The centre of Melbourne has been brought to a virtual standstill as an estimated crowd of 170,000 marched through the city’s streets in a massive Union-organised “Change The Rules” protest as part of a larger campaign for better wages and conditions for Australia’s workforce.
The Change The Rules march in Melbourne, spearheaded by the ACTU and the Australian Unions groups, sparking remarkable scenes as a sea of humanity marched from Trades Hall in the city’s northern end, down to Flinders Street Station, where crowds filled the intersection to capacity and brought the entire area to a shuddering halt. The march attracted an estimated crowd of around 170,000; around 20,000 more than prior projections had estimated.
— MEAA (@withMEAA) October 23, 2018
— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) October 23, 2018
— Ben Davison (@ClubeGaffer) October 22, 2018
— Harriet Mantell (@Harrietmantell) October 23, 2018
— TWU Australia (@TWUAus) October 23, 2018
— Kratos's Fedora. (@1984Leroy) October 23, 2018
Change The Rules organisers even managed to sort out an AC/DC cover band for the event, who followed the march on the back of a flat-bed truck, mimicking the actual band’s iconic video for Long Way To The Top.
No union mass rally is complete without an AC/DC cover band, rocking hard on the back of a truck, as 150,000 of us march through the streets of Melbourne. #ChangeTheRules #auspol pic.twitter.com/YlTKBNJBCG
— Matt Hrkac (@MattHrkac) October 23, 2018
— Matt (@MattyWiLLsOn) October 23, 2018
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was on hand for the Change The Rules march, leading the crowd down Swanston Street and posting a message of solidarity on social media shortly afterwards.
— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) October 23, 2018
Simultaneous marches were held across Australia today, with tens of thousands turning out for the Sydney march.
— Union Aid Abroad (@apheda) October 23, 2018
— CFMEU (@CFMEU_CG) October 23, 2018
Change The Rules protests were also held in every major city, as well as a raft of regional centres across Australia including Wollongong, Gladstone, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Launceston, Devonport, Shepparton, Wodonga, and Newcastle to name just a few.
The marches are being held as part of a broader Union-backed push for more stable wages for Australian workers, as well as a general raise of the minimum wage that sits more in-line with the rising costs of living in Australia. Which, frankly, is something just about everyone can get around.Image: Getty Images / Darrian Traynor