Words and photos by Jenni Mazaraki
Sleeping rough is not a crime.
The chants from the protestors on the State Library steps are still echoing in my mind days after the event. The protestors ingeniously made best use of the location and time, incorporating their #nohomelessban message with their own projector into the official White Night projections on the State Library facade.
Peaceful, but with energy in their voices, the group gathered on the bluestone steps as crowds walked past to view the creative light projections. I was both disoriented with lights coming at me from several directions and felt bathed in the sensory combination of the chants, grand music booming from the loudspeakers and the busyness of the crowd.
The weight of the protestor’s message was felt as the jovial celebrations of White Night contrasted with the reality of the thousands of homeless who have been effected by the City of Melbourne’s recent homeless ban.
Without thinking, we followed the crowd and ended up in a church across the road from the protest, thinking it was part of the White Night festival. A late night church service was in progress, and not being church goers, we exited quietly and made our way home.