Marchers shocked at apathy

CLARENCE Valley's March in March coordinator has been left sorely disappointed by negative reactions to the event.

Up to 150 Clarence Valley residents attended the march on Saturday morning, armed with signs bearing CSG protest messages, calls to save the Great Barrier Reef and blanket messages such as "Greed before need" and "Less fear, more love".

Co-ordinator Janelle Montgomery said while she was extremely proud of every person who stood up and marched at the weekend, she was less than enthusiastic about the reactions of some residents in the streets.

"There is definitely a sense of apathy in Grafton and a real streak of complacency," she said. "When we were marching around the streets, the feeling from some people that weren't marching was pure hate.

"I just don't get why it could be so hateful or annoying to them, it's a legal march.

"I felt like I would have had more support if I had been protesting against the McDonald's closing down."

Mrs Montgomery said her decision to organise Grafton's first March in March had stemmed from a passion to save the Great Barrier Reef.

She is currently collecting signatures for a petition calling for the immediate stopping of and objection to all mining development in the Clarence Valley.

"That was why I first made a commitment that I was going to march, even if I had to do it myself," Mrs Montgomery said.

"Every person I spoke to I said 'if we can't save the Great Barrier Reef we do not have a hope in hell of protecting the Clarence Valley from what's going to happen here'."



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