For all causes: Anti-Abbott rally in Katoomba

It was not winter but it was certainly the autumn of our discontent.

Some of the protesters at the Katoomba rally on Sunday.

Some of the protesters at the Katoomba rally on Sunday.

In Katoomba on Sunday, the March in March provided an opportunity for Mountains residents to rage against all things Abbott government-related.

Banners and placards were raised about climate change inaction, Gonski reforms, coal seam gas, same sex marriage, the ABC, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmanian forests, TAFE cuts, welfare payments and the NBN.

More than 1000 protesters crammed into Carrington Place to hear a range of speakers, from political aspirants Susan Templeman and Danielle Wheeler, to the self-styled Bag Lady, Shirley, who spoke up for sustainability.

But the biggest cheers were reserved for George Winston, secretary of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group for the past 12 years.

“I’m an old refo from World War II, from Poland,” he told the crowd.  “I came to Australia in 1950 as a stateless person. I wasn’t locked up.”

Instead, he went to a regular school at Randwick, his parents both got jobs and he has now called Australia home for “for 63 wonderful years”.

“I accuse this government of imprisoning children behind razor wire for months or years,” Mr Winston said. 

“I accuse it of imprisoning innocent people indefinitely ... of sending asylum seekers to hell holes such as Manus Island ... of using them for political ends.

“I accuse it of wasting millions of dollars and of trampling on basic human rights,” he concluded to rousing applause.

Marches in March were held around the country over the weekend to protest against a range of federal government policies. 

The Mountains gathering was a “static” march at the request of police concerned at original plans to parade down Katoomba Street.


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