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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Thousands march against Abbott policies

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Locals voiced their anger against Abbott government policies in Byron Bay on Sunday. Photo David Lowe
Locals voiced their anger against Abbott government policies in Byron Bay on Sunday. Photo David Lowe

Up to 10,000 people across the northern rivers vented their anger against Abbott government policies when they marched through Lismore CBD on Saturday and Byron Bay on Sunday.

The rallies were part of the March in March protests across Australia held to highlight the unpopularity of the government’s moves to dismantle progressive policies.

The government’s treatment of asylum seekers, funding cuts to public health and social welfare, rejection of education reforms, winding back of environmental protections, policies on the environment and CSG, attitudes to indigenous people, women and the disabled and the windback of the national broadband network were just some of the issues people protested against.

More than 6,000 people attended the Lismore rally while around 4,000 attended the Byron Bay rally.

To view David Lowe’s pictures of the Byron march see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidlowe1970/sets/72157642419673715/

For David’s pictures of the Lismore march, see  http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidlowe1970/sets/72157642378984294/

Byron shire residents voiced their anger at Abbott government policies during the March in March protests yesterday. Photo Tree Faerie
Byron shire residents voiced their anger at Abbott government policies during the March in March protests yesterday. Photo Tree Faerie

~ Photos Tree Faerie

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  1. And Tony Abbott is completely ignoring these Marches, in fact he’s made some derogatory comments about people marching for St Patrick’s Day. And I also note that the events didn’t seem to get any airplay on the commercial television news programs. Only the ABC

  2. What a wonderfull coming together of members of communities. This Government has provided a common concern across all ages, cultures parties and organisationa A deep sense of foreboding for this country, and this planet, prevails. This Governments policies and practices are regressive, inhumane, lacking in compassion and lacking in concern for the more vulnerable in our community and the planet we all inhabit.
    The people have said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and they will keep saying it until this Government and all parties hear them! Go good people!!!!!! We are the Goodies.

  3. And all this in an area with wall to wall National Party MPs – state and federal. One only has to look at the SA result, yet another hung parliament, to show the creaky, old, tapped out political duopoly that is Australian politics just aren’t getting it. I take my cynic’s hat off to the starry eyed optimists above but as those tired, hollowed out war horses in Canberra will tell you, nothing matters except polling day and they know most will vote with their back pockets.
    It’s not that people don’t care about politics it’s that the vast majority actually believe the hype, that they have no power. The greatest fear of the party executives of Australia’s major parties and their patrons is the day the citizens realize that one vote is the more powerful than a billionaires bank roll.
    You only had to listen to the response from those on the podium at the Connex conference when a journo asked about the national day of protest to know the impact. It wasn’t Tony Abbott’s feigned ignorance with his priest like saccharine smile, he would have been told to do that. It was the guffaws and harrumphing from the suits standing behind him that spoke volumes. They ‘know’ where the real power is going to stay. The question becomes have we got the courage to prove them wrong?
    I’ll know change has come when Australian voters put the greater good ahead of self interest and have the courage to tip out every single MP no matter what their colour (blue, red or green) just to make a point, take a stand and take back our government. Anything less and nothing will change.

  4. My Wife & I have just returned from the same march in Canberra. We all gathered on the lawn at the back of old Parliament House. There must have been in excess of 2,000 of us. Not a bad turnout given today, Monday 17 March, is a working day and we have about 40% of Canberra’s workers in the Public Service & who naturally be in fear of losing their Fed jobs for turning up at such a rally. It was very peaceful yet vocal, I shook a Policeman’s hand & thanked him for being in attendance. I said “we didn’t muck up much” to which he replied “we didn’t think you would”! although I didn’t hear the words “civil disobedience” uttered as I have on many occasions recently, I surely got that message. I recorded the names of the organisers and as soon as we move to our hectarage at Urbenville in a few months time I’m going to organise a similar rally to march on NSW DPI LLS in Macquarie St to demand the sacking of Katrina Hodgkinson. “The fight ain’t over ’till the fat bloke sings” Seeya there!

  5. The media is a beast to be reckoned with. It told Australians that Abbott was looking like winning the election, so all the apathetic voters went with the winning team, and voted him in. Now the same media beast is downplaying how many Australians feel. Next time our protests may have to be a little less peaceful.

  6. …so are these people suggesting we amend the constitution so that a democratically elected government (overwhelmingly elected I might say) is changed by those who didn’t elect the government because the elected government is carrying out the policies it took to the election and these people marching didn’t like the policies before the election, still don’t like them but were over ruled by the majority of Australians. I think I got the logic right.
    You probably won’t print this comment either. Politically incorrect I am guessing.Thank God election results are not edited by the editor of Echo.

    • The federal election of 2013 was a media driven farce that played to individual greed and irrational fear mongering. The sheep voters were led to believe that Australia was in some sort of economic crisis, on the verge of being overrun by asylum seekers and that the worlds problems were economic rather Than Environmental. Traditionals, the people who who think that we only have two parties saw labour in shambles and and looked the other way. The fact that the liberal party is now our government reflects that the Murdoch media giant successfully conned the sheep, labour voters were split into Gillard vs Rudd supporters and that traditional liberal voters felt like their time was nigh and got excited enough to do something about it. Unfortunately the only policies people payed attention to were geared to satisfy our immediate greed rather that secure a safe future. Are you happy with they way Australia is viewed overseas? I’m guessing from your name that you are of Chinese Malaysian heritage? Mahartir was elected to power in Malaysia too by a majority but many Chinese would say it was not a good thing. And have you been paying attention to the civil unrest in Thailand? Again the sheep majority are unable to choose the best choice for the country as a whole! The election caused me to ultimately lose faith in Australia as having an intelligent public.

  7. i tried joining the Byron march….but typical Byron traffic prevented me and my car load of people getting there! Ironically, the protest march spilled onto the streets and caused “traffic problems” i.e. traffic jam that prevented maybe a thousand more protestors from coming along!

    i am not sure if it is bad organisation or just bad luck! next time Byron people keep the protests off the streets and don’t block the traffic, you might just double your numbers!

    As for getting there earlier (the typical rebuttal to whinges such as mine own)…why was the protest organised a) on a different day to almost every other national event and b) so late in the day?

    Come on Byron, get it together!

  8. how the publicity would go if we plan another revolt against Abbott, but all wearing suits (Power Dressing) that’s the psychology behind the so called professional look they put over us.
    It is too easy to point fingers and make out the crowds are non workers and low lives, alternative…., etc,
    It would really get the attention of the media and express that it is all walks of life including the business people who are prepared to drop profits for the sake of a fair, moral and ethical integrity to the environment first and all that …

  9. Absolutely disgusted with these protesters!
    Australia voted last September barely 6 mths ago you had your chance & the coalition bolted in.
    Stop whinging & back our government anything has to be better than our previous Labour Government.


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