‘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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Pussy Riot Solidarity Action – 10 October 2012

We are all Pussy Riot placard at State Library, Melbourne
There was a brief but loud and colourful solidarity action this afternoon at the State Library in Melbourne in support of jailed members of Russian Punk band Pussy Riot. Peter from Anarchist Black Cross Melbourne was MC, and the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective contributed amongst other things an English version of the “Punk’s Prayer” which Pussy Riot members originally performed in an Orthodox church, which in turn led to the arrest of the three women currently appealing their two-year jail sentences.
See http://freepussyriot.org

Free Pussy Riot – Candlelight Vigil Melbourne 17 August 2012

Melbourne’s contribution to the International Day of Solidarity called by supporters of jailed Pussy Riot members awaiting judgement and sentence (now found guilty and sentenced to two years jail – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-17/judge-finds-pussy-riot-guilty-of-hooliganism/4207014) was a candlight vigil at the old GPO building in Bourke Street. Despite the cold and a forecast of hail and thunder there was a good turnout, including quite a good proportion of suitably clad sympathisers:
Balaclava wearing protesters with photos of the accused

Proceedings included the reading of a statement by Marisa of Anarchist Black Cross Melbourne and the announcement of a free punk rock music compilation ‘My Pussy Riot’ by Sydney supporters My Sydney Riot, as well as rap from Izzy Brown.

[Added 31 August – there is a fuller account of the rally by Bec Zajac in newmatilda.com]

Video is on its way (added, see below).

Placard - We are all Pussy Riot
The mc wore an illuminated balaclava ...
Leigh announcing the compilation
The main banners
Small canine sympathiser
Protesters line up on the steps
Lineup with raised fists
An earlier rally in support of Pussy Riot which we were not able to attend was reported at the time on Melbourne Indymedia. A list of places around the world taking part in today’s action can be found on the Free Pussy Riot website.

Picket of Chilean Consulate in support of Mapuche Hunger Strikers – 17 September.

Mapuche flags outside the consulate

The Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) organised a picket outside the Chilean Consulate in Melbourne at lunchtime today, displaying the Mapuche flag and delivering a letter to be forwarded to the President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera.

Protester outside the consulate

Last Monday, 13 September, was the third anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Meanwhile, in Chile, 32 Mapuche political prisoners have been on hunger strike for over 65 days in protest at the Chilean Government’s continued violation of the human rights of the country’s Indigenous people.

Placard demanding justice for Mapuche prisoners

The letter draws attention to the contradiction between the UN Declaration and the present lack of respect shown by the Chilean Government towards the Mapuche people, who it says “are currently subjected to frequent violent raids, where the victims are usually children and elders … the indiscriminate and fixed use of protected witnesses including minors; the excessive duration of investigation headed by the Public Ministry that only prepetuates preventive imprisonment.” It mentions as a particular concern from an Australian perspective “the application of the Anti-terrorist Law … created under the military government which led to the arbitrary judicial decision against the Mapuche people. We consider that this action attempts [to overturn] the democracy and human rights principles that [the Chilean Government]says it represents.”

There follows a list of demands, beginning with the “Immediate devolution of Mapuche ancestral territories and land” and the letter ends with the names of supporting organisations in Australia, including the Chilean Popular and Indigenous Solidarity Network,LASNET, Friends of the Earth – Australia, and many others.

Protesters with letter at door of consulate

The Consul-General receives the letter

The Anarchist Black Cross also sent a message of support, which was read out at the picket, and passers-by were offered a flier for the upcoming Solidarity Gathering to be held at Trades Hall on October 15-17 under the banner of “Defending Workers and Indigenous Rights – Building bridges and global resistance against Multinational Corporations” – details and the flier can be found on the LASNET website – http://www.latinlasnet.org/

Flier for October gathering

LASNET are also holding a Latin Fiesta/Solidarity Spring Party on Saturday 25 September on the theme “Protecting our planet, defending our communities!” – starting at 7pm at the MUA Hall, 54 Ireland Street, West Melbourne, details also on the LASNET website.

Flier for September 25 Fiesta

There will be more protests until the Chilean Government takes heed…

Mapuche flag

More protests at Israeli aid flotilla attack – 5 June 2010

Banners at head of march in Melbourne

Saturday 5 June saw continuing worldwide protests over Israel’s attack on an aid convoy heading for Gaza (see e.g., The Age). There were protests in Sydney and Melbourne, reported on Melbourne Indymedia, where these photos were taken:

Religious leaders at head of march

Crowd at State Library

The protest started with a rally at the State Library

Another view of the crowd at the Library

Another view of the crowd at the Library

Banner at State Library

One of many banners

On the march to Parliament House:

Banner reads: Pull down the apartheid wall, dismantle Israeli settlements

Banner of LaTrobe University students

Banner of Anatolian Cultural Centre

The Greens in the march with their distinctive heart-shaped placards

The Greens in the march with their distinctive heart-shaped and triangular placards

Hand-shaped placard - Stop the Genocide

From the middle of the march, looking back down Bourke Street

From the middle of the march, looking back down Bourke Street

At Parliament House:

Crowd at Parliament House

Palestinian speaker at Parliament House

Palestinian speaker at Parliament House

Another view of the crowd at Parliament House

Model of boat with slogan Free Gaza, Free Palestine

At the end of the protest, this unusually elaborate 'prop'

Protest at Israeli attack on aid flotilla – 1 June 2010

Protest banners in Bourke Street mall at start of protest

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign called an emergency action in response to Israel’s lethal attack on peace activists on board a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.  In spite of the extraordinarily short notice – scarcely 24 hours – as many as 1500 people assembled in the Bourke Street Mall to voice their anger and condemnation of Israel’s action. There was a long list of speakers, including Greens Senate candidate Adam Bandt and union leaders, representatives of the Turkish and other communities, as well as a strong anti-Zionist Jewish voice towards the end, when the protest had moved through the streets to the State Library. There is more about the rally on Melbourne Indymedia and video on YouTube:

(Also on EngageMedia)

Banner at head of march - "Shame Israel"

Solidarity with workers and people of Greece – 16 May

Protesters hold placards on Library steps

(Originally posted to Melbourne Indymedia – this version incorporates a correction made in a comment posted there.)

The Melbourne branch of Bash Back (http://bashbackmelbourne.wordpress.com/) issued a callout for a show of solidarity with ‘the workers and people of Greece’, adding ‘Considering that this country [Australia] has the largest Greek population outside of Greece there should be no question about the need to show solidarity.’ Only a dedicated few answered the call – admittedly at short notice – meeting at the State Library in front of the statue of Victoria’s ‘hanging judge’ Redmond Barry (still sporting a placard from the previous day’s anti-homophobia rally). The protest was informal, with various people taking turns with the megaphone; one read  the communiqué ‘Reality is an illusion; Normality is behind us’ by the Fellow Precarious Workers from the Occupied ASOEE (Athens University of Economics and Business) reprinted in  “Everyone to the Streets”, pp. 98-100 (see http://zinelibrary.info/files/everyone_to_the_streets.pdf). There was agreement a further action should be arranged, potentially at the Greek Consulate, and a stronger effort should be made to involve the Greek community.

Reading a statement

Closeup of protesters with solidarity placards

Latin-American solidarity

Redmond Barry statue - with placard and pigeons

Placard detail - But all I need is a lover

Detail of placard from previous day's rally