Keep Sydney Open, Reclaim The Streets and Sniff Off are organising the January 19th event at Sydney Town Hall.
There has been fierce debate surrounding the NSW and Victorian Governments' continued opposition to trialing pill testing in the wake of two more suspected overdose deaths at festivals, taking the number of fatalities for 2018 to five. Last week, NSW premier Gladys Berekiklian said her government would "consider" pill testing, but only if evidence could be provided that the measure would save lives.
The protest will be a collaborative effort between anti-lockouts group-turned-political party Keep Sydney Open, The Greens Sniff Off campaign against the use of sniffer dogs, not-for-profit organisation Unharm and local activist group Reclaim The Streets. Keep Sydney Open referred on Facebook to Berejiklian's prior barring of an expert panel to consider pill testing. "When Gladys and her government forbids an 'expert' panel from considering life-saving solutions, it suggests a brazen ignorance that makes us question the very character of politicians in all areas of policy. We will not allow the NSW Government to get away with this ignorance. We won't allow another trashing of civil liberties when we have smarter options on the table," the post reads.
The Demand Action: Pill Testing Saves Lives rally will start at 4 PM in front of Sydney Town Hall before moving onto the streets shortly after.