Action on Climate Change Rally in Double Bay

Approximately 2000 rallyers gathered in Steyne Park at Double Bay in Sydney’s east to demand definitive action on climate change by Australia’s major political parties.

In Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth — and just around the headland from the PM’s own private residence in Point Piper — those assembled heard from a number of speakers who gave their own impressions on the effects of climate change generally, but also with a particular focus to the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland.

The most recent El Nino weather pattern to hit Australia has resulted in about 22% of the reef being bleached white due to high water temperatures.

All speakers urged for bipartisan action on climate change, saying the stakes were too great for politics to get in the way of action now urgently needed.

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Former Liberal Party leader Dr John Hewson saying it’s time the major parties took a bipartisan approach to the climate change crisis.

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Dr Michael Borgus, a scientist working for the CSIRO, talks about funding cuts and staff shrinkages at the organisation.

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Dr Kate Charlesworth speaking about many of the dangers to society and individual health as a result of climate change.

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Dive operator Tony Fontes speaks about the effect of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.

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The assembled crowd holding coloured coral cutouts to simulate the Great Barrier Reef.

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The crowd displays the white side of their coral cutouts to show the effects of coral bleaching, exacerbated by climate change.

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Amy Gordon, an activist with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, speaking on what the public can do to bring about policy change on environmental matters.

A Greenpeace boat passes the crowd on the foreshore of Double Bay.

A Greenpeace boat passes the crowd on the foreshore of Double Bay.

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Protesters tell Abbott government, “Stop being shit.”

The numbers were down on the first March In March rally of a year ago, but those that gathered at Sydney Town Hall were loud and vocal in their views.

Australian Greens leader Senator Christine Milne being interviewed before the March In March rally took place in Sydney.

Australian Greens leader Senator Christine Milne being interviewed before the March In March rally took place in Sydney.

A man dressed as a 'bankster' at the Sydney March In March rally.

A man dressed as a ‘bankster’ at the Sydney March In March rally.

One of the March In March attendees with a pointed message for the Abbott government.

One of the March In March attendees with a pointed message for the Abbott government.

Indigenous activist and poet Ken Canning addressing the March In March rally at Town Hall in Sydney.

Indigenous activist and poet Ken Canning addressing the March In March rally at Town Hall in Sydney.

The March In March rally heads down George Street, Sydney.

The March In March rally heads down George Street, Sydney.

The March In March rally heads down George Street, Sydney.

The March In March rally heads down George Street, Sydney.

The March In March rally heads down George Street, Sydney.

The March In March rally heads down George Street, Sydney.

A rally attendee making his opinion known of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

A rally attendee making his opinion known of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

March In August, Sydney

As Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s popularity continues to fall, thousands took to the streets in numerous cities and towns around the country today to protest against many of the Liberal/National policies which have been announced so far.

Hyde Park in Sydney was the venue for that city’s March In August event.

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March In May, Sydney

Following on from the successful March In March rally held across Australia, people gathered in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane to once again voice their anger at the Abbott government.

This time, though, there was the annual budget to consider. After Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey announced a swathe of cuts to spending in order to try bringing the budget back into surplus, the government has been suffering a vocal backlash.

A large crowd gathered in Belmore Park in downtown Sydney today to hear from speakers who detailed what these spending cuts could mean to students, retirees, the unemployed, disabled people, and Aboriginal people.

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Following the speeches, protesters marched along Broadway towards Victoria Park.

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At Railway Square near Central Station, students held a spontaneous sit-down demonstration to highlight their disagreement with proposed cuts to education and deregulation of university fees. Some students were forcibly removed by police before a “stand-off” which lasted about half an hour.

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March In March, Sydney

Approximately 12,000 protesters came together at Belmore Park in Sydney today to voice their displeasure at the policies of Tony Abbott’s government.

Speaking out against the mistreatment of asylum seekers, media ownership concentration, the government’s refusal to recognise same sex marriage and other issues, the protesters joined others across Australia who demonstrated in other cities and towns in a national weekend of action

Thunder and rain threatened to disrupt the Sydney event, but the crowd remained and then grew when the weather cleared.

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Billy Bragg at March In March rally, Sydney, Australia

Billy Bragg at March In March rally, Sydney, Australia

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After speeches from Cat Rose, Wendy Bacon and others as well as three songs and a speech from singer and activist Billy Bragg, the crowd made their way along Broadway to Victoria Park amid cheers from pedestrians and car horn honks of support from passing motorists.

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Cambodia’s opposition party threatens more protests

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – It’s been just over a week since Cambodians cast their vote in the national election, and a definitive result remains elusive.

Both the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) have claimed victory, and both parties have said that they welcome an investigation into allegations of irregularities at polling stations such as people not able to find their names on the electoral roll, or being told that they had already voted.

While the CPP says it is happy for an investigation to take place, it is refusing to go along with the CNRP’s insistence that the United Nations be a part of the investigative process.

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng has said that involving the UN would be a violation of Cambodian law.

Meanwhile, the CNRP held a rally in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to thank its supporters and let them know the party will continue to fight for change in Cambodia. Despite rumours of a police crackdown, several thousand people gathered to hear CNRP president Sam Rainsy and party deputy leader Kem Sokha speak. Police presence was very small, and the rally remained incident-free.

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A Cambodian National Rescue Party supporter showing cards printed with the party’s logo and photograph of Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy.

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One of thousands of CNRP supporters in Freedom Park.

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CNRP president Sam Rainsy addressing the crowd in Freedom Park.

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CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha takes to the microphone at the Freedom Park rally.

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Part of the thousands-strong crowd gathered in Freedom Park.

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CNRP MP Mu Sochua greeting the crowd towards the end of the rally.

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A CNRP supporter in high spirits during the rally.

 

Violence in downtown Sydney over anti-Islam movie

A protest against the controversial film Innocence Of Muslims turned violent today when members of Sydney’s Muslim community marched on the United States consulate in Martin Place.

Protesters in Martin Place.

A protester dousing his friend’s eyes with water after he was sprayed with pepper spray by police.

Protesters in Martin Place.

One of the placards Muslim protesters carried through the Sydney streets.

Police form a protective cordon outsdie the US consulate in Martin Place.

Muslim protesters holding placards outsdie the US consulate in Martin Place.

Protesters making their way to Hyde Park.

Muslim protesters on Market Street.

NSW Police in action on Market Street.

NSW Police in action on Market Street.

Police use pepper spray on protesters

Police use pepper spray on protesters

Police and protesters face off.

Riot Squad

Muslim protesters in Hyde Park

Muslim protesters in Hyde Park

Muslim protesters in Hyde Park

Riot Squad officers lined up along William Street

Injured NSW Police officer receives treatment from Rescue Squad member

Starting at Sydney’s Town Hall, the protesters then moved to the US consulate in Martin Place where they encountered hundreds of police who were deployed to provide extra security.

Carrying placards and denouncing the film as a blasphemous insult to Islam, the protesters then marched to Hyde Park where they were encircled by the police. There were violent outbursts where a small number of protesters threw bottles of water and other objects at police who then used pepper spray to subdue the group.

The protesters attempted to move further into Sydney’s central business district but were thwarted by a police blockade in Market Street. Another clash broke out which resulted in one police officer receiving a cut to his head. He was removed from the scene by his colleagues and treated for his injuries.

The protesters then returned to Hyde Park where they held a prayer session. Afterwards, Muslim spokespeople urged the crowd to remain calm and “be guided by love for Allah”.

Despite the calls for calm and restraint, there were many placards being carried by protesters which read, “Behead those who insult the Prophet” and, “Obama Obama we love Osama.”

However, New South Wales Police Minister Mike Gallagher acknowledged that information received by police indicated that the protest was to be largely peaceful, but was marred by elements in the group that “were there for confrontation.”

Minister Gallagher said that there was a protest organised for the following day, Sunday, and that police were unaware of a rally happening today.

“Today wasn’t a lawful protest,” Minister Gallagher said, “and there may well be that some people take it upon themselves to again turn up on Sunday in Martin Place or any other part of the city, then be rest assured the police planning is now under way tactically in relation to that.”

At about 5PM today, the protesters gathered in Hyde Park were prepared to leave peacefully, but were ordered by police to “disperse in an orderly fashion”.

This led to another clash near the entrance to St. James Station, and protesters then fled through Hyde Park towards Darlinghurst.

Pursued by the Riot and Public Order Squad and police on horseback, the protesters dispersed through various back streets through Darlinghurst.

Speaking to the press after the protesters had left Hyde Park, NSW Police Superintendent Mark Walton praised police action throughout the day.

“I think we have actually acted very professionally and responded very well to what was a completely unannounced and unorganised protest,” Supt. Walton said. “There was no advice given to police by this group that they intended to protest and, as a result, in a very short amount of time we had a significant amount of police.”

Six police officers were injured, and eight protesters were arrested for various offences.