PROTEST RALLY

I went up to the north end of Melbourne’s CBD to photograph some new Street Art during the week and came to a standstill outside the State Library of Victoria.  I don’t think I’ve ever tried to photograph this type of crowd scene before.  I was a little unsure how much to zoom in (or out) to capture the atmosphere.  Of course, I had to find a gap in the crowd where there weren’t too many heads in the way too.

University Students, (and other interested parties), were staging a protest against the newly released Federal Budget’s changes to higher education fees.  The Government has made this an especially difficult Budget Forecast and drawn some hard lines for Pensioners and Medical service co-payments too.  As a person with chronic and somewhat serious health problems, (two of which are genetic), I just hope the new Budget does not affect my own health care – I can’t afford it (mentally, physically or financially).

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To be honest, I was more than a little dismayed to hear that our Government is making changes which will affect those who can ill afford the cost (of extra fees).

OK, I know I am lucky in that I can go out for 2-3 afternoons  a week following my Photography hobby which I love so much, but there are also times when chronic pain keeps me at home too.  I choose not to take medically prescribed analgesics regularly these days.   I am also very fortunate in that slow walking for a few hours usually dissipates my chronic pain………… and mindful living and a relatively stress-free daily routine gives me choices in how I deal with my health.  I also have the benefit in being educated and trained in Alternative Therapies, which is a saving on some prescription meds.

But………..why don’t they, (the current Government), increase the taxes on the Wealthy to pad out the Government Coffers?  We Health Pensioners didn’t choose to get sick, and the elderly didn’t necessarily choose to be living on the Government Old Age Pension (instead of being self-funded retirees).  Many of the poorer class have worked hard all their lives and just can’t keep up with the rising cost of living, especially health care and education, let alone saving for old age (when they should be enjoying more in life).

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In Australia, current trends show the middle class is diminishing and there is an even greater gap between the Rich and the Poor.  Many more middle class people are ‘feeling the pinch’ in their living expenses and starting to fall into the Poorer class, or below the Poverty line.  The number of Homeless and People with mental illness, or stress-related health problems, is rapidly increasing.

Ok, I’ve had my little rant now.

Back to Photography.

(note the hoof guards in the background of the last photo – something I’ve never seen before.  I didn’t notice them at the time of making the photo, so didn’t change the Aperture to bring them into sharp focus.  It was just a random shot of the horse leg protectors).

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9 thoughts on “PROTEST RALLY

  1. You are not alone in the classes in Aussie land… we no longer have a middle class… you are either rich or poor… I’m in the latter but have a roof over my head and food on the table so consider myself very lucky… love the photos, well captured…

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    1. Thanks Bulldog.

      I’m ‘cash poor’ but incredibly lucky in where I live and the freedom of being single and doing mostly what I like, when I like (in retirement). Freedom to roam around and take photos has to be the most fun hobby I could possibly imagine – shame it took years to actually buy a decent camera. But then when working, I was too fatigued and in too much pain to do much outside working hours anyway. Sometimes, I couldn’t even do the 12 minute walk home from work and had to catch a taxi or cadge a lift from a work colleague. Chronic pain has certainly taught me to appreciate the simple pleasures in life. I guess recently, you’ve found the same thing. I hope you keep improving so you can do longer walks soon.

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      1. I love my hobby and like you wish I’d started with a good camera many years ago… yep I’ve never been one to suffer from sickness, I left that to my wife, but I must admit this last illness has made me appreciate my health just so much more… I still have a way to go with the lungs but I know I will get back to good health and back to my long walks…

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    1. Thanks Mark.
      I thought Australia had done well to miss the worst of the economic downturn among Western Countries, but maybe my ‘Head was in the Clouds’.

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    1. Very kind of you to say so, Steve.

      If the Government’s Budget does result in changes to my Pension and ability to pay for medical treatment and specialist bills, no doubt I will be joining future protest rallies. I certainly feel for the Uni Students though.

      There was actually a real photojournalist sitting on the old church steps opposite the State Library. His long telephoto lenses at his feet and his Apple laptop on his knees madly typing away his article (I presume).

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      1. I suppose the country needs some reigning in with spending Lisa, but I still think they should be finding fairer tax cuts than increasing the stress on the poorer class and I quite agree with the Uni students protest too. Making it harder for students to afford a degree does NOT make for a well-educated community to get jobs and forge careers. Besides, most professions require a degree, (or more), to actually apply for positions in the workforce. There are fewer ‘blue collar’ jobs around these days with the car industry (and others) relocating to China (for example).

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  2. I’ve been rather surprised lately at the stuff I’ve seen the Australian government doing. Reminds me more than a little of some of our recent presidents and the idiocy of our Congress here. :/

    Nice images, Vicki. Looks like something from a past decade instead of just this week. 🙂

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