Are Protests Effective? And if Not, Who Do We Protest To?
On Wednesday this week, about 40 protesters from a group called the Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance, or WACA, interrupted Question Time in Federal Parliament. Some of them super-glued themselves to railings to delay their removal. They shouted ‘close the camps’.
During Wednesday’s protests, Parliament was suspended while security and Australian Federal Police officers removed the protesters.
On Thursday two protesters abseiled down the front of Parliament House and unfurled a banner that read “Close the Bloody Camps now. With the hashtag #justice4refugees.”
Another thirteen protesters stood in a shallow decorative pool out the front of parliament which they had dyed red. They were holding placards protesting the treatment of refugees.
Some of the questions we ask this morning include:
- How did anyone know Question Time was interrupted? Who was watching?
- Have you ever publicly protested anything?
- This story got a lot of media coverage. Was this a really important story or was it just a slow news week or some other reason?
- What’s your personal view on detention of refugees?
- Are they legal?
- Are they democratic?
- Are they valid? Are they justifiable?
One of the protesters, Sam Castro said the demonstration was “peaceful”;”We’re here to make sure that the politicians go home knowing what’s absolutely crucial to be dealt with which is closing the camps.
However, the main focus of reports was the politicians concern about:
- Interrupting the democratic process
- Security at Parliament House
- Do you think any politicians went home knowing what’s absolutely crucial to be dealt with which is closing the camps?
- What else, if anything, do you think the protesters are trying to achieve?
- Are these types of protest effective – and if not, what would be more effective?
Access to Parliament House
There’s talk of limiting access to the top of the building which you’ve been able to walk across – Have you ever walked on Parliament house?
The design was meant to signify that the public were above the politicians and that they politicians are there to serve the people. What do you think?
Thanks to our guests on today’s show: Erin Rooney and Te Rina Taite.
You can catch The Vultures’ Nest live on 2SER 107.3 FM on Saturdays from 10.30 am or hear the shows afterwards here on the 2SER website.