• anonymous woman

[*Moderator's note: this is the bullet point version of the previous post, kindly supplied by the author in acnowledgement of the length of that post, and for people who are interested but don't have time to read the full report].

  • Our thirteen were outnumbered by their hundreds

  • Immediately confined us to the periphery by moving their largest banners right in front of us

  • As the march began, they refused to let us forward, aggressively blocking our way

  • One specifically targeted a disabled woman in our ranks

  • We were immediately surrounded by people with anti-radical feminist signs

  • They chanted their demands for us to leave whilst others yelled in our faces much the same

  • They ripped a member’s sign that was about the sexual assault of women by powerful men

  • They were constant in their aggressive attempts to block us and hold us back

  • A woman aggressively rammed into me, trying to push me back

  • She moved to one of our members who was holding a sign

  • She was trying to knock the sign out of her hand

  • I tried to help our member, and we were both aggressively pushed and shoved by her

  • She successfully knocked the sign out of our member’s hands

  • At certain points, they relentlessly yelled their demands for us to leave in megaphones that they placed right behind our heads

  • One of our women who uses a cane was surrounded by them trying to stop her from walking

  • She subsequently fell and was injured

  • These people were reprimanded by the police immediately

  • She and her companions had to abandon the march as she could not continue

  • After this, some of the union organisers formed a line between us and the rest of the protest

  • They stopped walking and began to actively hold us back

  • We realised their attempts to exclude us and walked forward more assertively

  • The group surrounding us had us extremely tightly packed on the corner of the State Library and Little Lonsdale Street

  • A man was standing right in front of our woman in the wheelchair

  • The police asked me to move from her side, and they then threatened to arrest the man if he did not let her past

  • The lead marshal surrounded us with a line of union helpers

  • We tried to evade their human barrier and managed to rejoin our group with difficulty

  • The lead marshal instructed their helpers to form three separate lines to surround us

  • She yelled through the microphone ‘one step forward’, ‘one step back’, ‘two steps forward’ for around ten to fifteen minutes

  • This human barrier of people would step forward and back accordingly

  • I was at the front of our group and refused to move when the lead marshal would order the people to step forward into us

  • During many of these rammings, I was viciously elbowed in my ribs and stomach

  • The marshals alone outnumbered us four to one

  • Verbal harassment and physical intimidation was constant throughout the march

  • We tried to move past this mob of protestors and marshals but were ultimately ordered back by the police

  • The yelling and chanting at us to leave that had been constant soon turned to cheers of celebration as the police asked us to leave

  • We had turned back after a police officer issued a thinly veiled threat to arrest us

  • We spoke with another police officer thereafter

  • He clarified when asked that we had done nothing wrong and that we were not being ordered to leave on threat of arrest but that we were being asked to

  • He cited breach of peace laws and said that they had identified a likelihood of violence erupting

  • Although we were not ordered to, we did leave

[*Moderator's note: there are pictures of the injuries sustained by one of these thirteen women here and here].


#australia #melbourne #IWD2021 #womensmarch #physicalviolence #indimidation #handmaidens