Floating my boat…

I was part of history today.

Not just me either, but 1000 shore-based protesters and more than a thousand sea-based individuals and at least 300+ vessels – protesting against fish farms in shallow coastal waters and against Tassal’s plan to farm our beautiful east coast.

This was a protest against big business.

It was a protest against government –local, state and federal.

It was a protest against being treated like fools.

It was a protest for the right to be heard.

People power today showed what an impotent and self-serving set of state politicians we have.

I was thrilled to add my voice to the crowds.

Our whole family became part of history of today. Our daughter worked on the on-land sale table for Marine Protection Tasmania where people were donating, signing petitions, buying merchandise asking to order our huge flags and telling her to keep any change for MPT. Our son skippered our boat. My husband started a list of searching questions for Rebecca White (Leader of the Opposition) whom he and I will meet this week. My brother took masses of news footage.

And me? I just sat in the boat absorbing the atmosphere and trying to put all I was seeing into words in my head.

But it’s impossible. What does one say?

That as we launched our boat at one of the public launch ramps, and car after car began to pull up with boats to launch, we began to feel something unique happening?

That as we crossed the river, to see boats converging from points north, south, east and west into a flotilla that sounded like the Dunkirk scene in “Mrs. Miniver” a lump formed in my throat?

That to see cruising yachts, kayaks, jetskis and the most perfect wooden skiffs joining us made me realise how far-reaching the love of the east coast is?

That when I saw every man and his sea-going dog out there – Westies, Malamutes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Staffies, Border Collies, I smiled? (There’s a lot of old seadogs out there and their owners are all voters!)

That the smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country by our indigenous people was immensely moving?

That the kayakers who drummed their hands on the sides of their craft to make a point sent shivers down my spine?

That the airhorns blown by every craft in the protest was like a Call to Arms?

That Nobby Clark’s speech on behalf of all of us was probably the best speech I have heard?

I look forward to seeing what shape the media mould this into. I look forward to seeing what the politicians have to say – although I think we know. ‘Don’t care’ springs to mind.

More than anything I look forward to where this goes next because those who support MPT know this is just the tip of a very big iceberg. There is a whole electoral swing to engineer here. Governments have to understand that people vote and when they protest like they have done today, they are actually beginning the mental shift of their choices on the ballot sheet, looking where NOT to vote.

Like I say – I was part of history today and I loved every soul-stirring minute of it!