In another example of Western governments unable to comprehend why their populations are dead set on destroying themselves in a wave of hedonism or violence, and instead of attempting to understand the motivations behind this they instead restrict them every way possible with an ever increasing amount of legislation. In its infinite wisdom the Victorian state government has decided to follow Queensland and introduce a 2am lockout in the CBD in an effort to curb late night violence.

Melbourne is currently a busy and thriving late night location and a large contingent of inner city venue owners and promoters organised a large-scale campaign and protest to attempt to counter the new measures. Measures that the Police, who have to handle these aggressive drunks, are against, and measures that will push drinkers into the inner suburbs that will not be able to cope with the increase in numbers.

The peak attendance looked around 2000 as we moved from a party in the park towards the steps of Parliament, an encouraging number but a shame that proper protests do not attract these numbers, only when peoples drinking time is threatened. It was a ramshackle crowd comprising old school hardcore protesters, crustiest, punks, indie kids, fashionistas and even a fair smattering of 'normal people'. Banners were a curious affair; the 'official' placards constituted a minority amongst the home made efforts with pastiches to infamous Rock logos, neon signs and the intriguingly contradictory 'More Police, less Policy' and 'Victoria is becoming a police State'. After the obligatory speakers with mounted Police overseeing the growing throng blocking one of the busiest traffic corners in Melbourne's CBD (A refreshing situation and one I embraced) the mass returned to party mode and re-established themselves back at the park for 'celebrations' that continued for who knows how long.

As an interesting footnote, a few days later it was announce that after court proceedings around 100 venues in Melbourne's affected areas had been exempted from the lockout, initially many celebrated, but take a look beneath the surface of the news and it seems that most of the exempted venues are strip clubs and tab / Pokier (gambling) venues, the very places that cause a lot of the violence in the first place, and of course the infamous Crown Casino has been exempted as always, despite being infamous for it's high ambulance call out rate.

So lets get some discussion started, why do think people have this obsession to beat each other? What can be done about it? Do these measures help at all? What could help?

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