With a crowd of up to eight thousand answering the call from GetUp for a counter-protest to match the ‘people’s revolt’ advocated by climate deniers led by Tony Abbott* and backed by assorted right-wing radio shock-jocks, there was no real contest: estimates of the turnout at Julia Gillard’s electorate office in Werribee ranged from two to four hundred …
The response in Melbourne apparently went beyond the organisers’ expectations, and the sound system hardly reached to the middle, let alone the back of the crowd.The speakers, for those who could hear them, were Dave Sweeney of the Australian Conservation Foundation, who was also MC, Ged Kearney, President of the ACTU, Lucy Manne of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and Simon Sheikh, National Director of the GetUp team. Music was provided by Skylines.
The crowd ranged from almost newborn to elderly, drawn from a range of groups and organisations as well as concerned individuals, many of whom brought their own placards and props; there were also plenty to borrow for the occasion.
The photos mostly speak for themselves. There is a brief report on Melbourne Indymedia, even briefer ones on ACF online and the AYCC Facebook page, and the Sydney Morning Herald carried a report on the day. Worth a look also is the ACTU position on jobs and climate change – – which gives the gist of Ged Kearney’s speech at the rally.
Here is the callout from GetUp:
Right wing shock jock Chris Smith said last week on MTR radio: “I’ll do my best on a daily basis to spread the word”. We don’t have a radio network to promote our rally, but GetUp members have proved before that, when it counts, we’re willing to publicly show how much we care about clean energy & climate action.
Click here to RSVP
I was in Canberra last week and almost every politician and journalist I met with talked to me about the anti-climate action rallies. They’re spooked. I assured them that the campaign for climate action was just as strong — and now, we need to demonstrate this.
That’s why it’s so important we join together for a few hours this Saturday March 12 — not to have a louder, angrier rally, but to show the difference in both size and tone. While they’re shouting their angry slogans and misinformation, on the other side of Melbourne we’ll hold a positive, family-friendly gathering to stand up for our vision for clean energy and preserving a safe climate for our kids.
With your help, we’ll prove there are more of us than there are of them and in doing so we’ll make a powerful statement.
See you this Saturday.
for the GetUp team
Simon Sheikh of GetUp
To which Environment Victoria added:
Right now, Australia’s climate deniers, right-wing shock jocks and big polluters are jumping on board the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s scare campaign against a price on carbon.
They’re trying to stop action on climate change by frightening people with misinformation and scaremongering. And they’re planning anti-carbon tax rallies across the country – starting this weekend – to frighten our politicians into further delay.
We can’t allow them to get away with this unchallenged. It’s time for us to draw a line in the sand, and show our politicians and the general public just how strong support really is for climate action, clean energy and a price on pollution.
If ever there was a time to take a stand, it’s now.
Join us this Saturday along with supporters including GetUp, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition to send a message loud and clear that Australians want climate action and a strong price on pollution now.
*Several Tony Abbott clones in budgie smugglers invaded the rally at one point – see photos below
Dave Sweeney of the ACF
Ged Kearney of the ACTU
Lucy Manne of AYCC
Because of the location it was hard to capture an image of the whole rally at once, so here are several shots that taken together may give an idea:
The rally spilled over on to the adjoining park:
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