Hundreds of protesters have breached police lines outside Parliament House in Canberra as thousands gather for Invasion Day rallies across the country.
The entrance to Parliament House was locked down as First Nations and Palestinian activists marched to the doors chanting “F**k Israel and F**k Australia”.
Visitors to Parliament House who were trying to leave the building were forced to exit via the basement.
The activists continued their march towards the Aboriginal Tent Embassy where more speeches took place.
It’s unclear at this stage when the building will be reopened for public access.
ACT Policing confirmed no arrests were made.
“Approximately 600 protesters marched from Canberra City to the front of Parliament House where they stayed for a short time before proceeding to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy,” a spokesperson said.
ADELAIDE STREETS FLOODED
Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Adelaide on Friday before a smoking ceremony in Victoria Square.
Marchers made their way through the city streets for the Survival Day event, marking the continuation of Aboriginal culture and tradition following colonisation.
In Melbourne, thousands flooded the streets to protest Australia Day.
Free Palestine Melbourne shared video of the rally to its social media, with flag-waving marchers chanting “Abolish the date, abolish the state”.
Placards and decorative signs placed on the steps of the parliament building carried calls for racial justice and memorials for those killed in custody.
Activist group Get Up described the “Invasion Day movement” as growing “stronger and bolder”, as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets.
“(They) demonstrate to current and future governments the power of Indigenous identity and self-determination and to demand First Nations justice,” GetUp said.
In a statement, GetUp chief executive and Widjabul Wia-bal woman Larissa Baldwin-Roberts highlighted the importance of the rallies after the failed Voice to Parliament referendum.
— Free Gaza Australia (@GFFAusGroup) January 26, 2024
“We need to stand against their division, uplift First Nations strength and solutions and fight against the far-right efforts to undermine First Nations justice,” she said.
“Invasion Day has always been about our communities’ resilience, strength and demands and this year is no different. This year we’re demanding a treaty now.
“Our elders ignited the call for a treaty decades ago. We cannot afford to wait another half-century for it to happen. Australia remains the only Commonwealth country without a treaty.”
Ms Baldwin-Roberts also called on governments to “understand that the time for reconciliation is over and we need to see concrete next steps towards a treaty”.
The rallies came after large crowds gathered at both Bondi Beach in Sydney and in Melbourne for dawn services, which included dance and smoking ceremonies.
The group urged protesters to demand an “end to the war on black kids” and protection of Aboriginal land.
They also called on NSW Premier Chris Minns and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to meet with the families of people who had died in custody.
The event was formally endorsed by a range of pro-Palestinian groups who had marched through Sydney streets every Sunday for more than three months.
The rallies come just a day after a statue of Captain James Cook was vandalised in Melbourne.
The monument was removed from its podium after being sawn off at the ankles, according to Victoria Police.
A second statue to Queen Victoria was also vandalised on Thursday after being doused in red paint.