News January 15, 2019

Sydney to march over pill testing inaction as death toll rises

Sydney to march over pill testing inaction as death toll rises

A protest rally is being organised in Sydney this weekend over government inaction over introducing pill testing at music festivals as the death toll rises.

It comes as a poll by The Guardian found 63% in favour of trials, while the NSW government talks about putting festivals where overdoses occur on “risk” lists.

The protest is to be held on Saturday (January 19) at Sydney Town Hall on George Street from 4pm where harm minimisation campaigners will speak, before the rally moves to Hyde Park.

The event is being supported by a coalition of groups, including Reclaim The Streets, Sniff Off, Keep Sydney Open, Unharm, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

“We’re sick of reading the same headlines about young people dying around us,” says Reclaim The Streets’ Kieran Adair.

Unharm’s Will Tregoning points out, “The evidence says most people throw away their pill when they find out it’s something they didn’t expect. “

If the NSW Liberals ignore life-saving advice, they shouldn’t be in government,” adds Tyson Koh of the Keep Sydney Open party.

“No more reports. No more inquiries.”

Sniff Off’s Xiaoran Shi, said the war on drugs has failed.

“Strip searches in NSW have doubled, heavy-handed policing tactics are on the rise, drug dogs are more visible than ever before.

“Yet, young people continue to die from taking “unidentified substances”. Change needs to come now.”

The Guardian poll found that support for pill testing crosses party-political lines: 74% of Greens, 73% of Labor and 57% of Liberal/National.’

24% of voters oppose the idea, 12% are unsure.

The survey of 1,089 respondents was taken between January 9 and 13.

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