March in March unites the people
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by Henry L.
Between the 15th and 17th of March, tens of thousands of ordinary Australians took to the streets to take part in the ‘March in March’ demonstrations, which occurred all over the length and breadth of the nation.
The demonstrations that occurred in the capital cities drew some of the biggest crowds seen marching and having their voice heard for a long time, in some places braving heavy rain.
Conservative estimates suggest that at least a crowd of 35,000 in Melbourne braved the elements, with at least 20,000 in Sydney, 5,000 in Adelaide and 4,000 in Perth. On the final day thousands gathered in Canberra to deliver a motion of no confidence directly to Parliament House.
The sheer sizes across the board came as a surprise to both organisers and police. In addition to this, in an almost unprecedented manner, in almost every major regional centre and indeed a smattering of smaller localities, sizable demonstrations did occur, demonstrating both the widespread and diverse nature of discontent as well as the organising potential provided by effective use of social media platforms.
Although portrayed in the capitalist media as containing a simple anti-Abbott sentiment, this would do a disservice to the diversity and nature of the issues that the masses present across the county felt strongly enough to march about. Many of these are inherently caused by nature of the society we currently live in, which is propped up by both major sides of the parliamentary coin.
These include the need to sow division amongst the working class which leads to inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and the continuing subjugation of the First Nations, the relentless attacks on the working class, the proposed sale of Australia Post and the ongoing US imperialist domination of Australia, currently most clearly represented by the odious ongoing negotiations to seal the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), to name just a few that were expressed widely.
The sheer amount and intensity of discontent that has been building up within the Australian populace within recent times over the aforementioned issues and more, with many individuals simply waiting for an outlet to express this discontent was self-evident to all those present at one of the various marches.
Among the reasons the March in March was such a quickly built and runaway success with people, many of whom who had never attended a demonstration before in their lives, was that it was a clearly non-partisan and organically organised phenomena. It was a genuine expression of discontent with what the political system is inflicting on the people.
All across the country, a broad array of speakers were involved, including trade union figures and rank and file workers involved in struggle, indigenous leaders, peace activists, environmentalists and anti-imperialists.
The lack of response and input from the ALP in particular, whom were by and large also involved with many of the issues marches were critical of proved a very interesting and promising part of the evolution of the rallies, providing a shining example that working people don’t need to lean on parliamentary politics to prove a point.
Whilst Tony Abbott was a particular target of anger, as is to be expected with such an aggressive first six months of government, it was by no means an ALP love in or ‘day of hate’ directed at one man.
It is vital that this impressive show of strength and discontent is built upon, and not lost. Such a broad array of people, protesting and expressing their anger over issues that can all be linked back to the bankruptcy and chaotic nature of capitalism in the imperialist stage, has real potential to give this rotten system a shock.
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