Invasion Day Protests Hit Westminster Bridge In London
"We want our message to be heard in Australia."
A group of activists have hung a 25 metre banner bearing the words “Abolish Australia Day” from Westminster Bridge in London, in solidarity with Indigenous Australians.
About 30 people, both Australian and non-Australian, took part in the protest on Friday afternoon London time. The stunt was organised by the London Australia Solidarity Activism Hub, whose spokesperson Eda Seyhan said celebrating Australia Day on January 26 meant celebrating “Australia’s colonisation by Britain and the genocide and dispossession of Indigenous peoples that ensued”.
“The fact that we commemorate, as our national holiday, the day our country was colonised is an outrage,” she said. “The fact that, over two centuries later, Indigenous peoples continue to face violence and discrimination at the hands of the state is a disgrace.”
“We’re here today to show solidarity with Indigenous peoples in Australia, for whom ‘Australia Day’ is a day of mourning and protest, not celebration.”
Seyhan told the Australian Associated Press that it was important that people in London, “the former heart of the empire”, came out and protested.
“Really we want our message to be heard in Australia,” she said. “It’s not so much about the people here but to show leaders back there and people protesting that there are voices for change.”
Thousands of people are expected to attend Invasion Day rallies around Australia today, as pressure continues to mount on the federal government to either change the date of the national holiday or abolish it all together.
Seyhan told Junkee that her group stood with protesters in Australia.
“We’re with you, keep up the fight!” she said.
Protesters hang a #AbolishAustraliaDay banner off Westminster Bridge ahead of #AustraliaDay to show solidarity with Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islander peoples in Australia. #InvasionDay2019 #changethedate #changethenation #7DaysOfResistance #breaking pic.twitter.com/WXnAJcZr4H
— Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) January 25, 2019
h/t news.com.au. Feature image via London Australia Solidarity Activism Hub.