Once again, thousands of protesters have hit Sydney’s streets to voice their disapproval of the NSW government’s eternally-maligned lockout laws.
Marching from the heart of the city to Star Casino and the Barangaroo precinct, today’s party protest is just the latest in an increasingly huge number of public demonstrations against the prohibitive laws, and the exemptions doled out to the city’s casinos.
After being whipped together by Reclaim The Streets – the group behind last September’s protests – many marchers launched their ire at Premier Mike Baird’s handling of the laws. Notably, their take on his stance was personified by a giant bit of shit:
While the lockout laws remained the protest’s focus, tangential issues were also questioned during the march, including the prevalence of pokies and the government’s continuing and likely detrimental use of drug sniffer dogs at music festivals.
— Dave Roberts (@daveeroberts) March 19, 2016
— Unharm (@Unharmdotorg) March 19, 2016
For the most part though, protesters on-scene were there to straight-up rip on the government for championing a set of rules that have been called damaging, draconian, and thoroughly disadvantageous to the majority of the city’s residents – while exempting what has been labeled the most violent venue in the state.
In a previous statement, Reclaim The Streets said “these casinos have brought their way into a free pass, while at the same time funnelling all of the late night trade into their highly lucrative gambling halls.”
“We are marching to the casino to highlight the gross hypocrisy of the government and the craven interests of The Star and Crown Casino.”
Despite the protest’s heavy subject matter, bringing their own tunes was a plus: what better way to prove a bunch of adults can meet in the city, have a boog, and avoid wanton violence than by doing so en masse?
Here with thousands in Sydney calling for the end of #casinomike s ridiculous and draconian #lockout laws. They have cost thousands of hard working sudney sides their jobs and decimated our nightlife. Mike, enough is enough. #reclaimthestreets #protestival #banger
Before last year’s protest, PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to Amanda and Ivan of Reclaim The Streets; in the months that have passed, it seems the cause for their concern has only deepened.
Fortunately, if today’s protest/art exhibit/rolling music festival is anything to go by, support for the cause is still growing. Oh, and protesters are down to literally heap shit on the casino now.