Following recent allegations of sexism and sexual harassment in Parliament, activists gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall on Friday evening to demand the removal of Christian Porter, Linda Reynolds, Andrew Laming and Scott Morrison.
The action, organised by Pride in Protest, Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU) Greater Sydney Branch and Women’s March Sydney, also called for the decriminalisation of sex work, an end to precarious work and casualisation, and an increase of JobSeeker to $80 per day.
Pride in Protest member Charlie Murphy opened the rally by condemning the “disgusting” actions of Porter, Reynolds and Laming, citing their recent parliamentary scandals.
Murphy extended criticism to Morrison, accusing the Prime Minister of “standing by and doing absolutely nothing for victims of sexual assault.”
”Scott Morrison has told those women who have been affected by sexual assault and rape that they are not believed by the leader of Australia.”
High school student and Dunghutti activist Erin O’Leary reiterated the demands of the rally, calling for an end to the “repulsive sexist culture” perpetuated by the government and the privatisation of 1800 Respect.
O’Leary acknowledged that the protest’s demands encompassed broader calls for justice. “We need to be 100 percent clear that what we are up against is not just ScoMo, but the capitalism he serves.”
“Black Lives Matter, refugee justice, fighting sexism, resistance to queerphobia and transphobia — these are all very important movements but they should not be alienated from each other,” O’Leary said. “It’s not men versus women, it’s all of us versus sexist politics and billionaires.”
O’Leary also promoted a forthcoming rally on the 8th of May. In addition to the demands made on the evening, the May 8th rally will demand the expansion of education around sex, consent and sexism in schools.
Evan Grey, a representative of the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU), called for the movement to “tear down Parliament House, tear down misogynists and kick [sexist politicians] out to the fucking curb.”
Grey stanchly criticised the government’s view of educational care work as “just nappy changing,” saying that it “humiliates the workforce.”
The rally closed out with a unified chant: “Hey ScoMo, shame on you! Sack Porter and Reynolds too!”
If this article has caused distress, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Counselling Service at 1800 737 732 or NSW Rape Crisis Counselling Service at 1800 424 017.