Protest priorities

According to The Age, 10,000 protesters turned out yesterday to object to something or other the state ALP’s done that’s allegedly “killing live music” in the city. (I believe it’s a diabolical CONE OF SILENCE that descends every night at 1am.) Apparently, a lot of progressive people were there – along with some opportunistic Liberal Party MPs whose participation apparently wasn’t enough to make anyone think twice.

And disturbingly, that’s quite a few more than attended the last rally for marriage equality in November.

Which leads me to ask – what kind of progressive person is more interested in campaigning for easier liquor licensing laws to help pubs than they are in fighting government discrimination against an oppressed minority?

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24 responses to “Protest priorities

  1. Northern Exposure

    Australian ones.

  2. The vindaloo protest seems to be getting a good turnout too Jeremy. Maybe the Marriage Equality mob need to rethink their advertising strategy – the vindaloo one seems to be a Facebook thing (or am I confusing with something else, just glanced at the news).

  3. Zippy the Pinhead

    I guess this issue is about ones own pleasure rather than the pleasure of others.

    That said it is an important one – it is extremely difficult to run a venue/pub that has a focus on local,live & original entertainment and turn a profit. These venues have been a point of pride for hep melbournians and promoters of melbourne for many decades.

    The legislation brought in last year states that two security guards must be hired whenever there is live music – even if it’s a couple of ukulele players in the beer garden on a sunday arvo playing to five mates. The cost of this makes it impossible for venues to break even – even successful longstanding venues like The Tote that closed recently.

    On top of this the commisioner has final say, the government cannot order her, an unelected official, to do anything. By all reports she has been very zealous in pursuing the legislation.

    The new rules were brought in to combat violence stemming from the giant discoteques, though having zero affect on these establishments (a slight rise in fees) it would destroy many small venues.

  4. The protest isn’t about the liquor laws as such, its about what they are doing. I used to live in Melbourne, and from ’86 till I left in ’94 it had one of the best live music scenes in the world.

    Now that the Tote’s gone, that was kind of the last straw I think. I remember going there to see bands in the 80s. Its not that a pubs gone, its that a music venue that meant so much to so many has gone, and it was one of the last great ones. There’s not many left.

    Live music is a “sacred site” sort of thing for people. Throughout history people have used live music to give meaning to their lives, and often played it in places of significance. In Melbourne for a bunch of people over a long time, those inner city pubs provided the space for that.

    I’d be more likely to go to that rally than to a gay marriage one, and I actually wrote a submissions about it last year. I’m straight and married and support the right of gay people to express their love the way they feel appropriate with the same rights I have. If that means marriage so be it.

    But thats just an equity or social justice issue.

    Music actually helps you get through life.

    If you took away my right to live music thats war. It might be one of the very few things thats really worth going to war over actually.

    Pretty much everything else should eventually be solvable by communication.

    I dunno if anyone ever knew an Australian band from a few years ago called Unpaid Debt, but they had a song out a few years ago, might have made the hottest 100. It would probably explain the reason better than me.

  5. A few simple reasons:

    1) Much easier to protest something that is being taken away that for something to be added.

    The protestors want things to stay as they currently enjoy them. The turnout for, say making a certain street a new night life hub will always be smaller as opposed to remove a certain night life).

    2) You said in your message “the last rally” – there is fatigue around issues where talk has been going on for a long time and there has been little movement.

    3) Advertising as mentioned above – the closing of Tote was the best thing that could have happened for this issue.

  6. Because people actually care about it?

  7. I had no idea that only one issue was ever allowed to be protested.

  8. “The vindaloo protest seems to be getting a good turnout too Jeremy. Maybe the Marriage Equality mob need to rethink their advertising strategy”

    Gay people should come up with a tasty food of their own.

    “I had no idea that only one issue was ever allowed to be protested.”

    Yup, it’s the law.

    No, seriously, my point is that it looks like there are a lot of progressive people who were at this one but weren’t at the other. I’m not sure about the priorities of a progressive more concerned about this issue than one of basic equal rights.

    “there is fatigue around issues where talk has been going on for a long time and there has been little movement.”

    Understandable, but I think short-sighted.

  9. It is very sad. Let’s face it, the right of two people to be married and have their relationship recognised in law is a lot more important than live music. It’s fucking music. In the scheme of things, who cares? Seriously, progressives get so obsessed about the arts but look down at the masses for getting obsessed with sports.

    It makes me sick.

  10. Gay people should come up with a tasty food of their own.

    In the 2007 election campaign Turnbull attended a sold out black tie dinner in his electorate to talk about the then government’s commitment to gays anbd lesbians. He ‘promised’ marriage equality to the cheers of the assembled, but was later brow beaten by Howard to toe the party line of continued discrimination.

    You scoff at the suggesiton the ME mob do what the Vindaloo protest people have done, but you turn a blind eye to what seems to work. Rich people hold the power. Rich people control our politicians and political processes. Rich people love dinners (esp black tie dinners) attached to social ’causes’.

  11. Northern Exposure

    Yeah, those black tie diners are the one’s flooding the politicians with donations (see Bribe) to stop or retard any kind of social change, especially gay rights.
    Do you think any party in it’s right mind would actually ignore 60% of the population unless they were getting a rather large carrot?

  12. Savvas Tzionis

    Live Music? Never really liked it. Anyway, Australian music is increasingly crap, and it plays to a shrinking demographic.

  13. Maybe more people care about the live music scene than they do about gay marriage. I know I do.

  14. Gay people frequently come up with a “tasty food” of their own …

    Sorry, couldn’t let that one pass … I’ll leave it to the imagination to continue the rest!!!!

  15. “what kind of progressive person is more interested in campaigning for easier liquor licensing laws to help pubs than they are in fighting government discrimination against an oppressed minority?”

    Because the easing of liquor laws to help local pubs affects me because small communities are built around the scene. Most of my friends I met through the scene and at places like the Tote.

    I think you will find most of the ‘progressives’ would support gay marriage. I wonder how many gay people were at the rally not because they were in the scene but to purely support it from a gay perspective?

    I don’t think the gay marriage issue is an important as you make it out to be, Jeremy.

  16. Do you think any party in it’s right mind would actually ignore 60% of the population unless they were getting a rather large carrot?

    I don’t think this necessarily follows at all. I believe christian fundie lobby groups have more to do with preserving discrimination than the large corporate donors, who arguably care more about their own business interests, but am happy to be proved wrong.

  17. Why are you always going on about women gays Stan Jeremy?

  18. Damn, what happened to the strikethough for ‘women’ and ‘Stan’?

    Ruined a perfectlly good python reference …

  19. Aagh, perfectly!!!

  20. I WANT TO HAVE BABIES.

  21. Nice use of CAPS, are you a frustrated Punch commenter?

  22. From now on Jeremy shall be known as “Brenda”.

  23. Now to find a box for it to gestate in.

  24. thevoiceofreason

    When is Australian politics going to mature like the Americans and hold televised summits on reform agendas, these summits hold all participants accountable and bridges differences quicker than our system which has to the new age way of reforms and its about time Australia got with the program and moves with the times.

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