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.
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!
This article was first posted on Facebook.