Thousands Gather for ‘Invasion Day’ Protests in Australia

Thousands of people gathered in “Invasion Day” protests across Australia on Jan. 26 to demand the national holiday to be moved or abolish to altogether.

Several protesters have marched through the streets of Sydney and in other major cities, marking the day when Captain Arthur Phillip raised the British flag at Sydney Cove and claimed Australia as a British colony.

Many First Nations refer to Jan. 26 as a “Day of Mourning” or “Survival Day” as the British invasion led to the dispossession of Indigenous peoples, mass deaths, and stealing of children.

Dozens of police officers monitor the crowd of protesters.

In Melbourne, protests have been cancelled for the first time in 15 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, a Captain Cook monument in Catani Gardens in St. Kilda was defaced with red paint in an act of protest in the early hours of the morning.

Victoria Police called the act “absolutely ridiculous.”

“While we understand people have certain views about this day, we always ask people to be respectful and blatant criminal activity like that will not be tolerated,” Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir told Channel Nine.

Another Captain Cook statue in Edinburgh Gardens in the Melbourne suburb Fitzroy North was also doused with red paint overnight.

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