Locking on – the great Australian political tradition

Here is an excellent critique of the QLD Labor government’s anti-protest laws by climate activist, Andy Paine …


The first Australian political “lock-on” took place in 1908, in an auspicious location: the British House of Parliament. Muriel Matters grew up in South Australia, one of the first places in the world where women could vote. Moving to Britain and illegible to vote due to her gender, she went to parliament; where women were literally fenced off from proceedings by a metal grille. She locked herself to the grate and gave a speech on gender equality to a captive audience of politicians while police were forced to remove the grille.

It wasn’t the last
time the tactic of locking yourself to things would be used by
Australians seeking to change society. In Brisbane in 1965 some more
women famously did so – Rosalie Bognor and Merle Thornton chaining
themselves to the men-only bar at Toowong’s Regatta Hotel and
demanding the right of women to be served.

Like women’s suffrage…

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