“When you’re talking about the historical facts of rape against women, you go back to 1788, and history has a habit of repeating itself,”
Indigenous elder Auntie Shirley shouted into the mass crowd of thousands outside Sydney’s Town Hall this afternoon. She gave a powerful speech alongside her welcome to country at Sydney’s Women’s March4Justice rally, addressing the crowd on mass incarceration, detention centres, and the collective injustices inflicted on women of colour over decades.
Journalist Jess Hill’s rallying cry was equally powerful. Posing a question to the crowd before the march began she said, “Are you tired? Are you angry? Are you determined to change things?” The crowd erupted into screams of support.
Below, Women’s Agenda speaks to various women at the rally to hear more about their pursuit for change and why, for them, #EnoughisEnough.
“We heard about the march last week, and personally, we feel like we’ve stood on the shoulders of those who have come before us, and if we don’t come out and do our part then how can we expect women to continue to fight for the things that we don’t have like equality and safe space?”
“I’m marching for women’s rights and gender inequality to be dismantled.”
“I feel like with everything going on lately and everything that’s always going on in terms of women not being believed, we need to fight to get change.”
“I’m marching because I’ve been marching for 30 years. I’ve travelled from my farm in the north coast for some solidarity with women. We’ve had enough.”
I’m tired and I’m sad that it’s taken this long for this march to happen and I’m marching for my niece, my sister, my mother, for myself and my friends. It’s time. It’s just time.”
“I think it’s been so long and the fact that women still don’t have rights and there’s still gender based violence is just not good. It’s 2021. It’s not good.”
“We shouldn’t have to still be protesting. Our rights, it’s like the bare minimum. Why are we still here?”
“It’s clear that what’s going on is systemic. I think last week, there were one in three indigenous deaths in custody. What’s happening in parliament and what’s happening in the UK. It’s not just women’s rights. It’s not just women’s rights. It’s human rights.
Today I’m marching because like lots of other women and men, I’m angry and fed up. I do think that the comments Scott Morrison made about being a parent have really ignited a fire in many of us. We’re angry and it’s this time for women to come together. We’re not going to take it anymore.”
I’m marching for Jill Meagher, I’m marching for Eurydice Jane Dixon, and Aiia Maasarwe and for those who have been silenced because of the patriarchy, I am marching to stop gendered violence.
“I march every time there’s an occasion to express the frustrations of minorities. The majority of the minorities are people of colour, ingenious peoples, POC black, trans, gay, every one, women; and anytime I get to be a body and hold space and help I will. Because I’m not just fighting for myself I’ll stand up for anyone. Unfortunately, we are constantly reminded that women’s safety is not a priority.”