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Melbourne Odds and Ends

They say “Cut back!” We say “Fight Back!”

Last month our conservative Liberal Party Government, lead by Tony Abbott, brought down a horror budget. Think of anyone who is vulnerable ~ disabled people, people who are unemployed, single parents, low income earners, students etc etc ~ and this budget has hit them hard. It has cut funding to schools and hospitals across the country. There are attacks to Medicare, the ABC and SBS, universities and apprentice funding. These are attacks that will flow on to those who are working. No prize though for guessing which department had a 6% increase to its budget ~ Defence, of course.

However, people are not taking this lying down. Yesterday there was a protest called by the union movement, rallying workers from a wide range of industries.

Australia has a very proud tradition of union action, and unions haveย been very supportive of social issues, as well as purely industrial ones. Union membership has dropped over the last few decades, but maybe action like this will encourage new members to see that unions are organisations that fight for rights at work, as well as in the wider world.

The crowd was estimated to be about 30,000 and it was exciting to be amongst so many others.

I love the banners and signs that people carry. (Wave your mouse over the photo for more information about the photo.)

Some photos from the march itself. While you look, imagine all those people chanting slogans like:

“They say Cut Back! We say Fight Back!”

“What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like!”

“The workers united will never be defeated!”

I hope that this is the beginning of a fight against the budget, a fight that involves the union movement. This march tells me that people are angry about the budget and that they are prepared to loose a day’s pay to let Abbott and Hockey know. There is momentum there to be built on.

Not everyone was a burly construction worker!

And lastly, I had to take this photo. The comment “Latte drinking, left-wing tossers” is often thrown to disparage those who are perceived to be all talk and no action. Well, here is another version of “Latte drinking, left-wing tossers”!

IMG_9813

19 replies on “They say “Cut back!” We say “Fight Back!””

Horror budget indeed. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I am completely infuriated by the complete lack of regard for those who can least afford the cuts. A perfect example of the lack of understanding was Hockey saying the the Gp co-payment meant people might have to give up a packet of smokes or a drink at the pub, that idiotic statement made me want to throw something at the telly.

Loving the pictures, it clearly wasn’t a rent-a-crowd protest, looks like people from all walks of life were there.

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I so agree with you, Metan. There have been many times I have wanted to throw things at the TV. And Hockey sits there in his $6 million house! It is the unfairness of this budget that is getting people angry.

(I am giving you a big hug at the moment. I hope all has been well with you.)

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Inspiring stuff, Anne. Great to see Melbournians looking to bring compassion and fairness back into the debate.

There is so much in this budget which is reprehensible. What I find so cruel is the decision to prevent young people from accessing Newstart for 6 months. When people are down on their luck, it takes a long to time build and receive the supports required to slowly start to turn the pendulum the other way. This budget just acts as a further barrier to participation.

I’ll cringe if I ever hear a coalition mp who supports the higher education deregulation reforms as ‘egalitarian’. Thanks for going along to the rally.

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That attack on unemployed young people is particularly reprehensible and for that reason alone it should be stopped, especially as the rate of youth unemployment is already quite high. However, I also see it as so short sighted. What will they live on? For many the only options will be homelessness and/or crime. You are right about the participation levels.

Thanks for adding your comments to this discussion.

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Love the photo’s especially the last. I’m sure they were enjoying a well deserved good old working class cappuccino ๐Ÿ™‚
I’m still asking hands up who voted this government in… echo echo… well, ok, if no-one will admit who is responsible then everyone will be punished until it’s rectified ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I love that last bit, EllaDee! It is so true. You may be right too about what is in those takeaway cups. Could well be that ‘good old working class cappuccino’! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I”m glad to see that people are standing up and taking notice, then protesting as a result. We have the same nonsense here: cuts to the people that can least afford it, smaller unions than we used to, and still, the money seems to float to the top 1%. It’s horrible.

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