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Thousands Gather For 'Invasion Day' Rallies Across Australia

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Thousands Gather For 'Invasion Day' Rallies Across Australia

Thousands of people have gathered or are preparing to gather to protest against Australia Day being held on January 26.

The 'Change the Date' campaign has been slowly gaining momentum over the past few years and now many people want the country to hold Australia Day on another day in the year.

It's worth noting that there's a large portion who want the date kept on January 26, which is when the First Fleet sailed into Port Jackson back in 1788.

Because of the history around this day, Change the Date supporters call today Invasion Day or Survival Day because of what it means for First Nations people.

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Credit: Channel 9
Credit: Channel 9

It marks the starting point for hundreds of years of horrific physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural and political treatment against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who had already been living in Australia for tens of thousands of years.

Thousands were seeing marching through Sydney's CBD to protest against the idea of having Australia Day on January 26.

According to News Corp, a speaker at the event told the crowd: "Today's a national holiday where you're told to go and have a bbq and a beer ... to celebrate our genocide.

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"I pay my respects to all First Nations here, to all of us feeling proud to be here today but yet sad in knowing why we have to stand here.

"Why do we have to promote our invasion to make sure Australia sees us, to make sure our murders stop, the raping of our women, the stealing of our children, the poisoning of our land and rivers, the denunciation of our languages. It's disgusting."

Credit: Channel 9
Credit: Channel 9

There will be similar scenes in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra today, however Melbourne decided to cancel their planned Invasion Day protest due to the coronavirus.

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Warriors for Aboriginal Resistance wrote: "After lots of consideration WAR has decided to cancel the Invasion Day March in Melbourne.

"It would be careless to hold an event in the height of a pandemic and a virus that has taken ahold of so many in our community.

"This is the first time since 2015 WAR hadn't organised this rally and we want to be on the street fighting for our people but the time isn't now."

The Invasion day sentiment kicked off early in Melbourne after activists threw red paint on a statue of Captain Cook in St Kilda.

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Council workers were called in to remove the vandalism with a high-pressured hose and the act has been slammed by people on social media.

Featured Image Credit: Richard Milnes/Alamy Live News

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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