When Does Protesting Go Too Far?

There’s been some discussion about the impact of developments at Whalers Way recently, given the approval for a rocket launch site in the area.

Some people have taken to registering their protest by writing messages on the guard rails at Whalers Way, and at a handful of other locations around Port Lincoln.

On signs, on infrastructure, anywhere it can be read really.

Which kind of defeats the purpose of protesting that a rocket launch site might result in environmental vandalism, given that these protests are vandalism themselves.

Whalers Way will host a Southern Launch site. IMAGE: Wikipedia (Jacopo Werther)

I’m not going to take sides on the rocket launch debate, because this isn’t about the rocket launch site itself.

It’s about the way in which some people can justify their own behaviour in the name of morality.

We’re never going to get 100% agreement 100% percent of the time.

If we do, then we’re either all boring, or we’ll have bigger problems.

But it’s a disturbing trend we’re seeing everywhere, when people think their position is so morally upstanding that they can justify doing almost anything to put their point of view.

What happened to debate and disagreement?

The foreshore debate in Port Lincoln has seen namecalling and legal threats, the nuclear waste management facility in Kimba has seen legal threats, and let’s not even get into the same sex marriage debate of a few years ago.

Now we have vandalism on Whalers Way.

I fully admit that I’m as opinionated as the next guy, and sometimes that will rub people up the wrong way, but what has really pleased me in most of my experiences here, unlike in my hometown, is the way there’s been discussions, debate and even self-deprecation rather than abuse and violence.

Sure beats being spat on, as I was the very first time I handed out on an election day.

Rather than damaging property that’s not yours, try some healthy debate.

Try getting involved in the process.

Try putting your money where your mouth is and running for council, or for parliament.

They say decisions are made by those who turn up, so please, turn up.

Don’t turn it up, just turn up.

Our society is a lot healthier when people treat each other, and property both public or private, with respect.