Women Rally Across Australia Demanding End to Violence Against Women (Video)
Thousands protest violence against women in Australia as PM Morrison’s government rocked by rape allegations – Thousands of people have taken to the streets across Australia to protest abuse against women, following reports that a defense minister attempted to silence a rape claim and sexual harassment allegations against an attorney general.
Hundreds of demonstrators flocked to the Parliament House, which also houses the Australian government, including the office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on Monday, as part of the #MarchForJustice campaign against sexual abuse of women.
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) March 15, 2021
Attendees carried signs reading “Enough,”“It’s time for men to change,” and “Rape Place,” as they stood on the lawn in front of the building.
— Fiona Willan (@Fi_Willan) March 15, 2021
Similar scenes played out in front of a parliament building in Sydney, one of Australia’s largest cities, where police estimated that some 6,000 people had turned out for the march as of Sunday afternoon.
— Laura Banks (@laurakatebanks) March 15, 2021
Protesters also marched on the streets of Melbourne. Participants unfolded a giant list featuring the names of Australian women killed as result of gender-based violence since 2008.
The protesters also demanded the sacking of Attorney-General Christian Porter.
Police have tried to stop the Melbourne march without much success and protestors and police are walking amongst the trams and cars in Bourke St #March4Justice #March4Justiceau pic.twitter.com/wd8i742n0y
— Gemma Cafarella (she/her) 🏳️🌈 (@gemmacaf) March 15, 2021
Porter has been on medical leave amid allegations that he raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988. The allegations stem from a letter, sent by purported friends of the woman, who committed suicide last year. Porter squarely denied the allegations. On Monday, the AG filed a defamation lawsuit against Australia’s ABC News broadcaster, accusing its journalist Louise Milligan of smearing his character by reporting the letter last month. The news service said that it would challenge the lawsuit.
The sexual assault allegations against Porter were reported on the back of another rape scandal, which has been gripping the Morrison cabinet for a month. On February 15, former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins claimed that she was raped in Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds’s office by a male staffer in 2019. Higgins said that she was severely drunk from a work party, accusing the man of taking advantage of her state. She alleged that Reynolds failed to support her, claiming that the defense minister wanted to sweep the report under the carpet so it did not hurt the party politically. Last Friday, Reynolds publicly apologized to Higgins for calling her a “lying cow“ in front of other staffers. The minister insisted, however, that her offensive remark was misunderstood and did not mean she thought Higgins was lying about the rape.
“The women united will never be defeated!” The crowd chanted.
Thousands of people march from Sydney’s Town Hall to Parliament of NSW to protest against sexual harassment/rape/abuse in workplaces, as part of rallies being held across Australia today.#meco6900 pic.twitter.com/GMu8rluVAk
— Rachel Gray (@RachelG69564736) March 15, 2021
Higgins was one of the key speakers at a Canberra rally on Sunday. Addressing the crowd in front of Parliament House, she called for changes to the working atmosphere in the parliament, arguing that “the glass ceiling is still in place, and there are significant failings in the power structures” within the Australian society.
For the first time since breaking her story, Brittany Higgins speaks at the #WomensMarch4Justice: "We are all here today not because we want to be here, because we have to be here. We fundamentally recognise the system is broken." #AusPol @SBSNews pic.twitter.com/JLrP398rmz
— Naveen Razik 📰 (@naveenjrazik) March 15, 2021