Yesterday’s protest against Mark Latham’s Education Amendment Bill, which would see the erasure of transgender and gender-diverse identities within the New South Wales school system, was prohibited by the NSW Supreme Court on October 9.

The protest went ahead nevertheless.

In correspondence with Star Observer April Holcombe, a representative of the organising group Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR), stated that the day was an overall success. Holcombe was positive after the day’s events, stating that the overall feeling was that “we had won this one.”

There was a strong police presence at the event. One person was charged and 11 others have been fined. Holcombe has stated that CARR will fight these. An online fundraiser has been organised to help fight the fines issued at this protest.

Holcombe informed Star Observer the despite a strong police presence, protestors were able to run ahead of police to ensure that the protest did occur, and that they were able to march in opposition to Mark Latham’s Bill.

 Introduced to Parliament in early August, the Education Legislation Amendment Bill aims to amend the Education Act 1990, the Education Standards Authority Act 2013 as well as the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004. The passing of this bill would severely impact the ability for transgender and gender diverse people to be recognised within NSW schools.

This protest was prohibited by the NSW Supreme Court as CARR had no way of proving that the event would be 100% risk free in regards to COVID-19. Holcombe informed Star Observer prior to the protest that this would be a COVIDsafe event, with free sanitiser and masks, COVID marshals and organisers urging anyone who felt unwell to stay home.

Hundreds of people were present at today’s ‘Protect Trans Kids, Kill Latham’s Bill’ protest. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a spokesperson for NSW police stated that attendees were warned that a mass gathering was in breach of NSW Public Health Order that currently prohibits gatherings of over twenty people outdoors.

Speaking with Star Observer, Holcombe expressed why it was so important to CARR that this protest go ahead. Holcombe stated that NSW Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Bellow had advised activists to partake in other forms of activism, like writing letters to politicians. Holcombe believes that this is an “ineffective means of making change”, that protests are not just about the politics, or the cause, but the way that they foster community support, and the way “they change the people involved.”

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