With the High Court-approved postal vote to gauge public support for legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia set to go ahead next Tuesday on September 12th (people will have until November 7th to return it), now is probably as good a time as any to take a look at some of the more creative public protests that have led to laws being amended and decisions being overturned.
Back in May, American ice-cream chain Ben and Jerry’s, who operate 26 stores in Australia, instituted a rule that banned customers from ordering two scoops of the same flavour ice-cream as a form of protest against the government’s refusal to recognise the legality of same-sex marriages.
In 2012 the company renamed one of its flavours “Apple-y Ever After” and put two grooms on its packaging. Then in 2015 when the US Supreme Court ruled gay marriage constitutional, Ben & Jerry’s renamed a flavour “I Dough, I Dough”.
Regrettably, a great many public protests succeed in nothing more than letting everyone know, usually via a static-ky megaphone, how angry a certain group of people are about a particular issue. Mismanaged, violent protests don’t really capture the hearts and minds of people but more often than not simply leave those protesting looking like a bunch of single-cause, self-centred extremists who don’t have to turn up to work the next day. But throw in a pinch of creativity and a few peaceful gestures that haven’t been seen before, and the chance to connect with people on a far more meaningful level and really spotlight an issue suddenly becomes a real possibility.
As the pictures below prove, Ben and Jerry’s aren’t the only ones capable of blue-sky thinking (as opposed to ‘in the box’ thinking) when it comes to putting their point across in the name of attention-grabbing social activism.
As I’m quite certain you’ll agree, living in a democracy is rarely dull. Indeed it often comes with solid gold entertaining moments as a bonus.
PPs. And just lastly from the newsdesk… that celebrated idea thunderdome they call The Brisbane Writer’s Festival (now in it’s 55th year) continues until this Sunday.