Thousands of people marched through cities across Australia, rallying to support the rights of Indigenous peoples and marking their nation’s National Day on the day the British colonial fleet sailed into Sydney Harbor more than two centuries ago. I objected to the setting.
In Sydney, the capital of Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales, thousands gathered in the city’s central business district on Thursday to carry Aboriginal flags and chant ‘Australia Day is dead’. There was also
Indigenous activist Paul Silva said the national holiday called “Invasion Day” should be abolished.
“If someone breaks into your house, murders your family, and steals your land, you can be 100% sure your family isn’t celebrating the day,” he told the crowd.
“I don’t understand how it makes sense for the citizens of this country to go out and have barbecues and celebrate genocide,” he said.
Indigenous poet Lizzie Jarrett said Sydney was “the epicenter of the genocide of First Nations people”.
“You think we’re mad? Aren’t you mad?” she asked the crowd.
— Zach Crellin (@zacrellin) January 26, 2023
Aboriginal Australians have lived on the Australian continent for at least 65,000 years, but have suffered widespread discrimination and oppression since the arrival of the British in 1788. Colonization began first.
Currently, approximately 880,000 of Australia’s 25 million people identify as indigenous.
They were banned from voting in some states and territories until the 1960s and lagged behind other Australians in what the government called “entrenched inequalities” on economic and social indicators.
Their life expectancy is several years shorter than other Australians, they have disproportionately high rates of suicide and domestic violence, and are much more likely to die in police custody.
In Canberra, the Australian capital, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese honored Australia’s Indigenous peoples with a flag-hoisting and citizenship ceremony to mark Australia Day.
“Let us all recognize the special privilege of having to share this continent with the world’s oldest continuing culture,” he said.
But while acknowledging it is a “difficult day” for Indigenous Australians, he said he had no plans to change the date of the holiday.
An emotional welcome to the Country and Smoking Ceremony was held in Canberra this morning. pic.twitter.com/cP72s5Rj4f
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) January 25, 2023
An annual poll released this week by market research firm Roy Morgan found that about two-thirds of Australians believe January 26 should be considered ‘Australia Day’, almost down from a year ago. It hasn’t changed. I believe the rest should be “Aggression Day”.
In the discussion, some companies are adopting flexibility when it comes to holiday observance. Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, this year gave employees the option to take an extra day off to work on January 26th instead.
“For many Indigenous peoples, Australia Day … is a turning point where lives are lost, cultures are devalued and the links between people and places are destroyed,” said Vicki Brady, CEO of Telstra. I am writing to LinkedIn.
Protests against Australia Day were also held in other Australian capital cities, including Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Al Jazeera’s Sarah Clarke reported on a rally in Brisbane and said there was growing momentum each year to scrap Australia Day.
“People here say today is a day of mourning,” she said. “They are rallying in protest against the celebration of modern Australia on a day they believe there has been a mass displacement of Indigenous peoples. shows that younger generations are increasingly supporting this.”
This year’s holiday also marks a referendum on Albania’s centre-left Labor government to recognize indigenous peoples in the country’s constitution and require consultation with indigenous peoples on decisions affecting their lives. .
The public will vote on a change called Indigenous Voices to Congress in a binding referendum later this year.
There is currently no mention of Aboriginal Australians in the Constitution adopted in 1901. The proposal to allow Indigenous Australians in the Charter was a pledge by the Labor Party in last May’s general election to end nearly a decade of conservative liberal government. – National coalition government.
But changing the constitution is difficult and requires a majority vote in a majority of states.
Since the federation’s founding in 1901, the feat has only been accomplished eight times out of 44 attempts.
If the referendum is successful, Australia, along with Canada, New Zealand and the United States, will officially recognize indigenous peoples.
Some Aboriginal Australians have voiced their opposition to the proposal.
At a rally on Invasion Day in Sydney, some people held banners that read: We are worth more than our voices. ”
In Melbourne, Indigenous activist Uncle Gary Foley said the ‘voice’ was only ‘on the surface’.
“Like putting lipstick on a pig, we can’t address a fundamental problem that still permeates Australian society, the main one being white racism in Australia,” he said.