Reclaim Australia: How did local radio cover, reflect and react?

On Saturday violence erupted on the streets of Melbourne with capsicum spray and plenty of arrests. Sunday, a number of regional markets were the next rally hotspots. They included Townsville, Pauline Hanson in Rockhampton, and up the road was Mackay. They were just three Queensland cities to see the Reclaim Australia Movement in action.

How did local radio cover, reflect and react?

In Mackay, Rob Kidd does breakfast for Zinc 101.9. He went along to see Federal Coalition MP George Christensen address the Mackay Reclaim Australia rally. Here’s Rob’s thoughts on what went down.

Will we ever all be able to sit down as one, put our mobiles out of site and have a friendly conversation face to face? I firmly believe we can. When though, I don’t know.

The last few weeks it’s made me wonder. It’s made me wonder as to what world my children are growing up into.

The weekend just gone has shown me what I don’t want it to be.

Rallies around the country organised by groups like Reclaim Australia had me worried, just look at what happened in Sydney and Melbourne. Purely disgraceful. As one policeman on the front barrier line put it, “Their message was lost in all of this”.

After hearing of planned rallies in Rockhampton and here in Mackay I was curious to find out what it was all about. Who are Reclaim Australia? What do they represent? Are they worried about the future of our much loved country? The answer to these questions and many more are yes. Yes they are.

I went down to this local rally as Rob Kidd the bloke who on his weekend off wanted to know more. I wanted knowledge so I could form an opinion for myself. I could hear it, feel it, and absorb it for myself and make up my own mind.

Yesterday’s gathering in Mackay went for a little over an hour. There were close to 300 people around Jubilee Park listening to various speakers express their views on what they believe is the infiltration of the Muslim extremism into our culture. These people are worried. Does that make them racist? Does that make me racist because I was there listening?

I was shocked as to some of the views held by so many people both young and old during the event both from speakers and hecklers. Does that make it right or wrong? I can’t be one to judge that.

When local MP George Christensen came up to speak the place erupted. The chants and war cries were evident who they came to see and listen to. He spoke calmly about a country that’s changing and the amount of worry there is in the local community by the radical movements.

I’ve said on air and in our online media that George won the set. By that I mean, he had them in his hands. They were there to hear him and they got what they wanted. When he spoke the majority of the crowd were happy.

Since yesterday’s rally I’ve been personally targeted on and off the air, for me just being there and providing information about the event. Those who continually tried and believe that because you have a different point of view to one subject were into me from the get-go. I understand that and have accepted that in my position.

There was a message that came out yesterday and it was loud and clear. It doesn’t matter what view you have, we live in a society here in Mackay and the north that makes it acceptable to be able to have a voice and we showed just that. It’s something I’m proud of. Sydney and Melbourne protestors can take note.

One last point I’ll mention was a part in the speeches where the organiser Mark Barrett got everyone to turn around and look at the cenotaph standing proud, a point to be remembered those who fought for what we have today. Many there yesterday believed that there is a lot worth fighting for. I believe they have a point.

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