Photo Friday: Safe Schools Protests

When I walk past the State Victoria Library, it’s common to see a rally or protest. Since I’ve been here, there have been several protests related to refugee rights.

Last Thursday, I had some time before going to a lecture at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre and in attempts to escape from the rain was going to stop by and get a tea at Mr. Tulk.

Sadly Mr. Tulk was closed, but in passing the library I found an even better treat than a warm cup of tea: hundreds of passionate students and member of political organizations prepping for a rally regarding Safe Schools. I walked past a girl with brown curly hair and a jean jacket. A colleague of hers was taping a sign to her back that said “Fight Fees.”

“Looks great!” Her friend said to her as she finished taping the sign on. I asked about what they were here for. The girls gave me a quick run down of the situation and made a few remarks about what assholes the conservatives were. “Yeah, they think this program will turn students into pedophiles.”

©Allison Yates. Melbourne Safe schools 2

The protesters came out in the rain in support of Safe Schools, a program designed to protect LGBT students in schools from homophobic and transphobic bullying. Recently, the program has been under attack from conservative politicians, and Turnball ordered an investigation.

I walked around the side, observing those who came in attendance. Many were dressed in wigs, rainbow shirts and pins, decorations and costumes to show their support for an all-inclusive Australia.

I met some women from the group Radical Women, who invited me to their feminist book club in Brunswick. Count me in!

©Allison Yates. Melbourne Safe Schools

I wanted to stay for longer, but I was on my way to a panel discussion of activism at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. Ironic?

Read more about the protests and about the political situation regarding Safe Schools in this article from The Age.

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