I’m sure you have all heard of the controversial Sydney alcohol and lock out laws. No entry to venues after 1.30am, last drinks at 3am, numerous closure of businesses and an absence of nightlife in Sydney streets.
Quite obviously, people were disappointed and outraged at Mike Baird’s decision to shut down a once world wide reputable night life city. And I don’t blame them. The introduction of these laws came about just in time for my 18th and mandatory right of passage night clubbing debut. I can safely say that I’ve never been able to hop from club to club in the CBD. And this is something I feel like I should have experienced as a fresh 18 year old (I am no longer 18, and have come to the terms of Baird’s policy). I feel like this isnt a true and authentic experience of Sydney nightclubbing and bar hopping. Instead, a night out consists of “get to this venue by x time, then if it’s sh*t, be prepared to leave by 12.45am so we can still enter this other venue prior 1.30am”. I’m sorry, but in order to enjoy myself, I should not need this much advanced planning. I should be able to experience the city for what it truly was. Unfortunately, this is something I will never get to see. Oh wait, I can still enter The Star at any time in the night! That seems like a fun, thrilling and safe venue….
My rant aside, a myriad of social network platforms have been used by citizens and newly formed activists to fight Baird’s laws. The role of social media platforms has amplified affected individuals views, as well as coordinating and distributing networked protest movements.
Lets start with Twitter.
Need I say more? The official account and according hashtag fight for no lock outs, encouraging safe and vibrant late-night culture in a global city. The hashtag is a huge platform for spreading the word for future protests and shared opinions and insights.
This is three, upon hundreds and hundreds of tweets. I now have another example of an open letter from an actual victim of violence in the Sydney CBD.
“Mr Baird, you’re killing Sydney’s economy, you’re killing small business, you’re killing Sydney’s music scene, you’re killing Sydney’s reputation, you’re killing the youth’s relationship with the government and you’re killing fun”.
Powerful words, especially from some one who has experienced the violence that Baird is trying to prevent through lock out laws. Meme upon meme, post after post, and youtube video after video, angry citizens are making sure that their voices are heard.
This goes to show that extensions from virtual spaces can be made into physical reality. I’m going to wrap up this post here with a quick mention on the reaction of authorities. A review has finally be published and you can read it here.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Let me know in the comments below…