A huge crowd estimated at 25000 turned up at Town Hall in downtown Sydney today to protest against climate change inaction.
The rally was organised by school students from across Sydney and was part of a global series of protests.
Even though the rally was part of a student strike, people of all ages were in attendance and determined to make known their displeasure over political inaction against climate change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Following the speeches, protesters marched along Broadway towards Victoria Park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sohka of the Cambodian National Rescue Party arrived in Phnom Penh on Friday and held a rally in Freedom Park.
Meanwhile, supporters of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party were near Independence Monument, conducting a rally/street party of their own.
BATTAMBANG, CAMBODIA – the main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party, has been campaigning vigorously since party leader Sam Rainsy returned from a four-year self-imposed exile last Friday.
Mr Rainsy along with high-level party members Mr Kem Sokha and Ms Mu Sochua, have embarked on a rapid journey through many of Cambodia’s provincial centres before the election this Sunday.
On July 23, the convoy stopped in Battambang and drew a large crowd.
After Mr Rainsy spoke to the supporters massed outside Psar Nath, the convoy travelled through the countryside to spread its message of change for Cambodia.
Mr Rainsy left Cambodia in 2009 after being found guilty of charges brought against him by the Prime Minister, Mr Hun Sen. The charges, connected with the moving of border markers between Cambodia and Vietnam, are believed by many to be politically motivated.
Last July, the Human Rights Party led by Kem Sokha merged with the Sam Rainsy Party to form the Cambodian National Rescue Party.
Earlier this month, Mr Hun Sen petitioned for a royal pardon to be issued for Mr Rainsy so he could return to Cambodia and campaign for his party.
Because he was found guilty of criminal charges, Mr Rainsy was made ineligible to contest a seat in the election. Despite petitions to have Mr Rainsy’s name reinstated, he will not be permitted to run for his own party.
The ruling party, the Cambodian People’s Party, headed by Mr Hun Sen, is expected to win the polls on Sunday. The party has been in government since 1985.