World Environment Day – 6 June

Following similar rallies in other cities on Saturday, about 15,000 people marched in Melbourne on Sunday 6 June to mark World Environment Day and demand an end to logging in Tasmania’s old growth forests. Proceedings began at the State Library, followed by a march down Swanston Street to Federation Square – while not on the scale of last year’s huge anti-war rally, this was still one of the largest turnouts for some time, with marchers still leaving the library as the head of the march entered the square.

Many groups had obviously put a great deal of work into preparations, and there were some spectacular costumes, including a number of walking trees:

'Walking tree' - on stilts

Many organisations were represented, including opponents of the use of the poison 1080, such as the the Australian Dingo Preservation Society (a Federation Square they were offering people a chance to be photographed with a dingo- as the message on the dogs said, this may be a last chance to see one):

Group with dingoes

Animal Liberation Victoria took the opportunity to spread the word about the ‘KFC Cruelty’ campaign, with graphic pamphlets – see and

Banner of Animal Liberation Victoria

There was also a dead tree carrying the message ‘No elections on a dead planet’. It was being constantly attacked by an evil-looking creature carrying a Lib/Lab axe – the only apparent presence of the two major parties at this rally – the Greens, Democrats and the Socialist Alliance were all visible:

"No elections on a dead planet"

'Tree' has attacker on the ground

The tree fights back:

Also striking were several of these huge ‘message trees’ – people were invited to write messages on ‘leaves’ and attach them in the spaces:

Large placard of trees with messages attached

The Darebin Greens had a fine banner, and there was face-painting for all ages:

Darebin Greens banner and young couple with children - green faces

Socialist Alternative had a message too:

Banner - Clearfell Howard not forests

The march ended with a rally at Federation Square (see also pan shot below):

Part of crowd at Federation Square

ACF dog – not one to mess with:

Dog wearing Australian Conservation Foundation  t-shirt

Meanwhile, back at the Nike store in Bourke Street, these satirical rogues were inviting us to say thank you to Capitalism for promoting freedom, creative thinking and prosperity. There seems to be a bit of uncertainty about the URL of their website:

Stall of group 'Celebrate Capitalism'

Finally, here is a panoramic view of the rally in Federation Square – click on the thumbnail for a larger view, but still rather low resolution (146K):

Panoramic view of rally at Federation Square