UPDATED: Grassroots versus AstroTurf

GetUp? Grassroots? Like hell…

On the one hand we have GetUp!, the union-bankrolled (to the tune of $1.2m from just one donation) Labor cheer-machine, a motley collection of Lefty lemmings who simply do as they’re told, and turn up whenever Simon Sheikh sends them an email or a text message instructing them to go and plug some Labor/Union/Green cause or another.

On the other we have the real grassroots, ordinary Australians, many of whom are protesting for the first time in their lives against the pointless but hugely damaging environmental posturing of the Gillard carbon tax.

First the lemmings, the ABC’s favourite climate warriors (note the uncritical tone of admiration from our national broadcaster):

Hundreds of people have rallied in Brisbane’s CBD to show their support for the Federal Government’s plan to price carbon.

Over 1,000 people packed Brisbane’s King George square to support the Federal Government’s proposed carbon tax.

Signs calling for cuts to pollution and more spending on clean energy were littered through the crowd. [because they’d all been downloaded from the GetUp! web site – Ed]

Some people rallying say the Government is not doing enough to sell its plan to tackle climate change while others say they are glad it is trying. (source)

And then there are the real Australians, who as expected, get the ABC smear treatment. Note how the ABC manages to skew the report to make them all sound like a bunch of extremists who need to be kept under tight control (smears marked “*” for reference):

The anti-carbon lobby is continuing its pressure on the Federal Government with over 1,000 people attending a protest at Blacktown in Sydney’s west.

It has been a smaller than expected* turn out for the rally opposing, where once again there was a strong focus on the Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Some controversial signs from recent rallies at Hyde Park and Federal Parliament House made an appearance*, but the rally’s co-ordinator Chris Johnson says the tone today was still angry, but much cleaner than at previous events.*

“Today we’ve asked a few people to leave* and we’ve had no trouble,” he said.

The rally at Blacktown Showgrounds is the third major protest against a price on carbon in as many weeks. (source)

Ah, gotta love the ABC, where pro-Labor bias is in its genes.

UPDATE: The Sydney Morning Herald has a fawning, sycophantic piece about the wonderful GetUp! demonstration, all uncritically reported as would be expected for the pro-Labor/Green/Union Fairfax:

Organised by activist group GetUp!, the rally featured face painting and music for children – a deliberate move to show the positive message behind climate change action, national director Simon Sheikh said. [More like indoctrination – Ed]

GetUp! did not want ”to have a louder, angrier rally but to show the difference in both our numbers and message, the difference between fear and hope“, he said.

“We can answer their angry slogans and misinformation with a positive, family friendly gathering to stand up for our vision for clean energy and preserving a safe climate for our kids.”

He cited a recent anti-climate action rally in Melbourne at which participants claimed that Australians did not want action against climate change and said that “real grassroots community action” could make a difference.

“Let history record that when they tried to engineer a dangerous and angry Tea Party-like movement in Australia, ordinary families neutralised it with a larger and peaceful positive movement.” (source)

Pass the sick bag.


  1. Baldrick says:

    Here we have 2 stories direct from the ABC. The first – a pro carbon dioxide tax rally (first time I’ve heard people rally in favour of a tax … weirdos) and the second an anti carbon dioxide tax rally. The tone of these 2 stories could not be any more different.
    On one hand we have peace loving greenies and other left-wing loonies who are portrayed as saviours of our planet in a positive light and on the other hand we have ordinary Aussies who are deniers, scum and are portrayed in a negative light.
    Where is the unbiased reporting from the ABC? I’m so happy my 10c per day is going to such non-partisan reporting.

  2. The Loaded Dog says:

    I checked out that pro tax rally at Brisbane myself.

    Took a bit of video footage of their “grass” roots movement…

  3. Clearly none of this is of concern to Juliar, the Woman who would be Prime Minister, but I wonder if anyone in the ALP who does have a brain (there must be at least one – somewhere) is concerned about the aspects of what is being played out:

    – An activist group that can mount a public “demonstration” at the drop of a hat in support of policies being pushed by the government of the day. I’m buggered if I can ever remember a demonstration in support of a government. I’ve always had the idea that this was a feature of repressive, authoritarian “governments”. Having legitimised this mob of ratbags, what will the government’s response be when they start turning out to protest against them?
    – The government is actively promoting division within the community. Having government spokesmen coming out and disparaging one group of protestors as “extremists” and “nut jobs”, while at the same time tacitly supporting the rent-a-mob crowd would be more at home in Nazi Germany than in modern-day Australia.

    It’s hard to see a happy ending to a situation where the government actively insults and criticises people who disagree with them over a major piece of “reform”.

  4. Eloi, I think you’re disparaging Nazi Germany … GetUp! would be more at home in Stalinist East Germany.

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