Just back from the carbon tax rallies in Sydney where I took some pretty ordinary photos at both, but hopefully they may give you an idea of the crowds. I estimate maybe 5-6,000 were at the anti-tax rally and was very, very disappointed to see this being exaggerated by some organisers as 10,000. However, I reckon there were about 25% more people at this Sydney rally than the protest in Canberra.
Considering the anti-tax rally was organised by one new grass roots organisation, versus the warmies’ Australian Youth Climate Coalition, ACF, Get Up, Greenpeace, NCC, 1 million women, Oxfam and 350.org, this was not a bad effort.
I left half way through and attended the other rally near Central Station, and even though it was a slightly more confined space, think there genuinely were a few more protesters – maybe 1,000 or so – at the warmies Pro Tax rally near Central Station, making it maybe 6,000.
To put this into perspective, however, the warmies have been claiming much larger crowds in past years and this time had the well funded juggernaut of GetUp behind them. The truth is they got about the same numbers as they usually get at these rallies without GetUp – the same people rolling in from the inner suburbs as have been going the last few years.
One notable thing is that there were far more police at the warmies rally than at the anti-carbon tax rally – I reckon three times as many – including horses and riot police. Also, lefties were almost obsessed with the other rally going on, mentioning it in every second sentence – maybe they felt that protesting was the thing only they were allowed to do.
The lefties were also noticeably late to start and hairier, while the anti-tax folk were early and clean shaven. The lefties, it’s true, were younger on average, but there is not a worse looking hippie than an ageing one, and there were plenty of them in the warmie crowd. At the anti-tax rally, Angry Anderson showed he knows how to work crowds, and like Angry, the speakers were not happy, while at the other, one presenter almost started crying on stage.
At the warmie festival, each speaker gave an acknowledgment to the indigenous owners, and on one occasion, I swear, someone near me said, “right on!” They also had a Mr Whippie van doing great business and running its engine throughout the event.
First, two photos from the anti-tax rally in Hyde Park, (left side, right side, imagine them connected):
Now a photo from the Greenie protest. This photo probably doesn’t really convey the numbers, but after some consideration, I think there were more. Simon Sheikh claimed that there were 8,000 at his rally and 2,000 at the no carbon tax rally. He said the park contained 8,000 people and it was full. Judge for yourself how full the park was from this photo. Good to see ABC news cast a critical eye over Simon Sheikh’s lie.