14 May 2013


The protesters stood on the steps of State Parliament. On the road in front of them, two police cars were parked, their lights flashing and their drivers leaning against them with their arms crossed, chatting.  It was a cold day that hadn’t decided on rain yet.  There were only about thirty protesters and they were all young.  Many of them wore red or were waving red banners, and they held placards that read, ‘NO UNI CUTS’ and ‘TAX THE RICH’.  A chant went up between them that went, ‘Education for all, not just the rich’.

I kept walking along Spring St and turned the corner onto Bourke. My friend was away and I didn’t feel like browsing in the bookstores, so I did a blocky and came back to Lonsdale. When I was near my office a copper on a bike came down the hill on the wrong side of the road.  Up ahead, the protesters had begun marching towards the city centre, taking up all three lanes.  They were chanting a different slogan now, some of them dancing like hari krishnas, some of them clapping hesitantly, and some of them too self-conscious to do anything but be carried along with the crowd, but all looking very young and happy.

Later, I read in The Age that there was a very big protest in the city that converged on the State Library and Federation Square, and shut down Collins Street.

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