l was there also that day, one of the most meaningful days of my entire education. l ended up meeting a grandmother who was there with a toddler in a big pram. We talked the entire way from parliament house to Swanston St. and l pushed the pram. At the time l was one of those who were meant to register for the draft and be sent to Vietnam. Result? l never registered for the draft and became a draft resistor. l have since been to Vietnam seven times, it is a wonderful country and l love going there, for a time l even considered moving and settling there. That day was the beginning of my own journey towards becoming a political animal.
Fast forward to the early 90’s when there was a protest in the city against tertiary education loans. The school l was teaching at during that time was very progressive and when students informed the school they wanted to attend the protest we supported them and l drove the school bus to take them. Result? Some protesters got in a scuffle with the police and got arrested. The protest quickly disintegrated, as some attacked the police vehicles and damaged them. The mood quickly turned ugly and we got our students out of the way, and then got them out of there. The protest as an issue died with the vandalism, as the media quickly turned it into a law and order issue, and portrayed the protest as a violent one.
People over the age of 18, have the right to vote and also the right to protest, many of them are students. People under that age although they can’t vote, also have the right to protest. Missed lessons can be made up, the chance to express your beliefs in an organized manner doesn’t come around often. People protest against things they believe strongly in, otherwise they stay at home.,