COMMENT

Lisa Intemann | Looking for a better world? Don't riot in the streets, vote.

CALLS FOR CHANGE: Crowds protest George Floyd death at a march in Washington DC. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK
CALLS FOR CHANGE: Crowds protest George Floyd death at a march in Washington DC. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK

During the lockdown I've tried to keep up with global progress against the virus.

Since America exploded in viral infections and deaths I've gleaned some reliable US commentators on both sides, and this week they've helped me try to make sense of the horrific descent of urban USA into outrage.

For a summary of the history and situation, try Anderson Cooper's "He's a wannabe wartime president" on YouTube.

From watching numerous interviews with President Trump, governors, mayors and other leaders, they clearly fall into two camps - hope moving forward and incitement to violence.

Very unfortunately the president - by his own words - falls into the latter group by mouthing platitudes then defending the use of arms and calling on police to indiscriminately "dominate" the situation with force.

We are not America, but the lessons are the same here.

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Our Australian constitutions, both federal and state, declare the purpose of our parliaments to be "peace, order and good government", so remember when you vote. Peace and leadership are often the opposite to law and order, suggesting force.

Nothing sane follows from the military charging non-violent gatherings, like we've seen. Justice should be discerning between innocents and lawlessness.

Some US police chiefs are being leaders, going out into protest crowds to express their abhorrence of police over-reach, and ministering their powers accordingly. Theirs are the lucky communities in America.

As a councillor I empathise with America, but also ask myself what I would do in such a situation.

I see great effect in how Barack Obama dealt in his time with the Baltimore riots - by actively listening to all sides to jointly decide a path forward. New laws followed from that, but the culture has not kept up.

It behoves us all to do our bit for a better tomorrow. Take responsibility. Don't be a bigot. Help your neighbour in need. Get informed and vote. It's what mature societies do.

Not perfect, but informed voting is your contribution to hopefully a better world.

Cr Intemann's opinions are not necessarily council's.

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This story Looking for a better world? Don't riot in the streets, vote first appeared on Port Macquarie News.