‘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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NOT IN OUR NAME – Rally for Refugee Rights – 2 August 2013

At the 5000-strong rally last Saturday it was decided to hold another protest within a week, and on Friday 2 August somewhere between 1500 and 2000 marched through the streets of Melbourne from Flinders Street station to the old City Square. And this in spite of miserable weather. The rally was organised by Socialist Alternative and RAAF (Renegade Activists Action Force), and supported and endorsed by a long list of organisations and individuals (see the Facebook event page). The opening rally was addressed by musician and activist Ezekiel Ox, Liz Walsh of the Refugee Action Collective, Hazara refugee Mohammad Ali Bagiri, Lea Rumwaropen of the West Papuan community, with contributions from Abe Ape and Muma Doesa, with Newdub Citysound and Trevor Grant of the Tamil Refugee Council winding up at the end of the march. MC overall was Jacob Grech of RAAF. With a starting time of 5.30pm and still some way to go to Spring the light was not too good, and naturally deteriorated as the march progressed, so that the footage of the final stages is rather on the grainy side, but hopefully gives some idea of the mood and size of the event:

Another rally is planned for the same time next Friday, 9 August, with a major event coming up on Saturday 24 August. Details will appear on the Rac-Vic website and Facebook page.

In addition to the footage posted here, which focuses chiefly on the march, there is excellent coverage biased towards the speakers posted on YouTube on the LeftAndcorrect channel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeacJGdk8v4

The following mainstream media report may be of interest also: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/refugee-rally-disrupts-five-tram-services-in-city/story-fni0fit3-1226690421302

Footnote to Occupy Melbourne Day 7 – Police Move In… (October 21)

Cover of Occupy Policing report

The Occupy Melbourne Legal Support Team have released a report into the actions of police at the eviction of Occupy Melbourne from the City Square on Friday 21 October 2011: it can be downloaded at http://occupypolicing.org/uploads/Occupy_Policing_2012_updateSMALL.pdf (online readable) or http://occupypolicing.org/uploads/Occupy_Policing_2012_updatePRINT.pdf (printable). (There is also an abbreviated version on Occupy Policing.)

The Report has forwards from Councillor Cathy Oke, Melbourne City Council, and Tamar Hopkins, Convenor, National Police Accountability Network, and Principal Solicitor, Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, and is endorsed by Fitzroy Legal Service Inc., and Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre Inc.
See also Melbourne Indymedia.

December 13 – Ferguson the “Fossil Fool” and other matters

So the break didn’t really happen. Last Friday, December 9th, there was the Occupy Melbourne Kids and Carers “Dare to Share” Teddy Bear Protest (http://indymedia.org.au/2011/12/10/occupy-melbournes-dare-to-share-teddy-bears-protest – video at end of this post); then on Saturday 10th there was the Tent Monsters’ (Re-)Occupation of Melbourne (http://indymedia.org.au/2011/12/11/tentmonster-parade-and-march-in-melbourne – see also at end of this post); on Monday Santa and his reindeer borrowed the 7-seater “Bikezilla” to bring the Quit Coal message to Christmas crowds in the Bourke Street Mall (http://quitcoal.org.au/blog/); and this morning Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson would have faced a picket at the Hilton Hotel on Wellington Parade if he had used the front entrance:

Protesters line up with 'no coal' and 'clean solar' placards outside hotel

The occasion was a meeting of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia which Minister Ferguson was to address. Failing contact with him, protesters handed leaflets to delegates arriving, where necessary blocking the path of vehicles to ensure their occupants got the message directly:

Delegates being handed leaflets after leaving their taxisCars stopped at the picket line

The protest was organised jointly by members of Climate Action Now groups from Darebin and Yarra living within the minister’s electorate of Batman.

Protesters with placards - 'Fossil Fool Martin' and 'All I want for Xmas is Big Solar'

Clean Solar placards on display

 'HRL' model emitting 'smoke'

Occupy Melbourne Ctd – Saturday, 12 November 2011 at Treasury Gardens

Occupy Melbourne defends the Indigenous Embassy
The first General Assembly since the injunction hearings – see reports on OMDigest and Raili Simojoki’s blog – followed the erection of three ‘not-tents’ including one housing a new Indigenous Embassy. Council officers backed by a small number of police duly arrived and warned that a compliance notice would be issued if the ‘structures’ were not removed within first 30, then 45 minutes – later further extended as the subsequent discussion at the GA continued. When they did move in there was standoff, from which they sensibly enough retreated. The GA then continued, and was still in session when the last of the following photos was taken, around 6pm. By this time a number of motions had been voted upon, among which was agreement to defend the Indigenous Embassy against any further attempts to remove it. At time of writing, the latest word from OM on Twitter is that people were settling down for a night under the stars…
Welcome to OM banner on grass
Erecting marquees
Robbie Thorpe spoke at the start of the first session of the GA, announcing the establishment of the Embassy and inviting OM participants to furnish themselves with Aboriginal Passports, amongst other things as a defence against the imposition of jurisdiction that Indigenous Australians did not recognise:

Robhie Thorpe holding up passport

There was a steady stream of applicants:
OM participant signing for passport
The GA in session:
Overview of GA session 1
The council arrives:
Council officers and police arriving
Council compliance officer faced by OM including Robbie Thorpe

Some time later, the council officers returned with more police, some equipped with cameras, and as we said before, there was a standoff of some minutes before an official retreat:
Aboriginal flag prominent in standoff at Embassy
Another view, including uniformed police officer with camera
Expressions of victory:
The standoff coming to an end
The council and police withdraw:

Council officer etc retreat
Followed by the Aboriginal flag:
Aboriginal flag displayed as council officers etc withdraw
Conference of council and police:
Police and council officers confer at distance

The GA resumed, and resolved to defend the Embassy:
Overwhelming show of hands support for vote
This was the position at 6pm.
Some more from the afternoon:
Group making music
Dog attending GA
Placard held up to traffic - We don't want ca$h, we want change!

Occupier with placard on her back - We are the 99% etc inside Sanskrit 'OM"

Updates should be sought on the Occupy Melbourne website and related social media, as well as Melbourne Indymedia [14 nov – there is a detailed account of the GA plus ongoing discussion on Melbourne Indymedia here]:


“Towers of Power” – OM tours Melbourne CBD, 5 November 2011

Protesters fill the street outside BHP offices in Lonsdale Street

BHP Billiton’s head office in Melbourne was one of the stops on a ‘sight-seeing’ tour of Melbourne organised by Occupy Melbourne under the title “Towers of Power of the Corporate 1%”. Starting at the City Square, site of a violent eviction by police on Friday 21 October, the tour took in buildings that had been the subject of union ‘Green bans’ – not forgetting the Regent Theatre itself, which borders the Square – starting with 333 Collins Street and the ANZ bank building on the corner of Collins and Queen Streets – as well as BHP and the offices of Australia Post (currently imposing new work practices – see http://waverley-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/australia-post-dispute-set-to-escalate-in-mt-waverley/. The tour ended back at the City Square in time for the 14th General Assembly
Tour guide throughout was long-time unionist Dave Kerin, and Victoria Police provided a generous escort.

Poster advertising the tour

See also:
How Public is Melbourne’s City Square?
Rescuing the Regent Theatre – Louise Blake
bhpbilliton – undermining the future
Photos from the tour and start of 14th General Assembly:

Occupy Melbourne Resumes – 29 October 2011

Occupy Melbourne banner leads march along Flinder Street

A report on the day’s events has already been posted on Melbourne Indymedia, supplemented by updates on the Occupy Melbourne Facebook page.[Update: Occupation re-established … ] This post is essentially a gallery of photos taken at the initial assembly at the State Library, the march down Swanston Street, along Flinders Street and up Spring Street to the meeting point in the Treasury Gardens, followed by the relocation to Bowen Street at RMIT. (At time of writing the Occupation has moved to the State Library and settled in for the night.) Most of the photos should be self-explanatory, though unfortunately out of order. A few call perhaps for comment:
West Papuans with flag at State Library
A small group of West Papuan refugees joined the Occupation at the State Library and could be seen at each stage of proceedings.
Police dog squad at Treasury Gardens
There was only a small and unobtrusive police presence at the State Library – though this increased markedly once the march set off – but a quite extraordinary deployment at the stated destination, the Treasury Gardens, including horses, riot police, several divisional vans, and these dogs.
Aboriginal flag leads march, accompanied by 'tranny cops'
The Aboriginal flag led the march for much of the way, accompanied here by a group of ‘tranny cops’ who had joined the march in Swanston Street, and are elsewhere seen providing a little theatre in the Gardens.
Speaker uses rolled-up paper as speaking trumpet
This was resorted to when the PA system failed for a time…
Miniature farmyard animals on window ledge at RMIT
These miniature animals provided decoration for a window sill at RMIT.

See also Occupy Melbourne website – http://occupymelbourne.org/