If this is the price our societies must pay to be reminded that right-wing, Nazi/Fascist extremism is a real threat, it was a price too high. Those mad-dogs (including their Australian counterparts) must be hunted down; if lethal force is required, that’s what it must be deployed against them. At any event, they must face the full force of the law.
To their enablers and cheerleaders in media, think tanks, politics and Parliament: we know who you are.
Attending to the Strike last Friday, which in Sydney involved a concentration before Sydney Town Hall, was an uplifting experience, if fleeting, due to the Christchurch events.
The open space before the Town Hall balcony was chock-a-block with people. I’ve seen the figure of 10 thousand being mentioned. My arthritis has been giving me some trouble lately, so it took me some effort not only to move, but even to stand there.
Attendees, however, were not only teenagers, as I had expected, but also younger kids and their mums (and more than a few dads): pay attention, demagogues, their kids may not vote (yet), but they do.
A few trade unionists carrying banners and/or the black and orange Change The Rules campaign T-shirt could be seen. I wish Sally McManus, the best union leader I’ve seen in decades, were there.
I didn’t feel entirely out of place: union members and plenty old-timers too (to older generations’ credit). However, the august presences of newly-elected MP Kerryn Phelps and Sydney Mayor Clover Moore (unavoidable, I suppose) didn’t help. Oh, well.
Nor were all attendees from Sydney: I was pleasantly surprised to see in the balcony a small Aboriginal delegation that managed to come all the way from western NSW. There were also some kiosks seemingly manned by white locals from that area.
The general impression I got is that the majority of the students present were girls; certainly, the two very articulate speakers (whose names I couldn’t catch) were.
The atmosphere was relaxed, although there was a strong police presence. Everybody, cops included, behaved themselves.