Roe v Wade Solidarity Protests 01/07/2022 and 09/07/2022
Thousands of people across Australia rallied against the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn of Roe v Wade over July. The decision, which had been leaked earlier in the year, was officially overturned by the Supreme Court on 24th of June, resulting in backlash across the US and around the world. This will leave abortion legality up to state law, with many states already imposing draconian laws banning abortion entirely, which will lead to increases in unsafe abortions and prosecutions of miscarriages, to name a few of the disastrous consequences.
The protests in Australia were primarily to show solidarity with Americans effected by the laws given such a disturbing turn of events and also to draw attention to the inaccessibility of abortion services in Australia, especially for the working class and those living rurally. It is also essential to note that given the increasing power of the far right, similar legal changes are likely to be attempted here, with the small anti-choice movement in Australia being heavily tied to that in the US.
Abortion is healthcare, and standing up for the ability to access basic medical necessities is essential, which is why so many turned out for these protests. To understand in depth why the Roe v Wade decision was made as well as why a US Supreme Court decision saw protests worldwide, check out our article on the topic.
Refugee Rights Rally 23/07
A refugee rights rally was held in Queens Park Garden by Refugee Action Collective Queensland to ensure that the basic needs of refugees in Australia are met. The list of demands was very clear, with several concrete needs to be met to ensure better treatment for refugees. These included ensuring permanent visas for all, as many refugees in Australia are forced onto bridging visas lacking any type of stability. Another demand is the ending of offshore detention, with many refugees still indefinitely detained in PNG and Nauru with no clear pathways to resettlement.
Demands also include increasing the intake of refugees from Afghanistan to 20,000 after the take-over by the Taliban forcing many more refugees to flee the country, as well as ending 'fast-track' processing, and resettling refugees from Indonesia. These changes would allow an increase in the stability of refugees in Australia.
The rally was also followed by a fundraiser at the ETU building in South Bank, with all proceeds going to refugees abandoned on bridging visas.
Rally for Climate Change 30/07
After continuous devastation seen across the world from increasingly disastrous weather events, including heat waves and wildfires ravaging parts of Europe and floods which devastated large areas across Queensland and New South Wales earlier in the year, it is clear that we are seeing the direct effects of climate change. Climate change is real and it is dangerous, and we must do everything we can to prevent further environmental devastation.
This rally was hosted by the UQ Environmental Collective, along with other activist groups, and was specifically focused on stopping the Scarborough Gas Project. The Scarborough Gas Project proposed by Woodside Energy would seek to develop 12 subsea gas wells off the coast of Western Australia. Such a project would not only massively hamper Australia's ability to achieve the current target of net zero by 2050 (which is already insufficient), but some estimates suggest this one project could produce over three times Australia's current emissions.
Despite a dip in activity due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak through Australia, the social movements continue to fight for necessary social change. Check out Notes from Below next month for further updates on these social movements.