Culture

10,000 Australians Marched On Sunday, And Major News Outlets Actually Reported On It

Approximately 10,000 Australians took to the streets to protest the Government's proposed budget.

While estimates varied wildly in number depending on who you ask and what bias they carry, we can safely say that a lot of people attended yesterday’s March in May protests in Australia’s capital cities, in order to protest against Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s radical and divisive federal budget.

In both alliteration and spirit, the march was a sequel of sorts to the grassroots March in March. Where that rally saw disparate groups coming together to reject the general idea of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, though, the March in May was a spontaneous and noticeably more visceral rejection of the budget: Abbott’s most significant policy intervention to date.

Despite 13 arrests at the Sydney march, the May edition was largely peaceful and as apolitical as an incredibly political thing can be, with Labor, the Greens and the Socialist Alternative all being kept from the pulpit. (Greens MP Adam Bandt did speak at the Melbourne march, though, but y’know.)

How Did It Get Covered?

While Fairfax and News Ltd. largely ignored the March in March (in a fairly huge misjudgement of the public mood), it seemed the major outlets had learnt from their mistakes the second time around: both joined Guardian Australia and the ABC in diligently covering this weekend’s protests.

While the Australian remained mostly above the fray, The Telegraph had an enjoyably whimsical interpretation of events, offering the admittedly-quite-elegant headline ‘Ferals Are Revolting’, and carefully sifting through the crowds to find enough dole bludger-looking types to support their predetermined narrative — the “beanie-wearing, dreadlocked throng of welfare recipients and professional protesters” was my personal favourite.

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The Sydney Morning Herald’s coverage, on the other hand, was a mix of reportage and barely-concealed delight at some of the sweet, sweet puns that were kicking about.

Meanwhile, the state premiers held an emergency meeting on Sunday, to discuss the $80 billion funding burden bestowed upon them by the budget. Unfortunately, the Tele is yet to coin a pithy phrase to describe said scroungers.

Feature image via ABC.