Largest demonstration, monarchist or republican
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013

This was one the  largest demonstrations ever in Sydney's Macquarie Street, and without doubt the largest demonstration during the republic - monarchy debate.

 In 1996 Peter Sinclair retired as Governor of New South Wales. Premier Bob Carr announced that Rear Admiral Sinclair's replacement, Gordon Samuels, would not reside at Government House. This was a direct attack on the independence and integrity of the office of Governor and was expressly intended to promote republicanism in Australia.

In response to this outrage Australians for Constitutional Monarchy organised one of the largest demonstrations ever held in Sydney - far more than the 10,000 claimed by the ABC. From the podium, the crowds could be seen from Hyde Park down as far as the eye could see. Other estimates were over 20,000. ACM's Lloyd Waddy and Kerry Jones were there with the Rev. Fred Nile as well as opposition leaders Peter Collins and Ian Armstrong. 

Notice the lack of aerial or long range shots to show the actual extent of the crowd. Republicans take note: Paul Keating says that popular disgust at Bob Carr's actions in evicting the Governor was on of the factors in the fall of the federal ALP government later in 1996.

And what of republican demonstrations? The republicans called a demonstration at lunch time in the heart of greater Sydney, Parramatta to be addressed by various celebrities just before the referendum. The celebrities, the republican heavies, the reporters and the TV cameras turned up. How many attended? Tens of thousands? Thousands? Hundreds? No, seventy – including the celebrities, assorted republican heavies, and journalists. Needless to say, not one second of this appeared on the television news.

Then there was the launch of the Mate for a Head of State campaign overlooking Bondi Beach with a free “sausage sizzle” on the Sunday before Australia Day, 22 January 2006.  The republican heavies turned up with the media. At it s high point there were fifty people there including the heavies and the media.

Incidentally, have you noticed how the republicans invariably described themselves as “passionate”?