I got the most wonderful parking spot, on the edge of Hyde Park, only maybe 100 metres from the rally stage. I was alone. Well alone with about five thousand people. This is the first time I have been to Hyde Park since I moved back to Oz three months ago and it was a beautiful day. I couldn't resist taking a few pics.
This is the Archibald Fountain and St Mary's Cathedral I just liked the way it was framed.
For some reason Apollo pointing at the spires of the cathedral appealed to my sense of the irreverent being that I was at a marriage equality rally.
The speakers were a little difficult to hear at times but the crowd was wonderful. I listened to a conversation between a mother and her little boy who looked to be under 3.
Boy "Why are all these people here?"
Mother "For a rally darling"
Boy "What's a rally?"
Mother "It's a way for people to gather and show everyone what they think"
Boy "What do these people think?"
Mother "The want everyone to be able to marry whoever they love."
Boy "I don't want to get married"
Mother "Well maybe one day you will and you might want to marry a man or you might want to marry a lady and these people want you to be able to choose."
I caught the mother's eye accidentally and we exchanged a smile.
The entire time I was there the thing I heard more than anything was people on their mobile phones trying to direct other people to where they were.
"I see you - keep walking and then turn right."....
"Are you walking towards the fountain or away from it?"....
"I'm to the north side of the stage"...
On and on this went. These people (most of whom were quite young) will never know the anxiety and irritation of searching for your friend in a big crowd, nor for that matter the excitement and pleasure of finding them! Technology giveth and taketh away.
The speakers led the crowd in a selection of chants that would be used during the march.
"Gay straight black white - marriage is a civil right"
"Julia Gillard ALP - we demand equality"
It wasn't too long, maybe an hour, before the crowd headed off down Market St on the way to Darling Harbour to where the Australian Labor Party was having it's National Conference. I decided not to walk along, I was a bit wobbly and it seemed a little far for me, I also would have had to come back to the car. This is one of those times when it would be handy to have a scooter. I followed in the car for a while taking note that all four of the mounted police were women (not the horsemen of the Apocalypse SotA girls!)
The four mounted police women at the back of the march.
I kind of tried to get down to Darling Harbour to meet the march at the end point but it turned out to be virtually impossible with the terrible traffic and the lack of parking. By then I was feeling a bit pooped too so I headed for home.
I really wish TLOML had been here to go with me. It would have been a lot more fun if I was sharing it. This blog will have to suffice.