Queensland

Invasion Day protest held in Brisbane

Hundreds of Aboriginal activists and supporters have rallied at Queensland's Parliament House in an Invasion Day protest for indigenous rights.

The crowd gathered outside state parliament to express their opposition to the celebration of the national day on January 26, which was variously described as "Invasion" or "Survival Day".

Thousands gather in solidarity at Brisbane's Invasion Day Rally.
Thousands gather in solidarity at Brisbane's Invasion Day Rally. Photo: Amy Mitchell-Whittington

Many wore the Aboriginal flag on T-shirts and brandished banners proclaiming the sanctity of indigenous land rights.

"Resisting Terrorism since 1788," one large poster read, with others decrying forced removal of children from traditional communities.

Protesters take to the streets at Brisbane's Invasion Day Rally.
Protesters take to the streets at Brisbane's Invasion Day Rally. Photo: Amy Mitchell-Whittington

Speaker Ruby Wharton gave an impassioned address in which she recalled walking alongside Invasion Day protesters as a three-year-old child.

"We're walking in their footsteps today, we're chanting the exact same things they did - 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago," she told the crowd, praising similar rallies in Sydney and Melbourne.

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"Today is not a day to be holding your head down. You hold your head up."

Participants heard the site of the protest - the speaker's corner at the edge of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens - was a traditional dreaming site of local indigenous women.

Brisbane's Invasion Day protest ended with a dance performance and the lowering of the Aboriginal flag from the posts ...
Brisbane's Invasion Day protest ended with a dance performance and the lowering of the Aboriginal flag from the posts outside state parliament. Photo: Amy Mitchell-Whittington

Adrian Burragubba, who has led a campaign against the Carmichael mine development on behalf of the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners, also spoke at the rally.

"Our ancestors are still alive in the land. We did not consent, we have not consented," he said.

Hundreds of Aboriginal activists rally at Queensland's Parliament House.
Hundreds of Aboriginal activists rally at Queensland's Parliament House. Photo: Amy Mitchell-Whittington

He concluded his speech with some choice words for the Adani corporation: "Take your mining company back to India."

Fellow activist Pekeri Ruska echoed his anti-mining sentiments, speaking against the mineral exploitation of Stradbroke Island.

She said a relative had painted an Aboriginal flag onto a mining conveyor belt on the island in a sign of resistance to the commercial venture.

Speeches ended with a short dance performance and the lowering of the Aboriginal flag from the posts outside state parliament.

"Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land," the crowd chanted as they filed into the CBD en route to Musgrave Park at South Brisbane.

AAP

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