Yesterday's protest at Hazelwood power station
was billed as a day of "community protest and non-violent mass civil disobedience," and yet despite the small numbers, what was remarkable was the ‘ordinariness’ of the crowd.
One protest with 500-odd people on a dreary day in the backblocks of Gippsland ain’t gonna change the world, but who shows up on the day says much about the evolution of the climate issue -- and environmental issues more broadly -- in the public consciousness.
It wasn’t an easily compartmentalised demographic -- though we can always rely on certain members of the commentariat to imply that the simple act of showing up somehow metamorphoses the individual into something easily nameable and easily dismissable; ‘green religionist, eco-fascist’ and other pejoratives often appended with something about coffee or white wine varieties.
But whether you’d call it depoliticisation or repoliticisation of the environment, these people are profoundly afraid of where we’re heading, and that fear, and the call for an urgent change of direction seems to be bleeding its way across the political spectrum.