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Get Up!

GetUp is “an independent political movement to build a progressive Australia”.

Its members (and friends) want action on serious issues. If you want to talk about real Australian Values, this is where they are. A Fair Go, an independent spirit, a willingness to take action when it is needed, the courage to stand up for what you believe. That’s Australian.

At the same time the Howard Government’s values seem to be “wait and see”. “Wait and see” whether global warming is real (it is); “wait and see” whether David Hicks will get a fair trial (he can’t and won’t); “wait and see” whether there are WMD in Iraq (there aren’t); wait and see whether the new IR laws are unfair and unAustralian (they are); Wait and See. Wait and see whether the river current will wash us over the waterfall. (Unfortunatley it is too late to start paddling when you’re about to go over.)

So GetUp is a breath of fresh air in the political climate in Australia. It is the first really serious news that conservative, traditional politicians of all parties have had that the internet has changed the way pollitics is done. Now your single voice can make a difference, even between elections.

Politicians used to be “relaxed and comfortable” that they owned and controlled the power which the electors handed over to them. They would make their secret deals for secret reasons for their secret mates in secret rooms behind locked doors, safe in the knowledge that there was nothing the voters could do about it.

Until now.

Now people are taking responsibility for their own power and expressing it and taking it away from the representatives who are paid to represent them; telling the “representatives” what to represent. Or else, really.

Today politicians are increasingly confused by and afraid of this new wave of people power. And that is a good thing.

Here are some of the things GetUp is acting on:

Bring David Hicks home

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has repeatedly refused to meet with GetUp to receive your 50,000-strong PETITION calling for David Hicks to be brought home. Since he won’t meet with us, we’ve decided to take your message directly to him.

We are reserving strategic, highly prominent billboards where Alexander Downer, Philip Ruddock and John Howard can’t ignore you - on the roads between where they live and work.

What you can do:
Sign the petition
Read Major Mori’s blog
Donate to the cause.

And on Iraq:

As the months and years tick by, the Iraq war looks more like a never-ending nightmare. A high profile recent report in the reputable medical journal THE LANCET estimates more than 654,965 Iraqis have died as a result of this war; millions are refugees. Experts warn civil war could soon pass the point of no return, while last month was one of the deadliest for Coalition troops since the war began.

Australians need an honest conversation from our Government, so we can find an honourable path forward - and home. The American people have finally forced the Bush administration to face its failure in Iraq: George Bush’s Republican Party has lost control of the US Congress, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has resigned

What can you do?
Sign the petition to the government calling for a new plan and a clear exit strategy from Iraq.

Action on global warming
(please let’s not call it “climate change”; let’s call it what it is) is urgent.

Three frogs are in a pot of water on the stove and the water is getting gradually hotter and hotter. One frog turns to the others and says,

‘We have to get the fuck out of here. The water’s getting hotter and if we don’t do something we’re going to boil to death!’

Frog two thinks for a moment and says,

‘You know, I do seem to be feeling that I’m experiencing ‘water environment change’.

Frog three turns to the other two and says,

‘Oh, that’s all right. I don’t mind a change now and then. A change is as good as a holiday, you know.’

And the trouble is, they all three have to get out or none of them survive

So let’s call it what it is. It’s about to get frog-boilingly hot and if we don’t all act together, we’re all going to die together.

Here’s what GetUp are saying (and doing):

…over the coming months GetUp will unveil a series of exciting actions designed to hold politicians accountable and turn the pressure up on Government to act. …learn the five steps experts agree we must take to tackle this problem, and JOIN THE CONVERSATION on what actions we want our politicians committing to for their next term in Parliament.

Australia emits the most planet-changing carbon dioxide per capita of any industrialised country in the world, but our Federal Government has its head too far down a coalmine to sign the Kyoto Protocol, price carbon appropriately or encourage genuine large-scale investment in renewable energy.

What can you do? Sign up to GetUp or make a donation.

There are many more. Children in detention, Guantanamo Bay, women’s issues, AWB, media monopolies.

And this one:

Rock carving, Burrup []

Imagine a cultural icon six times older than the Pyramids, eight times older than Stonehenge. Imagine probably the earliest surviving rock carvings on this planet. Most Australians have never even heard of these rock carvings on the Burrup Peninsula, and have no idea this silent world treasure is at risk of being needlessly pulled apart and destroyed from blind industrial development.

Yes folks, the Western Australian State Government and Woodside wanted to put a natural gas facility right in the middle of this amazing heritage site! As a result of GetUp’s action they’ve just agreed to drop their opposition to heritage listing of the site, which is meant to protect it, but now Woodside wants to be allowed to go ahead and put its industrial facility in themiddle of this extraordinary site anyway!

They must be stopped.

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