Well over 300 anti-racist protesters, 100 racists and hundred or more cops, including on horses, took to the streets in Sydney's CBD on July 19.
Early on, police pushed the anti-racist protesters down two blocks in Martin Place where both rallies had been called and arrested five people. First Nations activist Uncle Lyle Davis was arrested for “swearing”. A woman who fell over at the wrong time and place was also arrested.
The anti-racist rally was peaceful, until police allowed racist provocateurs to mingle. Protestors responded by chanting at them as they were rescued by the police.
Strong leadership from Aboriginal activists — including Uncle Ken Canning, Uncle Albert Harnett and Felon Mason — kept the rally together and safe.
A number of speakers condemned the racist United Patriotic Front and others who had called the “Reclaim rally”. Rahaf Ahmed from UTS Muslim Association, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Paddy Gibson from Stop the Intervention Collective, and Peter Boyle, Rachel Evans and Helen Patterson from Socialist Alliance all slammed the Abbott government's anti-Muslim, anti-Indigeneous and anti-asylum seeker policies for creating the political space for the zenophobes to start organising.
Mia Sanders, one of the rally organisers in Sydney, told Green Left Weekly that the rally was a success.
“We outnumbered the racists and that's an indication of broader public opinion," she said. "It goes to show that when ethnic minorities and anti-racists band together we make up the majority.
“Today we said loud and clear that there is no room for racism.”
Photos below by Peter Boyle.
Photo by Susan Price:
Photos by Pip Hinman: