Indigenous Australians Plan to Go Bigger on Australia Day

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The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email. This week’s issue is written by Julia Bergin, a reporter based in the Northern Territory.

Parades, Union Jack themed barbecues, angry protests, and reflective vigils — it’s 2024, and Jan. 26 in Australia remains a day that inspires many different reactions across the nation.

Formally Australia Day but also known as Invasion Day or Survival Day, the date marks the violent arrival of British settlers to the continent in 1788, and it has a long history as a political flashpoint for Indigenous affairs.

This year, a First Nations advocacy group in Darwin decided to go bigger — with a hybrid protest for Indigenous Australians, Palestinians and the people of West Papua, which was annexed by Indonesia decades ago, leading to a prolonged conflict.

“Yes, Invasion Day is the reason why we’re all here today, but we must go beyond that,” said Mililma May, who runs the group, a nonprofit called Uprising of the People.

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Indigenous Australians Plan to Go Bigger on Australia Day

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