I’m old enough to have marched in a (Melbourne) Moratorium against the Vietnam War, in 1970.
Some years later, although I did not travel to Tasmania, I did what I could to support those protesting against the damming of the Franklin River.
The Vietnam protests, against an unwinnable war—and a huge revolt against conscription— eventually led to Australian troops being withdrawn and welcomed in a new PM in Gough Whitlam.
Success of the Franklin River protests in 1982—to save a wilderness area—coincided with the arrival of a new PM, in Bob Hawke.
In the meantime, I added my (small) voice to a successful protest against sand mining and logging on Fraser Island; an activity that ultimately ceased in 1976.
I have seen and supported many a protest. Protests for important and crucial matters.
Recent protests have been different.
I supported (from afar) the women’s “March for Justice” in 2020, which was magnificent but gained little political response, apart from participants being told they were lucky not to be met with bullets (paraphrasing here).
The school kids’ 2022 protest “Strike for Climate” was also a magnificent happening, but the only political comment gained seemed to be “they should have been in school”. A little later, the (then) Fed minister for the environment, Sussan Ley, obtained a court ruling saying that she does “not have a duty of care to protect young people from climate change when assessing fossil fuel projects”. (!!)
And, so, protests continue…BUT…they have been of more dubious nature and magnitude over the past two years. On our TV screens we witnessed marching and yelling protests that gained far-too-much attention. These protests were different and not aimed at bettering our country or bettering our environment.
Some huge protests erupted, peopled by those who think it is a terrible impingement on their rights to ask them to wear a face mask during a deadly pandemic.
Added to these pathetic selfish protests have been the mindless mobs screaming objection to receiving a vaccination; an injection to prevent serious illness!
Insistent that they will experience devastating (many weird and imagined) consequences from a vaccination, they ignore any devastating consequences of contracting the virus. WTF?
To quote Bob Dylan: “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.