Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Marching for Equal Rights, Brisbane 2012

Last night (Wednesday, May 30th, 2012) I attended a rally that began in King George Square & progressed down to Parliament to protest the proposed repeal of civil unions by the LNP.

As an avid consumer of punk culture, the idea of rebellion is something I've always been fascinated by, so I make it a point to attend any protest, rally, march or similar event that's going on around me - sometimes whether it's my area of interest or not. I do have a vested interest in LGBTQ rights because so many of my friends fall under that category, and I have made the statement many times that I will not personally get married until everyone else is allowed to do so, too.

I do find that things like this in Brisbane are often quite badly organised (I'll be talking more about this when I post about Slutwalk later on this week) however at this particular event bad timing and technical difficulties did not take away from the obvious solidarity, passion and determination displayed not only by the speakers and officials amongst us, but everyone who made the effort to walk through the rain in order to take a stand regarding what they believed to be right.

Most heartwarming, to me, was the diversity of people in attendance; people of all ages, races, genders, sexualities, etc, came along to support their cause and protest the LNP's decision.

I really do think taking to the streets can make a huge difference. I've encountered a lot of people throughout my life (in no small part due to the fact that I never shut up about certain topics) who do not believe in the power of protest, even peaceful, nonviolent protest and think that, and I quote, "If you want to change something do so in a manner that'll make them take you seriously. What does walking around yelling do?"

Well, in my mind, walking around yelling:

  • Lets those in power know that the people are unhappy with their decisions.
  • When we consider this, along with the notion that the entire point of having politicians is to represent the voices and needs of the people;
  • Hopefully is indicative of the view of wider society, which should be of strong concern to those who claim to be working for us.
  • Alerts others within society to what's going on - so many people were taking photos of us walking the streets on Wednesday; so many people walked up to ask what was going on, or listen to the speeches, what we were chanting and to read the signs we were proudly displaying. Those people may not have previously known about this issue, but it could very well have swayed how they saw LGBTQ issues and their opinions on the current QLD government.
  • Empowers those involved to make a difference in other ways, such as directly contacting politicians, journalists arranging interviews, etc.
Thus, I will always believe in the power of protest.

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