Reclaim The Streets festival is a global protest movement that started in the UK in the 90s. The festival is set to return to Sydney this weekend, in the latest of a string of rallys protesting the varying issues surrounding Sydney’s hugely controversial lockout laws.
In what will be the third edition of the event since September last year, this weekend will see protesters turn their attention to Sydney’s infamous casino The Star, where protestors will call for an end to political donations from the casino and gambling industries.
The Star, along with James Packer’s soon-to-be-built Barangaroo Casino are famously exempt from the lockout laws, and, according to Reclaim The Streets organisers, between 1998 and 2011 The Star made over $847,950 worth of political donations in Australia.
If that sounds like a lot, consider too that since 1998 over $5 million was donated by the gambling industry as a whole in Australia, as well as over $66 million by property developers.
These disproportionate donations, along with the casino’s special drinking exemptions have led to NSW Premier Mike Baird becoming better know as ‘Casino Mike’. #CasinoMike will very much be in the cross hairs again this weekend, and this Saturday will see an expected turnout of over 10, 000 protesters march from Town Hall down to one of Sydney’s most violent venues to call for an end to lockouts and political parties lining their pockets with gambled money.
A spokesperson for Reclaim The Streets has made the purpose of the event clear as glass in a statement which said: “These casinos have bought their way into a free pass, while at the same time funneling all of the late night trade into their highly lucrative gambling halls. We are marching to the casino to highlight the gross hypocrisy of the government and the craven interests of The Star and Crown Casino.”
“We demand both parties refuse donations from casinos and casino-linked entities and refund all money taken in the past.
“This nepotistic Government doesn’t have a clue about the culture of a modern global city. These laws have had a massive impact on local musicians and producers. We demand our city back from these suited idiots.
“You can’t even call Sydney a concrete jungle anymore because Jungles have life in them. Now it’s just a concrete slab, no one wants to live on a slab.”
Reclaim The Streets will also feature more than 100 artists across 20 stages, in efforts both to expand the size and reach of the march, but also as a pretty clear-cut objection to the impact that the lockout laws have had on local musicians and producers.
See the preliminary lineup for the protest festival by stage below, with more still to be announced.
Watch Reclaim The Streets September 2015 Protest Video
Reclaim The Streets – Saturday 19th, March 2016
Begins at Town Hall at 3pm.
Reclaim The Streets 2016 Preliminary Lineup By Stage
United Breakneck Fortress:
Boot vs Sook
Fuj vs Dauntless
Inner West Reggae Disco Machine:
with guests Roots Odyssey
Rabbit Prawn Kollective:
Bass House Movement:
Dj Bruv B2B Lab 5
Wompa B2B 9Toe
Hosted by: not so mc aka angry t
Deeper Than House:
Sydney Hardcore Network:
Lord St Collective
Mr. Ties (Homopatik, Berlin)
Moose & Andy Mcqueen
Vibe Positive X Pelvis:
P Smurf Dj Cos