Today, thousands gathered across Australia’s major cities to attend the March 4 Justice, a call to demand our government stand up and act against gendered and sexual violence. The protests come as a direct reaction to allegations made by Brittany Higgins, a former Liberal staffer, and the historical rape allegation against Attorney-General, Christian Porter, as well as a response to the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard in London last week.
In Hobart, Australian of the Year Grace Tame spoke at the protest, returning to her home state where she passionately campaigned for a change in laws that banned her from speaking out about being sexually assaulted as a teenager.
“Tasmania! You know what’s incredible—this surge, this cultural shift, this paradigm shift of normalising the conversation of sexual abuse. You know where that started? It started here!” the activist told the crowd. “We may be a small community but we are leading the nation. That is a testament to the power of solidarity. It’s a testament to the power of hope, resilience and a refusal to let fear stop us from doing anything.”
In Canberra Higgins also took to the mic, declaring the “system is broken”, telling the crowd, “We’re not here today because we want to be here, but because we have to be here. We fundamentally recognise the system is broken, the glass ceiling is still in place and there are significant failings in the power structures of our institutions. We are here because it’s unfathomable that we are still having to fight the same tired fight.”
The marie claire Australia team was on-site at Sydney’s demonstration, and below we share the most powerful signs spotted at the protest.