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.
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.