Politics

“No Pride In Genocide”: Massive Crowds March In Invasion Day Protests Around Australia

Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

Australia Day protests draw tens of thousands

Tens of thousands of people have turned out to Australia Day protests around the country, marching in solidarity with Indigenous Australians and expressing their opposition to a national day that marks the beginning of a genocide.

Protesters marched through capital cities across Australia calling for the national day to be moved to a different date, or abolished altogether. They also drew attention to an array of issues affecting Indigenous Australians, from high incarceration rates and deaths in custody to paternalistic government policies and laws.

In Melbourne, hundreds attended a dawn service for the thousands of Indigenous Australians who were murdered during the Frontier Wars. By mid-morning, thousands (organisers estimate as many as 80,000) had gathered outside Victorian parliament before marching down Bourke Street and occupying the intersection of Swanston and Flinders Streets.

“This country stops for a horse race, it stops for an AFL grand final, it stops for the Queen’s birthday and it stops for an Anzac service, and we don’t have a time where this country stands still to reflect on first peoples of this country and the pain and suffering we’ve endured since colonisation,” said former Northcote MP and Gunnai-Kurnai and Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe.

In Sydney, protesters congregated in Hyde Park before marching to Yabun festival in Victoria Park chanting slogans like “No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police” and “Always Was, Always Will Be, Aboriginal Land”.

“We don’t [just] need to change the date, we need to change the systemic problems, we need to change the country,” NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge told the crowd.

In Canberra, protesters marched across the Commonwealth Bridge towards the Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside Parliament House.

Further Australia Day protests took place in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Hobart.

There was even action overseas, with a group of protesters displaying a banner on Westminster Bridge in London calling for Australia Day to be abolished.


Feature image via Rae Johnston in Sydney