As many as 100,000 people across Australia joined “March in March” protests last weekend, delivering a “vote of no confidence” in the new conservative government.
Prime minister Tony Abbott was only elected last September. But already the anger against his government is everywhere. Even small towns held rallies that drew thousands of people. The largest march in Melbourne was up to 30,000-strong.
The marches were called and gained support mainly through social media, including by people who had never organised a protest before. Marchers targeted issues ranging from asylum seekers to healthcare, climate change, forests, sexism, marriage equality and education funding.
The government came to office promising not to cut health, education or pensions. But it is in preparation for cuts in its first budget in May.
The Labor opposition has so far failed to make any impression—since they too accept the need for cuts and support the vicious policies against asylum seekers. But March in March is a sign that if the new government launches serious austerity policies it can expect determined resistance.