Extremely Public Protests


Over the last few days I’ve been more interested in resting, doing nothing, going to work on time and getting university work in to really have any time for any real interests, so I’m just going to talk about the news, as uninteresting people are wont to do.

I didn’t watch Q&A tonight (since ironically I was in class, just across the road from the ABC), and I also don’t know much about the singer Lorde, but it seems that actions of students on Q&A protesting tonight as well as Lorde’s actions in calling out a ‘stalker’ have both been praised by some and criticised by some. On the one hand, through these drastic measures this is how these kinds of issues go viral and make it big, broadcasted to a nation of people, spread out across the interwebs. Yet on the other hand it can often hurt their cause.

In Lorde’s case, it seems it could affect whether her ‘stalker’ can be brought to justice. For me, I just considered what kind of far-reaching impact it would have if she had somehow made a mistake, and had misidentified. The poor man would be abused for no good reason — there’s no need to be rash.

In the case of Q&A however…

Protester Brigitte Garozzo tweeted that the outburst was driven by anger at Mr Pyne's proposed deregulation plans.
"Stop deregulating our universities and we wouldn't have to protest like this. YOU DONT LISTEN," she wrote.

And she would be right, no matter what we say our opinion doesn’t matter to politicians who spread much of their attentions to young families or older Australian citizens based on perceptions that they have more pull or young Australian votes have no meaning — I don’t really know. The Abbot Government is doing such damage to education, while I support their cause there’s no doubt I’m more of a couch activist, I only do this and that from the sidelines.

I wouldn’t personally have done that, and while I don’t know if these actions have necessarily damaged their cause (it really goes both ways: painting students in a bad light as well as highlighting the issue and sparking debate), it has certainly sent a clear message and created somewhat of a stunning moment for Q&A who haven’t faced an issue like this before. I applaud the students’ courage if nothing else.

At least there was no shoe throwing.

I’ll be working on May 21 — the day of the rally at UTS — but I wish them luck anyway for a better future for education in Australia.