Good morning to all, Matilda boseley here to cover all the March4Justice protests taking place across the country today.
Every major city is holding an event (Perth had its own yesterday), with hundreds of cities and towns from regions joining as well. The main event, of course, will be outside the House of Parliament, where we expect to see protesters and politicians interacting, and the crowd delivering a petition to the government.
The petition asks for the following:
- Full independent investigations in all cases of gender violence and timely referrals to the corresponding authorities. Full public responsibility for the findings.
- Fully implement the 55 recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Respect @ Work Report from the National Inquiry on Sexual Harassment in the Australian Workplaces 2020.
- Raise public funding for the prevention of gender violence to the best practices in the world.
- The enactment of a federal gender equality law promote gender equality. It should include a gender equity audit of parliamentary practices.
While some members of the government are expected to leave the house of parliament to speak to protesters, so far no high-ranking minister has said they will make an appearance. (Dan Tehan said he would meet with constituents of his constituency if asked, but did not clarify whether this meant in his office or on the lawn.)
Scott Morrison said he was too busy to leave the building, but invited the march leaders to his office for a private audience. This offer has been rejected, and organizer Janine Hendry said protesters “have already reached the front door, now it’s up to the government to cross the threshold and come to us.”
We will not meet behind closed doors.
This march has been motivated by several alleged sexual assault scandals involving members of the government.
This includes the indictment against the attorney general. Christian Porter, who is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl when she was 17 during a 1988 school debate championship. He has vehemently denied these allegations and the government has so far refused to consider an independent investigation into the allegations after the NSW police said they could not investigate.
There is also the incidence of the Minister of Defense Linda Reynolds calling the former staff member Brittany Higgins a “lying cow” the day Higgins went public with allegations that she was raped by a staff member at the Reynolds offices.
Reynolds has since clarified that he was challenging Higgins’s claim that the government did not provide him with sufficient support in the weeks after the alleged incident and not his account of the alleged attack itself. She also paid compensation and issued a formal apology.
Now the protests will start soon (most at 12pm), but if you still want to appear, you can check out the details of the main events below.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism