Thousands of Australians protest Government policies as Abbott vows more cuts

Intro

More than 100,000 people turned out at more than 30 cities and towns across Australia at the weekend to protest the Abbott Government, and its environmental record – specifically on climate change, CSG and mining – was one of the key issues at the centre of the protests. The final march, today in Canberra, delivered a Statement of Purpose to Parliament.  More than 110,000 people marched in more than 30 towns across the country, with one of the largest turnouts being in Melbourne.  As the 1500 marchers rallied outside Parliament, Prime Minister Tony Abbott was inside announcing the beginning of his “red tape” cuts for business, claiming he would save $350m with the programme.

Tweet

MT @shalailah: Protesters upset about a lot of PM’s policies, incl #climate change, asylum seekers etc #MarchInMarch http://t.co/j9kGahyNga

 

Actions

  • Share your photos from MarchInMarch on The Guardian Australia website
  • Hashtags in use: #MarchInMarch

Key Points

  • More than 110,000 MarchInMarch protests were organised at 33 towns and cities across Australia on Saturday, culminating in a 1500-strong rally at Parliament in Canberra today.  While climate change was a strong focus for many of the marches, and many banners, the protests were noted for drawing people who were on their first-ever protest, coming from all walks of life, and protesting the Abbott Government on anti-gay laws, asylum laws, human rights issues, cuts to education and health,  as well as anti mining, CSG, climate denial and the dismantling of the climate legislation. A central theme to MarchInMarch is that it hasn’t been organised by any political party or group, instead being described by the organisers – and media – as a genuine grassroots movement.

 

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Key quotes

  • “People are protesting more issues than I could mention in one breath. There’s the issue of our forests in Tasmania, the damage to the environment, the dumping of material in the Great Barrier Reef, social justice issues, the attacks on wages and entitlements. There are many things that have got people upset and we just feel that the politicians aren’t listening to the people and that’s why we’re all here today. To send a message to this government that they’re not governing for the people but instead for vested interest and to tell them that we’re not happy about it.” Canberra march organiser Loz Lawrie.
  • “This document asserts that many decisions made within this Government’s term in office have already resulted in, and will continue to result in, great damage to Australia’s economy, to our social structure, to the deterioration of our country’s international public image and to further devastation of our natural environment and our Heritage listed sites.  The people protest at a great number of policies and decisions being implemented by the Liberal National Party Coalition Government which are in denial of the best interests and image of our nation and an affront to the common good.”  extract from the March in March “Statement of Purpose” document.
  • “In her pugnacious attack on the recipients of state welfare, mining heiress Gina Rinehart has outed herself as the villain of this piece of twitter-friendly agit prop. Not content with being the richest individual in Australia, she seeks to create division between her fellow citizens and the most vulnerable in society whom she accuses as having an “entitlement mentality” towards government welfare. Never mind that, like most super-rich entrepreneurs, she feels entitled to subsidies and infrastructure investment funded by the Australia tax-payer to prop up her business empire. She demands that the government put out a “welcome mat” to big corporations, cutting business taxes, dumping regulations and removing the need to gain approval for projects. With an agenda like that, there is no surprise that the medicine that Rinehart prescribes for Australia is “a healthy dose of Thatcherism.” Billy Bragg on Gina Rinehart (in The Guardian)
  • “I support the March in March movement because it is not about one issue but many and because it is about politics, not a single political party. Different issues spark our individual dismay and focus our anger. For some it is violence against women or the treatment of single parents forced into greater poverty and stressful lives by both our major parties, for others it may be the turning back of action on climate change, the shockingly brutal treatment of asylum seekers or the undermining of a quality education for everyone.” Journalist Wendy Bacon in New Matilda
  • “What is it? It’s what looks like an authentic public reaction to the Abbott government’s way of running Australia – which means it’s not only about asylum seekers; or climate change; or education funding; or union bashing; or attacks on universal healthcare coverage.” Canberra Times Columnist Jenna Price.
  • “My understanding is that the only big rally in Sydney is the St Patrick’s Day parade. That is the big event in Sydney today. I wish all of them well. If their parade is rained on, there is always some Guinness available around the city.” Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Related Tree Alerts

 More tweets

  • RT @Jansant: Farmers for climate change awareness #Marchinmarch #Canberra #NoFibsMIM http://t.co/y3xDpShpTW
  • RT @torin: Climate change a big issue in Canberra. #MarchInMarch http://t.co/cAkYNymqIs
  • MT @veganblue: #MarchInMarch I love the sentiments – compassion, more science, more action on #climate change, envy & http://t.co/hkUSyPWwob
  • RT @lenoretaylor: In defence of (some) red tape and in favour of cutting silly PR campaigns http://t.co/unONWWWVNk via @guardian
  • RT @bencubby: Why I supported #MarchinMarch, by @Wendy_Bacon http://t.co/lY523S1o1m