SYDNEY (Reuters) – Thousands of Australians celebrated the country’s National Day on Thursday at a rally in support of Indigenous peoples, many marking the day the British fleet sailed into Sydney Harbor as “Invasion Day”. expressed.
In Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, crowds gathered for an “Invasion Day” rally in the central business district, holding Aboriginal flags and indigenous smoking ceremonies. Social media showed it was done.
Similar protests were held in other Australian capitals, including Adelaide in South Australia, with around 2,000 people taking part, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Speaking at a flag-raising and citizenship ceremony in Australia’s capital, Canberra, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the indigenous peoples who have occupied this land for at least 65,000 years.
“Let us recognize the unique privilege of having to share this continent with the world’s oldest continuing culture,” said Albanese.
It was a “difficult day” for Aboriginal Australians, but he said there were no plans to change the date of the holiday.
About two-thirds of Australians believe January 26 should be considered “Australia Day,” according to an annual poll released this week by market research firm Roy Morgan. Little has changed. I believe the rest should be “Aggression Day”.
In the discussion, some companies are adopting flexibility when it comes to holiday observance. Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra (TLS.AX) this year gave employees the option to work on January 26 and take another day off instead.
Telstra CEO Vicky Brady said on LinkedIn: “For many Indigenous peoples, Australia Day was a turning point in the loss of lives, the devaluation of cultures and the destruction of connections between people and places. It became.
Of a population of 25 million, many of Australia’s approximately 880,000 Indigenous Peoples lag behind others on economic and social indicators the government calls ‘entrenched inequalities’.
This year’s holiday comes as Albania’s center-left Labor government is planning a referendum to recognize indigenous peoples in its constitution and seek consultation with indigenous peoples on decisions that affect their lives.
The government plans to introduce legislation in March to set up a referendum later this year, as indigenous voices are shaping up as an important federal political issue.
The Constitution, which came into force in January 1901 and cannot be amended without a referendum, makes no mention of the country’s indigenous peoples.
It wasn’t a happy day for all Australians, especially Indigenous people, for Abi George, one of those who took part in the Sydney protests.
“No one has the right to celebrate genocide,” she said.
Another protester, Vivian McJonn, said the rally against National Day was a show of support for indigenous peoples.
“I think it’s important that we show up and mourn with them and be in solidarity,” she said.
Reported by Sam McKeith and Cordelia Hsu.Edited by Kenneth Maxwell and Raju Gopalakrishnan
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.