‘March in March’ – the Melbourne Rally and March, 16 March 2014

Melbourne responded to the callout (see http://marchinmarchaustralia.org/ and the Melbourne march Facebook page) with one of the largest rallies since the 2003 protests against the war in Iraq. Figures varied widely, as usual, but we are rather inclined to the upper end of the claims, or towards 50,000. It was also one of the most varied, and in recognition of this we are posting the largest selection of images so far on this site for one event. There is also a choice of thumbnail/gallery or slideshow, the latter comprising lower resolution copies. It may be in order to post a few separately:

Part of crowd at start of rally

A very small part of the rally at the State Library

Black and red flag

The holder of this flag told us it was 45 years old – dating back to moratorium days

Placard in German - 'These crimes, your blame'

International contribution

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Rally for Marriage Equality – 17 August 2013

Head of March in Bourke Street

The ninth anniversary of John Howard’s rewriting of the Marriage Act to exclude same sex couples was marked with a rally and march in Melbourne following the pattern of previous years and ending with a marriage ceremony outside the Registry Office for those couples who wished to formalise their relationship “in an act of defiance against discrimination and to send a message to the politicians in Canberra that LGBTI people are tired of waiting for their rights” (from an Equal Love media release). It happens that both the main contenders for the seat of Melbourne in the imminent federal election have long histories of supporting equal rights – Adam Bandt of the Greens and Cath Bowtell of the ALP, and both were among the speakers, along with Margarita Windisch, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Footscray, Luke Hilakari, Campaign/Industrial officer at Trades Hall. Wurundjeri Elder Annette Xiberras delivered a Welcome to Country as well as recalling some of her own experiences – see report of the 2012 rally on this site and the associated YouTube video. There was music from Jade Leonard with support form Dolly Diamond, and Ali Hogg and Anthony Wallace shared the role of MC.
As well as The Greens, the ALP, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, Socialist Party and small representations of a few unions (ANF, ASU. NUS and possibly others we may have missed) there was a bright and vocal band of Sex Party members at the rally and in the march, and the Facebook event page has a long discussion of the fact that organisers had evidently refused a platform for Fiona Patten, Party President and Victorian Senate candidate.

[Added Sunday 18th evening - front page photo in The Age today, article on page 5]

Ali Hogg

Ali Hogg

Annette Xiberras

Annette Xiberras

Ali Hogg  and Anthony Wallace, with Auslan interpreter

Ali Hogg and Anthony Wallace, with Auslan interpreter

Luke Hilakari

Luke Hilakari

Cath Bowtell

Cath Bowtell

Jade Leonard

Jade Leonard

Jade with Dolly Diamond

Jade with Dolly Diamond

Margarita Windisch

Margarita Windisch

Adam Bandt

Adam Bandt

Another view of the head of the march

Another view of the head of the march

Outside the old Treasury Building, housing the Registry Office

Outside the old Treasury Building, housing the Registry Office

The Minister who performed the marriage ceremony

The Minister who performed the marriage ceremony

Back of jacket covered with campaign patches

The person who held the portable PA

More photos, randomly distributed:

Anti-Gillard protests at Park Hyatt in Melbourne – 28 September 2011

Protesters at main entrance to hotel

Same-sex marriage and refugee activists were the main groups protesting outside the Park Hyatt hotel in Melbourne today when Prime Minister Julia Gillard was delivering a speech to a lunch of the AsiaLink and Asia Society. The main beneficiaries of the protest speeches and chants, however, were probably the large numbers of uniformed and undercover/plainclothes police on duty: however she entered the building it is certain she avoided a face-to-face meeting with the 200 or so protesters. (See report in Sydney Morning Herald. By avoiding the protest Ms Gillard deprived herself of a present some had been planning to give her for her 50th birthday on Thursday – see image below.)
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Protester hold up a placard with a red heart - a birthday present for Julia Gillard
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The protest assembled outside the main entrance and moved back and forth between there and the side entrances. At each stop there were speakers and chants, alternating between the two main issues. In addition to speakers from Equal Love and the Refugee Action Collective the protest heard from Carl Katter, half-brother of anti-gay Independent MP Bob Katter, and Malaysian refugee activist Angeline Loh, who surprised even experienced campaigners with the revelation that the ‘protections’, such as they would be, for asylum seekers transferred to Malaysia under the swap deal would only last until the asylum seekers were assessed by UNHCR to be refugees, at which point they would become illegal immigrants under Malaysian law, and subject to the same treatment refugees experience there…
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The weather took a hand not long after Julia Gillard’s presumed arrival, and the protest wound up at about 12.45.