Our Say: Protesting is a democratic right

Animal rights activists descended on Swickers in Kingaroy on Wednesday to protest against the slaughter of animals.
Animal rights activists descended on Swickers in Kingaroy on Wednesday to protest against the slaughter of animals. Tobi Loftus

THE past week has been a week of protest around the world, and Kingaroy has had its fair share of the pie with two protests occurring.

The type of demonstrations seen in the town may have been vastly different kinds of protests, but both were out of the ordinary for the quiet country town.

On Sunday, a number of farmers opened up their properties to allow artists and photographers to take photos of their land. This was part of a long-time protest against the proposed Kingaroy Coal Mine.

Then, on Wednesday, a group of animal rights activists travelled up from Brisbane to voice their concerns around the ethics of meat production and consumption.

What these two protests had in common was they were people coming together to try and enact change.

Yes, a number of people might not agree with the message a certain group were pushing, but it is their right to push that message in a peaceful manner.

Protests start conversations, protests lead to change. They are a fundamental part of our democracy.

In the 1980s, our rights to protest what we saw as injustices were stripped away from us in Queensland and we cannot let that happen again.

No matter what you believe, whether you're against a coal mine or people eating meat, you should be allowed to peacefully protest and spread your message.

It is fundamental to a healthy democracy.

So yes, while having to navigate protesters might be slightly annoying, it is good to see the freedoms we enjoy in this great country. Freedom of speech, freedom of association. We shouldn't ever let anyone take away those freedoms again.

Topics:  democracy editorial kingaroy our say protest

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