Last Sunday (15-05-11) was the first demo of the Australian Defence League. We were standing against sharia in Australia,at Federation Square in Melbourne, because it's about time that someone did and we're also rather partial to free speech.
Over the course of the past few months, I've had people ask me why on earth I'd bother being involved with any sort of rally. "It's not time." "It's racist." "You'll look just like those EDL thugs."
And, of course, "You won't accomplish anything."
Needless to say, there are also people who think that the mere idea of speaking out against the islamification of your country is "racist", but we already knew that and were expecting some opposition.
What began as a bit of a facebook group advertising as a "Rally Against Racism And Facism" (using the acronym RAAF, which I find rather offensive to our Air Force, by the way) ended up as a fullblown socialist extravaganza with those twin pillars of democratic Western Civilisation the Socialist Alliance and their fellow travellers the Socialist Alternative shouting into megaphones at us such rhetoric as, "Muslims are welcome, racists are not!" and "F*ck off, nazi scumbags! F*ck off, nazi scum!"
Well, yesterday we had people from other groups standing with us. They were not there as representatives of those groups; just as Australians who are concerned about the imposition of sharia requirements on our country and culture.
We were a small group, too. I've heard of estimates of about 100 people, but I would hesitate to go that high. I'd say 60 max, but I need to check more photos. A quick glance here will give you a comparison, and according to the HeraldSun, 40 was more like it.
I won't argue with that (much), because it was quite fluid with some people arriving later than others, and some leaving early. When it started getting physical, then some did leave.
This is understandable when you consider that the people who came were not professional or serial protesters like the opposition.
We are just ordinary people who are tired of having to pander to a particular minority.
We don't want halal meat(pdf).
We don't want to have to hear about eid at christmas time, or all about how islam is wonderful. Tell that to the Royal Women's Hospital with its FGM unit. While FGM is not exclusively an islamic practice, the majority of women and girls who have suffered it are muslim.
We just want our Australia back.
The rally was supposed to start at 12pm, while the opposition were advising their start time as 11.30am, and it pretty much started around 11.40. There was jeering and catcalling, and the other side had more megaphones than we did, so we were pretty much shouted down.
Tolerance and rationality are not the strong suits of the socialist, anti-fascist[sic] left.
While most of our group held down the fort against all comers, I wandered around to take some photos and videos, including an aboriginal woman complaining about racism, and the obligatory old commie railing against the evils of capitalism.
What any of this had to do with sharia law is beyond me, but again... check your logic at the door before you enter.
This old Commie rattled on for about 5 minutes and managed digs at everything except the subject at hand.
They got what they wanted.
They surrounded us. They abused us.
They were starting to get rough and aggressive when Martin called time.
(photo from here*.)
Martin Brennan did an excellent job leading our small group, and he held the line against the pushing and shoving from the socialists, unionists (your dues at work) and uni students.
The enemies of freedom can tell the world that they won, and that's fine.
It doesn't mean that they did.
It just means that they beat up on a bunch of ordinary Australians who were exercising their legislated freedom to say, "We don't want sharia in Australia".