Published 17 March 201421 March 2014 · Politics / Activism Marching orders? Carla Silbert and Bec Zajac March in March – a stream of protests demonstrating a ‘vote of no confidence’ in government policies – has taken place across Australia over the past three days. Organised almost entirely through social media networks, the marches saw 100,000 people turn out nationally to take part in a demonstration against government decisions that undermine principles of social justice and responsible global citizenship. People around the country rallied because of government policies on climate change, asylum seekers and marriage equality. But the protests had a local tone, too. In Melbourne, the estimated crowd of 30,000 spoke about Victoria’s new anti-protest ‘move-on’ powers and the dismal treatment of the Morwell community following the recent mine fire. Those gathered at Treasury Gardens at the conclusion of the march heard speakers address national issues such as refugee policy and the national broadband network, as well as local challenges facing unions and childcare workers. This broad range of issues attracted a diverse group of protesters. Marchers included teachers, health-care workers and farmers, who have since taken to social media to tweet their professions to counter scepticism that the protesters were simply a ‘rabble of hippies’. Families marched alongside school groups and civil society organisations. Some came with placards protesting a specific concern such as CSG fracking or threats to Medicare. A more general disapproval in government policies was reflected in the chants echoing through the city of ‘We deserve better’ and ‘Not in my name’. Overall, the rallies had the feeling of a community disillusioned with how it is being governed and determined to be heard. The huge turnout has prompted a wide range of media coverage. While it’s too soon to say what kind of pressure it may put on ministers and policymakers, perhaps this is a protest movement that is just getting started. Carla Silbert Carla Silbert is a Melbourne-based writer and policy adviser. Her work is focused on social justice and gender equality. More by Carla Silbert › Bec Zajac Bec Zajac is Overland’s publicity officer. She is also a Master of Journalism student at the University of Melbourne and a broadcaster at 3CR community radio. She has published in Overland, New Matilda, Brooklyn Rail and The Age. More by Bec Zajac › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 30 October 202330 October 2023 · Politics The lost Commonwealth Barry Corr Constitutional change is dead in the water. The Referendum has exposed the divides within our society, and the result demonstrates to the world Australia’s unconsciousness of its human rights failures. Sixty per cent of Australian voters have, consciously or unconsciously, determined that ‘bipartisanship’ lies somewhere between erasure and assimilation. First published in Overland Issue 228 21 June 20234 July 2023 · Politics The ‘bludger’ myth masks the cruel reality: welfare programs are bludgeoning the poor Jeremy Poxon In recent weeks, the right-wing press has been trying to revive the spectre of the ‘dole bludger’. Yet It should be clear to anyone paying attention (or running an employment services inquiry) that the key problem is not that welfare recipients are cheating the government—it’s that the government is cheating them.