What are you going to do about it?

I’m not a fan of the conservative approach.

Last night’s election bought in a huge change in Queensland. Change, now that’s not a bad thing.

I hope that a few things can improve in Queensland. My nursing friend who is owed a large sum of money by Queensland Health, I’d love for her to be paid properly. I’d love for public transport to be cheaper. I love for mining magnates to have less input to our democracy.

But, overall, I have few real gripes with the state of my state.

I believe in change and after 14 years of Labor, I’ll try to give it a fair go.

I’m wary, however due to the dramatic power shift. And, I’m not a fan of conservative regimes.

So as this political change is unfolding, I have a proposition. I reckon we could all become a little bit more involved. Paint some signs and honk some horns. Stop showering, if you like.

There were some little protests in the city last week. Some were anti-gay-marriage, the other side were out to defend gay rights.

The important thing is that they were telling people what they wanted.

A good mate of mine who suggested she was late for dinner, because “she was out fighting for gay rights,” had a face flushed with excitement. Not only had she stood up for what she’d believed in, she’d had a great adventure.

I believe hitting the streets, writing letters, signing petitions and chaining yourself random objects is a great way to get your point across. Plus protests can be great fun.

Sure, it requires a break in your routine from work, home and socialising, but maybe it’s time we took a greater interest.

I did not meet anyone during the recent election campaign that felt engaged by the nature of the debate.

Most were dismayed by the spin and the bullshit both leaders were rubbishing our ears with.

I was pissed that Campbell Newman refused to shake the hand of his opponent, Kate Jones, after a debate. But non-gentlemanly habits aside, what is this dude going to do for health and the environment. Is he going to stand up to the mining bully, Clive Palmer? Is he going to improve the environmental score? I doubt it.

For me, the answer now lies in activism. It is time for me to get up off my beige couches (that actually won’t be difficult as they have already been sold and will go soon anyway) and start participating in this democracy.

If there is something I do not like, maybe I will join in some sort of rally, instead of blundering along wondering about my place as a middle-class yuppie. Chatting about issues at dinner parties doesn’t cut it, really.

I remember protests were ubiquitous in South America. Everywhere I went there were people camping out asking for one thing or another. And they were fighting for the money to feed their children. They were fighting for human rights.

They got to camp on the street too. It looked like an almighty adventure.

As a kid, one of my father’s colleagues was a greenie who would tell me about his exploits breaking into government buildings and chaining himself to trees. He had some interesting battles and won a few, I believe.

I was there wide-eyed with my ponytail thinking it sounded like great fun.

Yesterday another guy was telling me about his brother who was an active protester in the UK. The last one he did was against an oil company and involved a few babes rubbing oil into his bare chest.

That sounds like my kind of protest.

I understand, as women, we have less incentive to burn the bra. Things ain’t so bad. But there is stuff to fight for. Watch the news, or, better still, search out the news and get informed.

Believe in causes at home and beyond your backyard. Fight for them.

For me, it’s about taking that leap off the fence. My mother is a great inspiration here. She wrote a few heated letters to the French Prime Minister in her teen years. She was pissed off about the French dropping nukes in the Pacific and tried to stop it. She is also a redhead and quite fiery by nature.

We know that shit like nuclear testing is wrong. She did something. Bravo.

I’m not suggesting we all need to buy new stationary or go a month without a shower.

But it’s not hard to speak up and show the folk in power what you believe about.

Do you think Kevin Rudd would have said sorry to the indigenous people of Australia if there hadn’t been some almighty protests? If a stack of people had not stood up for what they wanted? Unlikely.

And there is whole lot more that needs fighting for in indigenous affairs and elsewhere in Australia.

So, Campbell Newman, good luck. I hope you do some good for Queensland. I’ll let you know how you’re going. Maybe you’ll see my placard.

And to everyone else, there is a great adventure to be had trying to keep the bastards honest.

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