New Delhi: On Queen Elizabeth II’s National Day of Mourning, scores of citizens, mostly indigenous communities, took to the streets in major cities around Australia for “abolish the monarchy” protests. Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) and in solidarity with the treaty organized the rally to protest “past atrocities and the ongoing impact of British colonialism in Australia”. Protests are taking place on national holidays in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
“This is a stand against the ongoing crimes against marginalized First Nations, Black, Brown and Asian communities. We are not in favor of benefactors or ‘stolenwealth’ (a combination of theft and commonwealth) but want justice, truth and accountability. Everyone. Justice for everyone,” WAR Posted on Facebook.
“This is a protest against racist colonial imperialism.”
Protesters called for the restitution of land to the “real sovereign owners”, an end to the deaths of trapped indigenous people and truth, accountability and justice.
“While they mourn the queen, we mourn what her tyranny has taken from us: our children, our land, the lives of our loved ones, sacred places and our heritage,” WAR said.
Thousands gathered under a statue of Queen Victoria in Sydney before marching through the streets, AFP reported.
“I think the monarchy needs to be aware that there is unfinished business here in Australia,” Gomeroi activist Gwenda Stanley, 49, was quoted as saying.
“The King is nothing to be sad about; if anything, it is something to celebrate for our people,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the monarchy’s representative in Australia, Governor-General David Hurley, said he understood the concerns of the island continent’s early inhabitants.
“Given his majesty’s unifying role, I understand that his death has caused a different feeling for people in our community,” Hurley said in Canberra.
“I am aware, and appreciate, the fact that the response of many First Nations Australians is influenced by our colonial history and wider reconciliation path. It is a path that we as a country must complete.”
Previously, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had promised a referendum within the first three years of his term to allow MPs to be consulted on matters affecting Aboriginal people.