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Reclaiming Ignorance

Reclaim Australia Rally
Solidarity Park, West Perth

Arriving on the scene after a rushed brunch and a woeful lack of sleep, we were met by an atmosphere crackling with menace and cigarette smoke with Australian flags draped over portly bodies and mobility scooters drifting to and fro on the footpath.

The speakers took turns reciting the worst stories they could find from the Middle-East and elsewhere, occasionally stopping to whip the crowd up with a chant or two. Freedom and equality featured strongly as broad concepts alongside such ideas as the death penalty.

It was a cacophony of contradictory gibberish aimed at the ears of fearful simpletons and if this was the intention, it was a resounding success.It would have been terrifying if it weren’t so clearly a case of preaching to the converted, and if any of the speakers had any mainstream appeal or charisma.

I’ll stop at that account of the ‘Right’ side of things because I struggle to recount any salient points made by them and (as I overheard a network TV producer say to his team), we don’t want to give them any more airtime.

  Sanctimony Rising

At the bottom of the hill was a much smaller contingent of counter-ralliers representing the ‘Left’. Despite their relatively diminutive numbers they did a good job of maintaining an audible presence. Their chants were irritating to the Reclaim Australia crowd and drew many a forced laugh and demonstration of the bird.

The efficacy of the counter-rally is still uncertain to me. I got the impression that each side’s members were in possession of equal conviction, rendering the entire exercise rather impotent.

A notable mention must go to the Police who were present. They maintained a very effective presence and allowed no mixing of the two groups whatsoever, even despite the crafty/clumsy efforts of an RA member attempting to breach the ranks of the counter-rally under cover of an Aboriginal flag.

Below is a demonstration of the absurdity of ignorance.

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Ivan Van Giels floats around, sometimes designing, sometimes taking photographs, always looking for love.

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