A GROUP of protesters from Bega joined around 1000 people on the lawn of Parliament House in Canberra on Monday for the nationwide March in March protest.
Organisers said the march was “a statement of no confidence in the [Tony] Abbott government…affirming public dissatisfaction with policies that are incompatible with our international moral and legal responsibilities and to our way of life as a compassionate and caring people”.
Canberra’s rally followed others over the weekend in capital cities and regional centres.
March in March national convenor Tim Jones said he believed 100,000 people had attended about 20 marches around the nation.
On Monday protesters took to Canberra, beginning their march at the Queen Victoria Terrace before arriving at Parliament House.
Many of those travelling from Bega had made signs, with some asking the government to have compassion for asylum seekers and others concerned with climate change action.
“We all went up on the bus together, people all went for different reasons,” one of the Bega attendees said.
“I think there were around 1000 people there, and people were offered the opportunity to speak for one minute each on why they had joined the protest."
National March in March administrator Craig Batty told The Canberra Times the rally showed Australians did not believe democracy ended at the ballot box.
"They're prepared to come out, join together and talk about the issues that concern them," he said.
"There's going to be people who try to minimise this and spin it in terms of how many people are here, but you've got to remember it's a work day."
Canberra organiser Loz Lawrie noted “people are protesting more issues than I could mention in one breath”.
“There's the issue of our forests in Tasmania, the damage to the environment, the dumping of material in the Great Barrier Reef, social justice issues, the attacks on wages and entitlements,” he said.
"There are many things that have got people upset, and we just feel that the politicians aren't listening to the people and that's why we're all here today.”