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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Carbon Tax Protesters March 2011

The government and Bob Brown are demanding an apology from Tony Abbott for appearing to endorse derogatory placards in the crowd yesterday at the 'no carbon tax' rally outside Parliament House. Tony Abbott said he was sorry for any abusive behaviour that was hurled at the Prime Minister and said that some people went over the top with signs that read "Ditch the Witch" and "Bob Brown's Bitch". He will be meeting the Prime Minister later today to discuss another intervention proposal in NT indigenous communities but he didn't say whether he would be making an apology.

Climate change spokesman Greg Hunt told ABC Radio "The ALP website right now is comparing Tony Abbott with a Nazi war criminal." Sophie Mirabella said the rally was an expression of people power. "The reason so many were angry was that they felt they had been lied to," she said. "They are not going to be shut up by the glib spin of the Prime Minister and Mr Combet."

Remember when Belinda Neal said those infamous words "Don't you know who I am?" The woman who took her place at the election last year - backbencher Ms Deb O'Neill, was also at the rally. Christopher Pyne got kicked out of the chamber at question time when he said "Would it be more relevant for the minister to point out that the member for Robertson was at the rally greeting busloads of people from her electorate and encouraging them to take part?"

So what was she thinking? Ms O'Neill said "Even though I disagree with today's protest, I wanted central coast residents who have taken the trouble to come down and express their views to know that I value their contribution to our democracy" and added "To paraphrase the French writer Voltaire, I may disagree with every word they say, but I will defend to the death their right to say it." Mmmmmm.

Deb O'Neill

Some members of the government have tried to belittle the people in the demonstration as being yobbos but it was plain to see that most of the crowd were quiet, orderly people, many experiencing their first ever protest meeting.

And at the end of the day they did what they set out to do - they came to tell the Prime Minister that they don't want a carbon tax and that she doesn't have a mandate to introduce one.