They claim it was 3000 (and one shill 4000), but the realistic estimate is around 1000 protesters actually showed up in Canberra and several hundred in Melbourne.
This was despite the protests being organised by 2GB’s impeccably credentialed Chris Smith (and every other maniac right talk-back hystericist in the country) and the very official sounding Consumer and Taxpayers Association who don’t seem to have a website or any presence in google other than this page at nocarbontaxrally.com and who’s contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org (seriously). They even chartered buses for the Canberra showing and printed a pile of handy protest placards for participants too lazy and/or uncreative enough to have their own. Another site also provided printable templates and instructions for making a Ju-Liar mask (this site also has a link to the CATA organisers – it 404s) which maybe 2 people actually made.
According to nocarbontaxrally.com, it was a roaring success –
It was an historic day when everyday Australians from all walks of life, many of them first time rally participants took their messages to the footstep’s of the Prime Minister at Parliament House.
Everyday Australians concerned by the cost of living and the Prime Ministers blatant turnaround on a carbon tax were the dominant representatives at the rally.
The rally was hailed a success by organisers and was covered extensively by the media of Australia and overseas in many cases the lead stories of the day. Stay tuned for further notices of future rallies as the people of Australia continue their campaign for no carbon tax.
How could it fail to be a success? Pauline Hanson showed up. As did the usual grab bag of isolationist conspiracists / paranoids like the Australian League of Rights, who even in the ’90s were still promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a serious historical document (and denying the holocaust to boot).
Of course they are going to talk it up – that’s what propagandists do in order to massage public opinion in the right direction. But to say it was a “success” strains credibility. This is not so much a grass roots uprising as an astroturfed construct – given the amount of noise generated about these protests and to have such a tiny turnout, then claim it is the voice of the nation, is a pretty desperate effort to manufacture the illusion of consensus out of nothing and does not seem to have impressed anyone very much.
I ruminated on the stupidity of the reaction to the carbon tax here and don’t really want to rehash all of that. Rather, I want to look at some of the images taken in Canberra and Melbourne. This montage pretty much sums it up –
Enough face palms there to cave in your face. It’s reassuring to finally be informed that CO2 isn’t poisonous. But I always new those polar bears were just whiny ass bitches that were making up sob stories for sympathy. But still, it kind of leaves you speechless…
It would be bad enough if this was home grown nonsense, but it isn’t. This is all largely imported from overseas, primarily from similarly broadminded Teabagger1 propaganda from the US – and puts paid to the idea that we are being astroturfed.
What is really surprising is the lack of images from either event – there is very little other than what is available from the major media sites. Not even the rally sites have any photo galleries. This I think is probably the most solid evidence there is that this is not a grass roots, all encompassing social revolt, but very much a manufactured event that has not fired to anywhere near the level that was expected – were it a success, Facebook would be flooded with images. It isn’t, not even in the rally related Facebook groups. There is nothing. Here then are a few of the images I have managed to glean off the web from news sources, and even these took a lot of digging –
The outlined banner in the above image that you can’t see and that I can’t find any images of is the most interesting thing from the whole day. I never did get a clear look at the whole thing for the whole message, but it was on display prominently in teevee news reports directly behind Tony Abbott as he conducted interviews at the Canberra protest for various media outlets. Roughly, it is talking about the United Nations, environmentalists, the International Monetary Fund, genocide and Agenda 21 – the 1992 UN action plan for sustainable global development.
Agenda 21 is a favourite item for New World Order conspiracists. It brings together a multitude of lunatics under one umbrella – from global socialist takeover to abolition of property rights to genocide via forced vaccination programs. Now either Abbott’s minders were too ignorant and apathetic to be aware of the maniac stealing his or her 15 minutes of glory from Abbott, or, worse, they were aware and agree Agenda 21 is more of a menace to the planet than carbon…
We will never know the answer to that. All of today’s news replays have been sanitised to remove that particular placard and it was mentioned that Mr. Abbott did find one protest sign to be disagreeable to the point that the Liberal Party took some kind of action about it. I’d die to see the Liberal Party’s meeting minutes for today and yesterday.
We will also not likely know any time soon who the actual prime movers are behind these protests. It is readily evident that the participants probably aren’t bright enough to be able to organise and direct themselves and, much like their US Teabagger cousins, are more akin to Brownshirts – much better at following than leading, and obedient enough to do what’s required of them without questioning too much. What is evident, and provable, is that amongst the protesters, actual climate scientists are going to be heavily outnumbered by holocaust deniers and those who believe the WHO wants to exterminate them with swine flu inoculations. This is what gives the truly scary edge to the violent rhetoric and imagery – the reason which in polite society constrains impulse is a truly unknown quantity amongst people already convinced the government is out to get them. This is a really unpleasant direction this country is heading in and I honestly don’t know what to expect next.
Of course the liberal hippy peacenik green left is sitting back smugly and watching all this, savouring their “we told you so” moment. Well, they need to wipe those stupid grins of their faces because really, they are hardly any better. The only reason people are paying attention to these protests is that they are coming from what is arbitrarily labeled the “right”. This says an awful lot. We are all so used to these kinds of displays from the left that we no longer notice them – the nazi imagery, the burning effigies, the hate strewn vitriol. It’s all natural and normal – except here when it’s coming from the other side.
Already, the rhetoric about the carbon tax protests on ‘tardbook is loaded with Phony Tony, Mad Monk Abbott, Cardinal “Go To Hell” Pell and similar schoolyard epithets from the left that don’t actually do anything to convince anybody of their point if view. This idiotic language and symbolism does nothing to benefit anybody – in fact it does nothing other than inch us backwards towards the savage idiocy we are trying to leave behind.
It is never excusable, no matter how noble your cause. It is time to move beyond it.
1 – In fact there is an Australian Tea Party site. Instead of Sarah Palin, they idolise Joh Bjelke Petersen and Robert Menzies. Not very organised, but every bit as incoherent. They are also actively in bed with the protest organisers.