Imaginif prompts for daily writers.
If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the below photo (changes daily) as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and your link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Stories below are copyright and are Megan Bayliss' writing around the below daily picture prompt.

Civic Leader Threatens Vigilante Action

Cairns Mayor, Kevin Byrne has threatened to lead a vigilante group and “call to arms” if violence on the streets of Cairns is not dealt with by the Government. Minister for Communities, Warren Pitt, clearly sees violence as a “whole-of-community issue”, not just the responsibility of government. Police call for sense and ask people not to take matters into their own hands because charges of assault will await them. Read the full story in The Weekend Post, January 13, 2007.

Whose responsibility is street violence? My consistent view supports Minister Pitt’s belief. Addressing violence and repeat juvenile crime is the responsibility of all of us. Early intervention, communities of family focus, skill based activities for young people and alternatives of leadership are things we can all act toward if we are serious about making a safe community.

Violence does not beget violence. Sexually abused children do not all grow up to become sexual predators. Many make choices to not enact their own traumas. Physically abused children do not all grow up to be domestic violence perpetrators or street thugs. They make choices to not subject others to the way they were abused as children. But, frustration, poverty, disempowerment and fear do act as contagions of violence. These are the issues that whole of community can work on.

Cairns City Council states that Cairns is the “safest tropical destination in the world. Really? The Far Northern Police region reports the highest rate of sexual offences in Queensland and Cairns is oft reported in local media as a violent and unsafe city. Mayor Byrne's call to action confuses me. He advertises Cairns as the “safest tropical destination in the world" and encourages community engagement as a two way street, yet he calls for citizen vigilante action. Is he perhaps suffering the contagions of violence?

Can Cairns can violence? Yes, if we all pull together. I’ve had enough too. I want tougher sentences for repeat offenders. I want to live here and I want our children to be safe. However, I will not support Mayor Byrne in his threat of violent vigilante action. Safety is a community responsibility and violence is hardly responsible or a sign of evolved problem solving.

Thumbs down to both the thugs who terrorise and to our civic leader for encouraging further violence. I’m still deciding if I’ll rename our esteemed civic leader as Mayor Burn or Knight Mare. Which do you prefer and why?

3 Response to "Civic Leader Threatens Vigilante Action"

Sue Bayliss said...

Megan. I believe your article is written with heartfelt emotion driven by deeply rooted family values and community focused concern. Just as your dear departed Dad has always been proud of your personal sense of values, I too agree most strongly with your sentiments and I support you strongly both with this article and also with the preceding article. Too often, I hear people expressing opinions between family and friends in the comfort and security of our homes or within small group gatherings. To speak out about the issues you care about is a wonderful thing to do for your family, your community and those in far away places. God bless and keep on keeping on. Much love. Mum, and Dad too!

daibhidh said...

Dear Megan,

Your honesty, insight & pragmatic vision is more vital than most of us realise...

I'm a bloke with 15 years experience in mediating violence & strife in Alice Springs town camps & out stations. I'm fluent in Arrernte, semi fluent in Pitjantjatjara & several other related tongues...

Despite violent confrontations between large family/intertribal groups over the years, we have never resorted to "vigilante" activity.

Megan, bless you for your strength of character, stength of conviction & standing by that which you believe in...

I'm moving to Cairns in about 4-5 weeks, because I believe in a better life than that I've had in the ghettos of central Australia.

Because I believe in fighting for Human Rights where the need is greatest...


Megan Bayliss said...

David thank you for your supportive comment. Fifteen years in the Alice must have been a hard slog and I hope that you find Cairns less taxing.

It is scarey talking my opinion. I receive my fair share of criticism, some deserved, some not. I recieve so few comments on blogs thought that I'm never sure that my child protection passion is even being heard or if others give a damn.

Thank you for caring David. Working with deficits all the time tends to make workers thought deficit too. Encouragement and positive support is so rarely seen in our industry that it is lovely to know there is another person out there also still passionate their work.

When you get here, if you're looking to make contact with others in the fight for child protection and ending violence, I can put you in contact with several organisiations and key people.

Take care and stay safe.

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