Event held on June 27

Protest Melbourne

Provided by:

Event runs from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Refer calendar for future dates


Public protest has a long history in Victoria. From as early as the 1840s Melburnians took to the streets to express their views on a wide range of issues, from the right to vote to workers’ rights. Some citizen protest movements helped to change the law. In the 1970s the moratorium movement influenced the Australian government to withdraw from the Vietnam conflict. Large rallies by First Nations people and their supporters also helped to bring about the abolition of discriminatory laws. More recently rallies in support of Climate action, or protesting continuing harassment of women, have demanded government action. The right to protest is protected in Victoria under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act but it is never absolute, as the recent COVID emergency showed. How important is the right to protest in a democracy? This exhibition explores past and present protest in an attempt to find out.