Monday, November 09, 2009

Not happy, Julia!

[Pic: Melissa and I hand over some calling cards to the chap who was manning the front desk at Julia Gillard's office thismorning.]

An estimated 350 ordinary people, predominantly mothers and babies and little children, rallied in the heat thismorning outside Julia Gillard's Werribee office.

The message was clear - SHAME on you, Julia! Australia's first female Deputy Prime Minister, and you are allowing medical dominance over childbirth to be written into the laws of this country in an unprecedented way.

A couple of young police persons were in visible attendance from an hour before the rally commenced. I had a chat with them, and gave them some information about the rally and a link to this blog, and thanked them for looking after us. We also noticed an Australian Federal Police car parked near the rally. Two large men (not in uniform) who were standing on the footpath also kept an eye on us. These two men entered Julia's office after the crowd had left.

There was no melee. By midday there were a few crying children - little ones who are not accustomed to being out in the sun, listening to their mummies talking into loud speakers. They were probably wanting some mummy time, snuggled in her lap, and suckling at her breast.

As a member of this community I am outraged that Australian parents and children and midwives should even consider gathering on a public street to voice our concerns. Yet we have been driven to that extreme by a government that is being directed by the powerful medical union, the AMA, who has proudly claimed responsibility for the latest amendment to legislation.

Julia Gillard spoke to midwives in 2005, when she was the shadow health minister, in election mode. In that speech she said:

there are “limited opportunities [for midwives] to practise as primary carers and provide continuity of care to women”
“Unless and until the Government is shocked and shamed into realising that Australian women …"
“I believe that midwives … are key heath care professionals whose role in the care of women and their babies has yet to be fully realised in the Australian health care system”

Today we have reminded Julia of what she said before the Australian people voted Labor into office.

We have heard that about 400 rallied outside Kevin Rudd's Morningside (Qld) office, and 200+ outside Tanya Plibersek’s Surry Hills (NSW) office. The WA rally will be held outside Stephen Smith's office at 11.10 am local time.
pps. Perth had about 100 people. Rachel Siewert, Danielle Senini and Sally Westbury addressed the crowd. Very polite federal police attended. Channel 7 and 10 had news crews there. West Australian and Local papers interviewed and photographed the crowd.

For more pictures, please go to the MIPP blog.

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