Hundreds Protest In Fremantle
Images by K Greenfeld
Saturday October 6, (E Shed Market Location in Fremantle) over 1,000 people gathered on the docks to demonstrate their opposition to live animal exports, at one of several nation-wide rallies instigated by Animals Australia. Given the short notice and small window of planning and organising, this was a fantastic attendance.
The message was loud and clear – no ban, no vote – we will not vote for a party that supports this cruel industry (the Greens Party is the ONLY party that is committed to ending the live animal exported trade).
The rally was scheduled for 10.00 am, but organisers who had arrived at 9.00 am and early participants, many of whom had never been this close to the reality of live animal exports, had that reality thrust firmly into their consciousness as the Al Shuwaikh, docked opposite our protest point, was hustled out of port over an hour earlier than her scheduled 11.00 am departure. Obviously in this case, not all exposure is good exposure and they wanted to avoid all the media that was arriving.
As tens of thousands of faces peered out into a very alien environment, from their cramped confinement, where they would spend on average three weeks (but UP TO six weeks), Lyn MacLaren grabbed the microphone and launched into a commentary as the couple of hundred protesters already there, farewelled this ship of misery and morbidity with boos and chants. The Al Shuwaikh is bound for Kuwait, where only weeks earlier this same ship laden with 55,000 beings were delayed from unloading, contrary to our Moratorium of Understanding with that country.
The rally opened with a characteristically inspiring and heartfelt 15 minute recorded speech by Lyn White. Lyn was followed by Melissa Parke, Federal MP for the division of Fremantle – always an outspoken advocate for animal protection. Melissa was followed by the always supportive and active Lisa Baker, Labor MLA for the seat of Maylands, Grant Courtney, Federal president of the AMIEU. Crowd favourite, Lyn MacLaren, Greens MLC for the South Metropolitan region finished up, Inspiring all to believe that we CAN change things.
Channel 10, 9, 7 and the ABC covered the event, as well as various radio and print media.
There was no opposition presence (the pro-cruelty, live export supporters), police kept a watchful, eye on the rally, but maintained a respectful distance (thank you Fremantle police).
Huge thanks to everyone who took the time to join us yesterday and who continue to stand with us in this ongoing fight. Our presence and our message do not go unnoticed. Keep up the fight, keep up the pressure and keep the faith – we will end this cruel and barbaric, unsustainable, unreliable and un-Australian trade in misery.
To sum it up, Didi French posted this on the Sunday morning after the rally:
“Gosh, what an emotional Rally it was, starting off with watching that ship of death leaving the Port, absolutely gut-wrenching. Hard to keep back the tears....The energy surrounding us all was overwhelming, all sharing the same feelings of sorrow as we watched it and knowing what horrendous fate was in store for those beautiful defenceless animals on board..:((..Seeing that shocking evidence right before our eyes brought home more than ever why we need to attend these rallies to be their voice, and why we spend hours upon hours campaigning to stop live export...It was an honour to be there standing with so many compassionate, like minded kindred spirits...Thanks for all the time and effort you and everyone concerned put into organising it, Katrina..It was greatly appreciated.:-) Love to you all..xx”