News ‘We want change now’: Australia’s powerful March 4 Justice in pictures
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‘We want change now’: Australia’s powerful March 4 Justice in pictures

Up to 100,000 people attended March 4 Justice rallies around the country on Monday. Photo: AAP
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Thousands of survivors, advocates and supporters have gathered in cities across Australia, calling for action against gender inequality and sexual assault.

The emotional charge of protesters was palpable from the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra, from Hobart all the way to Perth.

Protesters march to the Liberal Party Offices during March 4 Justice, Melbourne. Photo: AAP

Eloquently delivered by organiser Janine Hendry during an impromptu run-in with the Deputy Prime Minister in the halls of Parliament, the message was clear:

We want change and we want change now.”

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Women chose not to attend the marches, offering to meet with organisers in private instead.

But the invitation was turned down.

“We have already come to the front door, it’s up to the government to cross the threshold and come to us,” Ms Hendry said.

Protesters hold placards at the Women’s March 4 Justice in Hobart. Photo: AAP

Labor MP Susan Templeman echoed this sentiment.

“Too much of what’s been happening and the terrible allegations of sexual assault, it’s all been happening in silence behind closed doors,” Ms Templeman said.

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who alleges she was raped in Parliament House, spoke at the Canberra march.

Ms Higgins said she resigned from her job and went public with her allegations to protect other women.

“By staying silent, I felt like it would have made be complicit,” she said.

As Ms Higgins finished her address, the crowd began to chant.

“We believe Brittany,” they chorused.

Australian of the Year and child sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame  appeared at a March 4 Justice event in Hobart, Tasmania.

Australian of the Year Grace Tame at the Women’s March 4 Justice in Hobart. Photo: AAP

While some female members of the Coalition attended the march in Canberra, the Opposition came out in force. Labor leader Anthony Albanese led MPs to join the march, earlier calling for female members to “speak out” about allegations of misconduct.

Thousands gather during the Women’s March 4 Justice in Sydney. Photo: AAP

It came as former deputy leader and shadow minister for women Tanya Plibersek admitted the opposition must better protect its staff.

But, demonstrators were not looking to excuse either side of politics, with some signs pointing to a movement that has been pushing for change for decades.

According to a Twitter post from Doctor Katy Thomson, an unnamed 86-year-old woman who marched in Perth has been fighting gender inequality for over 70 years.

On the other end of the age-spectrum, young women marched in Melbourne with signs calling out a “childhood shaped by misogyny”.

Sexual abuse survivor Jaime-lee Page revealed on Twitter that she was marching on behalf of her deceased sister.

“With outrage comes determination. I march in memory of my sister Carol and as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse,” Ms Page wrote.

“We will not be silenced!”

Another placard in Perth read: “Be grateful we only want JUSTICE; Not REVENGE.”

In Brisbane, the rain did not hold off but that did not keep demonstrators away.

Large crowds are seen gathering in Brisbane. Photo: AAP

In Torquay, Victoria demonstrators gathered on the beach to make a sign with their bodies that could be seen from above.

“JUSTICE,” it said.

Protesters used their placards to poke fun at the Prime Minister and his now infamous response to Ms Higgins’ rape allegations.

Mr Morrison revealed at the time that it was only after speaking to his wife Jenny that he understood the gravity of the situation.

Countless people took to social media, flooding Twitter feeds with stories and photos of their placards, as #March4Justice trended in Australia.

Another popular tweet was from Chloe Barber-Hancock, also using the #EnoughisEnough and #IBelieveKate hashtags.

“I like my patriarchy like I like my avocados…Smashed!” she had written on a placard.

The #IBelieveKate hashtag has been employed by Twitter users in response to historical rape allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter.

Mr Porter on Monday launched defamation action against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for publishing the allegations.

  • For confidential support and services around sexual assault, contact 1800 RESPECT online or by phone on 1800 737 732. If you or someone you know needs help contact Life Line on 13 11 14

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