message HEARD.

  24. Pissing in the wind

    I was at the march mainly because my young son insisted I accompany him as he wanted to stand up and be counted for his views on the the Abbott government. I’m glad I went. However… 100k people marching and it’s barley a blip on the radar of the collective Australian consciousness.

    I am becoming very interested in what George Lakoff has to say on this topic and would recommend this read for starters: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/01/george-lakoff-interview

    I hear people say they don’t want to live in a world where values are brought down to a simplistic lowest common denominator. So the reality then is we currently live in a world run by the likes Abbott. How is that a good thing? We just whinge and whine, say random angry stuff and piss in the wind. All the while the conservatives are hitting their targets with repetitive “dumb” shit. Cleverness and diversity is being rolled by “stupidity” (is it actually stupid or does just sound it). That is what is happening “on the ground” and they are winning the war… and most of the battles.

    That interview is a great example of pissing in to the wind. I asked my 11 year old son on the way to the march what he would say if a reporter asked him why he was there and I have to say he was far more eloquent and concise than Tim. Lets start knowing what we want, precisely, and then say it concisely… and keep repeating it again and again. And again. It seems to work for the other lot.

  25. Kirsty

    I agree Dan, Kaye and Keith. Pissing in the Wind, I think we’d all like to hear what eloquence your son had to say 🙂 I think the Year 9 female students were rather eloquent with their questions to Abbott, and he just dismissed them out of hand (showing his real face).

  26. Pingback: What do we want, When do we want it? MARCH! | Election Observatory

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