Thousands hit the streets for March in March
Tens of thousands of Australians hit the streets for rallies and marches on the weekend to voice their wide-ranging dissatisfaction with the Abbott government.
The March In March rallies stemmed from social media activity and targeted a broad range of issues that the Liberal government has received criticism over.
Crowd members held a range of colourful, inventive and angry placards about the government’s stance on asylum seekers, climate change, marriage equality and education funding.
Hijacked contributor and undergraduate student, Chloe Hazelwood, described the mood of the Sydney March in March event as one of “collective solidarity”.
“There was no particular political agenda being pushed. It was just a broad leftist alliance,” she told Hijacked after attending the event on Sunday.
Major issues raised by Sydney speakers included the failing of Abbott’s Indigenous committee, broken promises regarding Gonksi education reform, and climate change.
Regional protestors held events on Saturday, with protestors convening in major capital cities on Sunday.
Placards likened Abbott to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – though we’re not sure that our Prime Minister suits the bouffant.
Another channeled the scathing sass of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes to critique the PM.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was a target, with one placard depicting him as Robin Thicke having simulated sex with Abbott as scantily-clad pop culture figure Miley Cyrus.
Official attendance figures are not presently available but national convenor Tim Jones says about 112,000 had participated in 20 events.
Attendees took to social media to voice their frustration at the lack of coverage the marches generated in mainstream media over the weekend.
In an article published this morning, The Sydney Morning Herald dubbed the marchers as “socialists” and “a loose collection of anti-Abbott government activists”.
Abbott downplayed the protests' significance in the media and said his “understanding is that the only big rally in Sydney is the St Patrick's Day parade”.
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said that the Labor Party was not formally affiliated with the protests but acknowledged marchers’ rights to express their views.
Supporters of the Greens Party were visible at the marches, with several crowds featuring a bunch of small green triangle placards supporting the minority party.
Protestors are expected to deliver a motion of no confidence to Parliament House in Canberra today.
The March in March protests follow the passage of a new bill in Victorian Parliament last week, which will give police increased powers to move on protestors.
John Rowley for Hijacked