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Thousands demonstrate in Australia: “Day of mourning”

Thousands demonstrate in Australia: “Day of mourning”

On 26 January every year, Australia Day, also known as Invasion Day, is Australia's official national day.

This day marks the arrival of eleven British ships carrying prisoners at Port Jackson in present-day Sydney on January 26, 1788.

But for many Indigenous Australians, who make up 3.8 percent of the country's 26 million people, they are at the beginning of a long period of discrimination and displacement of Indigenous people from their lands.

“day of mourning”

During Friday, thousands of people demonstrated across the country demanding the cancellation of Australia Day.

– Today is a day of mourning, not a day of celebration. “I brought my children because it is important that they know the true history of Australia, and by educating them at an early age, we hope they can help make a difference,” Melanie Watkins said. Watchman.

In Sydney, many waved indigenous flags in the city center during a march that closed nearby streets. As many chanted, among other things, “it is and always will be indigenous land.”

– James Cummings, a Sydney resident, says this is not the day to celebrate Reuters.

Thousands of protesters also gathered in Brisbane, and demonstrators stopped briefly on the second day of Australia's cricket match against the West Indies, according to reports. AP.

Affected effects

Two monuments symbolizing Australia's colonial past in Melbourne were also damaged. A statue of British naval officer James Cook, who charted the Sydney coast in 1770, was cut off at the ankles, and a monument to Queen Victoria was drenched in red paint.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a speech that National Day was an opportunity for Australians to “pause and reflect on all we have achieved as a nation.”

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The situation is also very tense in the country after the historic referendum held in October that voted against a proposal granting recognition to the country's indigenous population in the constitution.