“Can you give me a hand up? I’m not sure I can get back up”, an older woman (probably in her early 70s) said to me today. She was one of many people taking part in today’s protest march in Sydney. She’d just taken part in a collective action where people knelt down and gave the “knee salute”.
The protest in Sydney was the most “controversial” of the many marches held around Australia today, as it had been the subject of court action to prevent it from going ahead.
The NSW Police were concerned the estimated 10,000 people attending would have posed a public health risk, due to COVID-19.
In the end, this action by the police probably led to an increase in the number of people planning to attend (an act of defiance).
In the end, the prohibition was over-turned minutes before the protest was due to go ahead.
Even if the protest had been banned, that didn’t stop literally thousands and thousands of people streaming into the city today. People were mostly dressed in black and around two-thirds (my estimate) were wearing face masks (to limit the spread of the virus).
The overall crowd estimate reached 50,000.
I donned my hat as an ABC Reporter and did a brief cross into the national afternoon program on ABC Radio.
Only downside? My glasses kept fogging up due to the facemask!