As many as 2000 people marched from Hyde Park to Belmore Park on Sunday
to protest against the introduction of the carbon tax, forcing police to redirect Elizabeth Street traffic.
Commemorating the first day of the tax, protestors clapped along to chants of “smash the tax” with plastic inflatable baseball bats. Some directed their rage towards Prime Minister Julia Gillard personally. One man yelled: “menopause is killing this country,” while another implored passing traffic to: “run over Gillard.”
Central Coast resident Helen Davison said she came to show her disapproval. “I’m personally very upset. We were told there would be no carbon tax,” she said. Several businessmen and politicians addressed the crowd. Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop warned the tax would lead to significant price rises in all sectors.
“Everything we do will increase in cost,” she said. Ms Bishop also warned that Labor and Greens’ policy would lead to energy shortages and even ‘brownouts’, although she did not have evidence to support this claim.
Speaking by a phone hook up, Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce echoed the crowd’s anger with Prime Minister Gillard. “We can not let this woman get away with this,” Sr Joyce said. Other speakers went further. Malcolm Roberts denied the science of climate change. “Humans do not control the carbon dioxide level,” Mr Roberts said. “Nature does it entirely on her own. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.”
Mr Roberts alleged that global warming was a hoax invented by the United Nations in conjunction with the Rockefeller and Rothschild families, as well as unspecified ‘multi-national corporations’. Another
speaker, David Archibald, said that global warming was a lie perpetrated by socialists.
The crowd appeared to endorse such theories. One participant, choosing to stay anonymous, said she did not believe speakers had exaggerated the threat posed by the carbon tax. “This is about socialism and Nazism. I’m here for my grandchildren to fight so they don’t have to live under this socialist regime,” she said.
Though peripheral to the rally’s stated aim, a host of other conservative causes found a voice amongst the crowd. Several signs berated refugees and socialists. A man dressed in a full body niqab held one that read: “No welfare for asylum seekers.”