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Melbourne’s Packed Out #SaveOurABC Protest Caps Off A Week Of Rallies Across The Country

Reminder that last month the Liberal Council voted to privatise the ABC.

Melbourne’s town hall was at full capacity for this afternoon’s #SaveOurABC rally: a peaceful protest that capped off a week of similar stunts in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Melbourne politicians Adam Bandt and Ged Kearney joined famous journalist Peter Greste at the packed protest this afternoon:

Crowds were queued as far as three blocks from the entrance as the event began:

Greste was joined by Magda Szubanski — a key marriage equality activist who has now turned her sights onto saving the ABC — as well as professor Fiona Stanley, Margaret Reynolds, Jon Faine, and Tim Solly.

At the Sydney protest earlier in the week, journalists and activists grouped together in support of the campaign.

“The ABC is our Library of Alexandria,” Szubanski said to gathered protestors. “And I for one will not stand by and watch them burn it.”

“The ABC is the research and development wing for the commercial networks,” she added.

“Two inquiries into the efficiency of public broadcasting in four years,” ABC journalist Kerry O’Brien said. “What was wrong with the first one?”

The protests have been organised by ABC Friends, a lobby group that supports the existence of a well-funded, independent national broadcaster.

The group’s national spokesman, Ranald Macdonald, said that over 1000 supporters had turned up for the Sydney protest.

Last month, the Liberal Party council voted to privatise the ABC, a move that was quickly rebuked by sitting Liberal party politicians.

The specific motion read: “That federal council calls for the full privatisation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, except for services into regional areas that are not commercially viable.”

The latest government inquiry into the ABC (and SBS) is due to hand down its findings in September.