Today marks two years since the announcement to relocate all tenants in Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks. Kelli Haynes named it, ‘Day of Infamy, Day of Celebration: a day to stand in solidarity against destructive forces and an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable resilience of ordinary people and their victories as we continue this ordinary fight’.
At midday, the community and its supporters gathered at the Fire Station in Kent Street, then marched down Kent Street to the Village Green in Argyle Place. At the front of the march were Barney on a loudhailer and a strong contingent of unions with flags waving, including the CFMEU and MUA. Following them were members of the community, both Housing tenants and people who have recently moved into the area and who now campaign alongside the community that welcomed them here, as well as the many supporters amongst our elected representatives, including Alex Greenwich and Clover Moore.
On arrival at the Village Green, the march moved through the Heart of Millers Point, made of crosses adorned with messages collected from the community, and gathered to hear the speakers who had come to support them.
Peter and Wendy made and erected banners in the Village Green as well as providing some for those who marched down Kent Street.
The Village Green has always been the heart of Millers Point, and Millers Point is the heart of Sydney. The heart is a symbol of compassion, of life, and of community. The cross represents both suffering and salvation as well as being the universal Christian symbol, acknowledged by all denominations as the single visual identifier of their faith. Together, we hope the heart, the crosses and the messages on them send a strong statement to Mike Baird.
These messages recognise the suffering that has been inflicted by the pronouncement on the 19 March, 2014 as well as celebrate the survival of those still here in 2016.
Written on them are messages from the community, which helped people feel that their presence counted and their voice was heard.
Thank you to everyone in the community who have contributed to this work.
Clover Moore and members of the community arriving at the Village Green.
The MUA’s Paul McAleer and Clover Moore listening to speakers at the Village Green Rally.
Clover Moore congratulates remaining members of the Millers Point community for surviving and pledges continuing support, while acknowledging the many who have been forced out by the NSW Government’s relocation process.
Alex Greenwich encouraged people to stand firm and promised to keep fighting to save the Millers Point community.
Paul McAleer spoke in rousing tones about the power and strength of the community.
Myra was one of the less mobile members of the community on the Village Green who greeted the marchers, listened to the speakers, enjoyed the celebrations and updated documentary-maker Helen Barrows on the NSW Government attempts to oust a blind 89-year-old from her home.
What were the messages in the Heart of Millers Point? Below are some of the suggestions that came in, but other messages were simply written by people on the day.
- NO SURRENDER
- SAVE MILLERS POINT
- AGE IN PLACE
- RESPECT OUR ELDERS
- PROTECT US
- SUPPORT US
- STILL HERE
- WE ARE STILL HERE
- HUMANITY IN PUBLIC HOUSING
- WHERE IS OUR VOICE?
- DIGNITY IS A HUMAN RIGHT
- stand up, fight back for social housing for workers and retirees.
- These are still our homes
- No Government has a right to destroy a community
- still here still won’t go
- heritage and History not 4 sale
- Diversity is strength
- A community is a family – everyone is included and needed.
- Social Cleansing
- owned by lend lease
- Casino Mike’s playground of the rich
- ye olde theme park
- Save Our Sirius
- Save Our Heritage
- Maritime Heart
- Diversity is Important
- I was born here
- We are Fighters