Saturday, August 17, 2013

Shouting at Buildings

They're at it again, shouting at buildings. 

Walk out the door to go find some lunch and there's a group of about a hundred people, mainly men, shouting at the building next door, placards flying, their rage contained but apparent.

"No Military Rule in Egypt!" they cry - a plaintive wail on a breezy Melbourne afternoon. They're not making much of a nuisance of themselves. They're not on a main thoroughfare, they're not clogging the streets and interrupting the traffic - they're just shouting at the building which contains the Egyptian embassy.

And good on them I say.

Peaceful demonstrations have a good feel about them - as long as they remain peaceful.

Looking around the city, I see a lot of demonstrations - and have friends who are actively participating in demonstrations. 

The ongoing Tecoma McDonald's fiasco for one. I've walked in regularly to find a group of Dandenong dwellers shouting at Parliament House. You look at why they're shouting and shouting loud. The local council held a meeting to look at McDonald's opening a 'restaurant' (I use the word loosely) in the township of Tecoma. The planning application was overruled unanimously after a few thousand complaints about the planning application - there were over a thousand people at the town meeting, something that rarely happens in this age of apathy. McDonald's took their application to a higher body, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) who overturned the decision, citing that what the people of the town wanted was 'irrelevant". Hmph. there have been protesters outside of the proposed site as well as the VCAT offices and parliament ever since.

Protesting gives you a voice - more than likely a voice that will not be heard, but it does let you get things off your chest.

Another friend is active in the protests around out paramedics. These modern day saints have one of the most stressful and thankless jobs in the country. And they're paid a pittance for their years of training and ratshit conditions. A few years ago they were promised pay rises to make them the best paid ambulance crews in the country - with better conditions. Never happened - and they started to yell, very loudly, at the Department of Health, among other places.

The Ambos also have a very active social media campaign, in essence, shaming the politicians over their bad conduct. Will they be heard? I hope so.

Once a year or so, the CMFEU (Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union) get a bee in their bonnet about something and the streets are filled with bearded, high-vis-vest wearing type in overalls for a few hours. My sympathies with this mob aren't as strong as they already appear to have a seventeen day working month with some of the best benefits in the country - although I'm with them if they're protesting about safety measures.

I can't say I'm an avid protest marcher - but I have been a part of the odd protest. When Australia was about to send troops to Afghanistan, when they were looking for those non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction that the Axis of Evil had in their beds, that I got fired up about. I remember Sam and I sneaking out of work early to join about a million others in Swanston Street. The rally was peaceful - and filled with people of all creeds, colours, ages and students. Grandparents marched with children, students talked with business people, families walked together - all opposed to what are then government was planning on doing. There was no anger at the rally. It was more a feeling of outraged befuddlement. Why would we, a peace loving nation, want to send troops over to a country that had not attacked us. It appears the Brits felt the same way. Thousands took to the streets.

'Not in my name' screamed the banners.

The offences that the then governments were about to perpetrate reverberated among the crowd with astonishment. Our allegedly peaceful government was doing what?

In time, we would be just as outraged at such joyful acts as Tampa, Work Choices, the Mandatory Detention Policy, the lack of Environmental awareness... so many things that went on that had me screaming obscenities at the television.

I haven't yelled much at the telly for a while. I've started again. I've started screaming at the television.

May as well get the anger, distaste, distrust and ignominy out of my system. At least the telly is an inanimate object. Take it out on that.

And get writing letters and marching for what I believe in.

A very wise woman once told me that when the idiots get in power, those that have no social conscious or feel for what a democracy, it is then that the right minded, compassionate and intelligent people have to start speaking out, and speaking very, very loudly.

I hope and pray that I get to stay silent for a little longer and that my time for shouting at buildings is not now.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

I hear you. And wholeheartedly agree. I cannot watch the television and have started writing letters and emails. I shudder at what I believe is coming our way.