Hundreds Have Rallied In Support Of Pill-Testing In Sydney This Afternoon
"Where there's a pill there's a way."
Hundreds of people have rallied in Sydney this afternoon to call on the state government to implement pill-testing at live music events.
Protesters gathered outside Sydney Town Hall brandishing signs and chanting slogans expressing their support for pill-testing and other harm reduction methods, which have been vocally opposed by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Addressing the crowd, federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale accused Berejiklian of sending the message that “if somebody makes a choice to take a drug, they should pay for that choice with their lives”.
“No decent society does that,” said Di Natale. “So I say to the Premier of NSW. Indeed, I say to the Premier of every state in this country. I say to my counterparts in Canberra: it’s time you got out of the way and let health professionals do their job.”
The rally was organised by Reclaim the Streets, Unharm, Sniff Off, Keep Sydney Open and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and comes a week after 19-year-old Alex Ross-King became the fifth young person in less than six months to die after consuming drugs at a NSW music festival.
.@RichardDiNatale: This idea that pill testing sends the wrong message – the message you’re sending right now, @GladysB, is that if somebody makes a choice to take a drug, they should pay for that choice with their lives.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) January 19, 2019
Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps also addressed the rally. “The way we have been doing things up until now is not working,” she said.
On Friday, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians wrote an open letter to all state and territory governments throwing their support behind pill-testing, joining an ever-growing list of medical bodies to come in support of harm reduction
Pill testing advocates are rallying at Sydney’s Town Hall right now. Here are some of the best signs. pic.twitter.com/JL7e0hsJPM
— Tom Williams (@tom__williams) January 19, 2019
Feature image via Jenny Leong/Twitter