Monday 21st of October 2019

Rally for <insert cause here>

Over the past year I've attended quite a number of rally's. 2 IR rallies, 1 domestic violence rally, a couple of environmental rallies, and a few anti-poverty rallies. But what is the best outcome you can expect from such a rally. They are great for TV camera's, because they are often colourful, and they give you the 30 seconds on the screen to promote your cause, but a lot of effort goes into organising such events, both by the organisers, and the attendees. This is how I see it.

If a rally is held in close proximity to an election, and the rally relates to a political issue, then I can see that a rally will (hopefully) set the agenda for a few days, and perhaps scare the political candidates into taking a favourable position on an issue. Of course, a pre-election position, and actual outcomes are very different things.

Also, if an issue has recently arising a rally can be a good meeting ground to bootstrap an ongoing action group. It can give people a nice feeling of solidarity, and perhaps sway them to contribute to the cause.

And finally, you can use this group of people to collect signatures on petitions, which may or may not sway the opinions of the target groups.

But there has to be more than this. I often walk away from rallies feeling that I've done my part, but that it has also not achieved much. Perhaps if the event had more of a festival feel, which encourages people to talk to each other then we might be able to better build an ongoing community. A positive feel is essential in my mind. But how much more effort will it take to achieve this? I don't think there would be 1/2 dozen a year if they were at the complexity I am thinking. But perhaps they would evolve a more productive outcome.

For instance, the climate change rally I attended in November. We walked, we listened, and we signed. Then we went home, thought about what had been said, and went on with our lives. If we had managed to connect up with other people who were interested in, say, reducing household energy consumption, then maybe we could have formed an ongoing group. A group who could experiment, and share experiences. Who could, continuously lobby government to improve the average case, and who could go out into the community to encourage others to take up the challenge. That is, in many respects, grass roots action and democracy.

I'm going to leave this thought now, and will post any follow up thoughts at a later date.

unsatisfied?

feeling an emptiness might be the first step toward political enlightenment, i hope so.

rallies and 'protests' are the politics of adolescents. the participants have opinions, strong feelings, but no power. like adolescents, they have to approach the (politician) grown-ups with cap in hand: "please sir, may we have (whatever)."

it doesn't have to be like that. ozzies can take their nation away from the politician's guild, and do it peacefully. but it would need some adult resolve and selfcontrol. have you got it?