More than 4000 young people and adults packed into Birrarung Marr park on October 21 for a Children’s March for Nauru, to demand all refugees imprisoned on the Pacific island be resettled in Australia.
Chanting “nurture not torture” and “kids out, all out”, participants marched into the city.
The action was organised by the Artists’ Committee and Melbourne Youth with Refugees.
Artists’ Committee’s Kylie Wilkinson told Green Left Weekly: “It was so heartening to see so many people come out in support of people trapped in Australia's offshore prisons.
“People genuinely wanted to give young people a chance to speak about this traumatic policy”.
Wilkinson however criticised the intimidating police presence at the rally, which included mounted and riot cops. Police prevented the march from occupying Flinders Street and St Kilda Road.
Wilkinson said: “It was extremely frustrating as the police had promised the children they could move onto the intersection if the crowd grew to 1000.
“The police's demands changed, which was bizarre and confusing for everyone”.