Organisers of the rally in Canberra said 3000 attended although police estimated about 1500. In Melbourne 100 people gathered outside the state Parliament according to the ABC, while 50 people gathered in King George Terrace in Brisbane.
If you go to the Consumers and Taxpayers website CO2 the truth page, they are strongly in the climate denial camp dismissing the huge amount of scientific research on climate change and CO2 emissions in favour of the arguments by climate denial websites. Read a scientific rebuttal of the factual distortions at the Skeptical Science Preventing Misinformation Blog.
Many reports in the press and twitter remark on the predominance of baby boomers and retirees in the crowd at these protests, and their conservative makeup. At the Canberra protest a report in the Age said the "Young Liberals, DLP, Climate Skeptics, the National Civic Council and the Conservative Action Network" were all represented. The rally heard from Tony Abbott, Nationals Senator Fiona Nash and Angry Anderson amoung others. The protest has also been compared to the Tea Party protests in the USA.
"@JamesScullin: A lot of racist placards unrelated to carbon tax at #noCTrally. Also Tea Party placards complete with American spelling!"
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition, representing 58,000 primarily young members, met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other politicians in Canberra. "Young people are the most important stakeholders when deciding climate change policy, as we will be the generation most affected by climate change," said Ellen Sandell, National Director of the AYCC.
Commenting on the No Carbon Tax rally Ellen Sandall said "We originally expected 5000 people to attend, bussed in from Sydney and Melbourne, but only 1000 have come out to Parliament House this afternoon" said Ms Sandell.
"After the rallies in Melbourne last weekend where over 8000 people joined together to call for a strong and immediate price on pollution, it is clear that the support within the community for action on climate change is broad and deep, particularly among young people" she said.
Read Mike Stuchbery's take on the rally at his blog article: The Ugly Australians.
* AYCC media release, March 23, 2011 - Polluter rallies dwarfed by support