This post is long overdue, but as they say better late than never! Brisbane was proud to host the largest Shut It Down rally in the country, with Queensland Police officers estimating the crowd at South Bank on Feb 7 to be about 700 people.
The most notable thing about Feb 7 was the way it brought together animal lovers from all over Queensland, with some people even driving up from Byron Bay or travelling for several hours from the Sunshine Coast to attend. The Brisbane rally attendees were people of every ethnicity, age group and profession: corporate executives, truck drivers, schoolteachers, real estate agents, homemakers, students, small business owners, supermarket staffers and IT professionals, to name a few. It really put paid to the myth frequently propagated by racing industry participants: that the people who oppose greyhound racing are a minority of unemployed vegan hippies.
We were privileged to have a great line-up of speakers who inspired the crowd to keep taking action and using their voice to speak up for the greys: Andrew Bartlett of the Queensland Greens, Cr Luke Smith from Logan City Council, Graeme Palmer – a resident of Logan and small business owner who decided to stand up and protest the proposed track in his city, Bec Russo and Chay Neal from Animal Liberation Queensland, and last but not least event MC Lisa White, founder of greyhound rescue group Friends of the Hound.
Thank you to the following animal rescue groups, animal welfare campaigners, small businesses and influential leaders who supported the Brisbane rally, either by letting us place flyers in their establishments, promoting the event, sponsoring bits and pieces of the event or supplying volunteers to organise it. (Let us know if we have left you out by accident!)
- Friends of the Hound
- Gone Are The Dogs
- Animal Liberation Queensland
- Animal Welfare League Queensland
- Greyhound Equality Society
- Gumtree Greys
- Rescue Dogs Needing Foster Care Brisbane
- The Not Forgotten Ones
- Paws & Recover
- Blue Wheelers Springfield Lakes
- The Complete Pet Company
- Rupert & Dora
- Leaps and Hounds
- Drool Sweet Treats
- My Pet’s Shop Yeronga
- Two Trees Cafe
- Kimono Restaurant South Brisbane
- Queensland Greens
- Animal Justice Party
- Cr Luke Smith
- Cr Steve Swenson
- Cr Nicole Johnston
We also received a lovely surprise from the Oddities e-Club Magazine, whose editor covered the rally in their March 2016 issue (read it here!) and created a fantastic video of the event:
Right now, we’re focusing on the state-specific activities that came out of the Feb 7 rally either directly or indirectly. Please continue supporting the Shut It Down movement by signing / sharing / talking about these efforts:
NSW: On March 21, MP John Kaye and the Shut It Down Sydney rally organisers will be holding a protest against greyhound racing outside Parliament. This is extremely important because it will be timed to coincide with the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry’s recommendations. Event details here.
ACT: The RSPCA ACT and Minister Shane Rattenbury spoke out at the Çanberra rally in support of a ban on greyhound racing in their state. The RSPCA has since released its “Not in the ACT” campaign – please support them by signing and sharing the RSPCA ACT’s petition.
SA: The people of South Australia have started a petition against a proposed track at Murray Bridge. Please sign and share Melanie Easton’s petition against the track.
Further activities in all states are being planned and will be announced once details are finalised. Stay tuned, and thank you for supporting the Coalition’s Shut It Down movement!