The Adelaide March in March has evolved and taken on new characteristics since its inception in 2014. This year’s event, on March 25, brought together a diverse range of participants: grass-roots activist groups; representatives from socially conscious organisations; and individuals concerned by the trajectory of Australian society.
About 200 people were involved in the Adelaide event, which was smaller than expected. Members of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU), Anti-Poverty network, LGBTI community, Medical Marijuana campaign, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, Communist Party of Australia and the anti-nuclear movement attended the march.
The standout issue was the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia. Nungurra elder Tauto Sansbury and Tanya Hunter spoke on the multi-faceted attacks and struggles facing indigenous communities.
Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous marchers walked in solidarity against the environmental impact and degradation a nuclear waste dump would inflict on stolen Aboriginal lands, and the already marginalised Indigenous communities living in regional South Australia.
Passionate environmentalist and documentary filmmaker, Dan Monceaux, added his voice to the pressing issue of environmental destruction and the importance of tackling climate change.
Aaron Cartledge from the CFMEU spoke on the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and the importance of strong trade unions in the wake of recent attacks on welfare and penalty rates by the federal government.
Nijole Navjokas of the Anti-Poverty Network gave a rousing speech on the struggles facing welfare recipients, minimum wage workers and those living in poverty — a demographic with an overrepresentation of minority groups and women.
Transgender man, Zac Cannell, spoke on the effects these issues are having on himself and others, as well as the broader discrimination faced by the LGBTI community in Australia.
The original motivation behind March in March, which was a community reaction to the cruel, destructive, divisive policies and rhetoric of the Tony Abbott Government, holds true for this year’s march. As with Abbott, there was a palpable anger about the direction of the Malcolm Turnbull government, and the general direction of politics in Australia.
The spirit of the day was encapsulated by Zac Cannell with his comment, “I, here today, recognise we are a diverse group, but we’re all protesting for the same thing: equal rights, equal name and equal future.”