In early January this year a Facebook discussion took place between several friends about the serious impacts of the recently elected Abbott government’s decision-making upon Australia’s social fabric.
They decided that complaining to each other wasn’t good enough and, thanks to the power and immediacy of social media, March in March 2014 was born.
This grassroots people’s movement has, over a few weeks, attracted more than thirty thousand supporters.
Over the weekend of 15 – 16 March, some twenty five protest rallies will be held around the country, in all capitals and many regional centres.
On Monday 17 March a final protest will be held at Parliament House in Canberra from 10am – 2.00pm.
March in March has no affiliation with any political party.
While mainstream media will no doubt try to characterise and dismiss March in March as being of the “left”, this people’s movement aims to give a voice to Australians disaffected with the Abbott government and the direction in which it is taking our country.
This is a government which ignores expert opinion and makes policy decisions based upon neo-conservative ideology rather than evidence-based research.
The importance of science to a modern economy is brushed aside in favour of belief and “instinct”.
The Abbott government is clearly shifting wealth from the poor to the wealthy, attacking wages and entitlements, reducing social support mechanisms and favouring corporate interests over environmental protection.
Education and public health policy are also under attack, and the harshest regime of mistreatment from any Australian government ever is being meted out to refugee asylum seekers who reach our shores.
Has the national concern about “boat people” distracted the nation, while fascism slipped in through the back door?
People who attend the March in March protests around the nation are encouraged to bring their own placards about the issue of greatest concern to them.
These rallies are an opportunity to speak out for better government through greater accountability and transparency.
March in March is a clarion call to reignite our country’s guiding lights of fairness and decency. It’s about a return to the Fair Go.
By Loz Lawrey