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22nd Sep 2022

‘Abolish the monarchy’ protests held in Australia on day of mourning for Queen

Tobi Akingbade

The National Day of Mourning did not go as planned in Australia

Protesters have set fire to the Australian flag hours after the national memorial service was held to mourn the Queen.

Anti-monarchists called for their country to  ‘abolish the monarchy’ as thousands rallied against colonialism to draw attention to First Nation people’s suffering, with protests held not just in Sydney but also Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.

The demonstrations saw elders in Brisbane set the Australian flag on fire on top of a pile of flaming newspapers, while in Melbourne people cut up the flag.

Federal Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe led a crowd on the Queen’s National Day of Mourning in Melbourne said: “The Crown has blood on their hands. Our people are still dying in this country every single day.

“The Crown’s boot is on our neck and we’re sick of it.”

The groups didn’t stop there as they smeared red dye, resembling blood, over an emblem on the British Consulate in Melbourne.

In Brisbane’s CBD hundreds of protesters gathered just after midday marching from the Queen Victoria Statue.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 6: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she arrives before the Opening of the Flanders' Fields Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks on November 6, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Stefan Wermuth - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Banners in the city read “No Kings, No Cops, No Capitalists”, carried by the economic-reformist group the Socialist Alternative.

Other protesters at the rally wore shirts calling for Australia Day to be abolished.

One speaker at the protest was heard chanting: “Our message to England and the Monarchy is to f**king burn.”

Another campaigner added:”We don’t need the numbers, we just need the passion.”

Activist groups had been planning the protests since the Queen’s death.

Meanwhile in Adelaide, a 31-year-old man had to be forcibly removed from Government House after he chanted anti-monarchy slogans and then refused to remove himself.

Activist groups Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) and Fighting In Solidarity Towards Treaties were one group who organised the demonstrations.

In a statement on Facebook, they wrote:”This is a stance against the continued crimes committed against marginalised First Nations, black, brown and Asian communities. We do not support benefactors or Stolenwealth (sic) and demand justice, truth and accountability for all. Justice for all.

“This is a demonstration against racist colonial imperialism.”

Signs and banners held at the protests across the country called for a range of reforms including the introduction of an Indigenous treaty, Australia to become a republic and for justice in response to reports of First Nations deaths in custody.

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month, many groups in the commonwealth or former colonies have raised their concerns about the monarchy.

This comes after a number arrests happened in the UK as people protested the monarchy in public.

A man was arrested under the Public Order Act for alleged behaviour causing “harassment, alarm or distress”.

Symon Hill wrote on his blog that he shouted out “who elected him?” when Charles III was officially proclaimed King.

“I remained quiet in the first part of the proclamation, concerning the death of Elizabeth,” he added.

“I doubt most of the people in the crowd even heard me. Two or three people near me told me to shut up. I didn’t insult them or attack them personally, but responded by saying that a head of state was being imposed on us without our consent.”

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