It may technically be Australia Day today, but more people turned up to support Indigenous people atrallys across the country
January 26 is officially Australia Day, the national holiday where everyone gets a day off to celebrate being Australian.
The date was chosen because it was the date that British explorers landed in Botany Bay and began the colonization of the continent.
But for Indigenous people in Australia it is not a day of celebration, but rather the day that marks the beginning of their lands being stolen and genocide of their people.
So every year on January 26 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people rally to mark the day some call Invasion Day or Survival Day.
Some also turned out to rally for a change of date to Australia’s national holiday, a debate that has been gaining traction over the past few years.
Today was one of the biggest rallies the country has ever seen with ten of thousands of people joining Indigenous people in their march in Australia’s major cities.
In some cities the Invasion/Survival Day rallies far outnumbered official Australia Day celebrations, including in Melbourne where more than 60,000 people marched.
Many LGBTI people were out in force to show their support for Aboriginal people, especially after Indigenous people campaigned for marriage equality during last year’s postal survey on the issue.
Here are some of the moments that LGBTI people and their allies shined at today’s rallies.
A quick history
Know your history. #InvasionDay #australiaday pic.twitter.com/WXpKYS2Zuw
— Allan Clarke (@AllanJClarke) January 25, 2017
Invasion Day/Survival Day
#InvasionDay Melbourne pic.twitter.com/94ooWI5hPL
— Celeste Liddle (@Utopiana) January 26, 2018
Miss First Nation
Marriage equality hero Sally Rugg
There are already thousands of people gathered at Victorian Parliament, on Wurundjeri country, in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ calls for justice. We need to change together.
#ChangeTheDate #changeaustralia pic.twitter.com/narLmKu6HN
— Sally Rugg ?️? (@sallyrugg) January 26, 2018
Bigger than the Australia Day celebrations
60,000+ people estimated to have attended the #InvasionDay rally in Melbourne today. #ChangeTheDate #NoPrideInGenocide pic.twitter.com/9PgU9CDihX
— Zachary (@ZedAyySeeKay) January 26, 2018
Sydney Theatre Co
#ChangeTheDate @SydneyTheatreCo #STCBLACKWHITE pic.twitter.com/G6Y7Pg9o5e
— Miranda Tapsell (@missmirandatap) January 26, 2018
The younger generations
Yup #AlwaysWillBe ? @shannonjpower pic.twitter.com/P8HGUYhaOr
— Amy Coopes (@coopesdetat) January 26, 2018
We’re here, we’re queer, we’re calling for decolonisation. #InvasionDay #NoPrideInInvasion ?️?❤️???️? pic.twitter.com/x2iZPoAx8N
— Paul Kidd (@paulkidd) January 26, 2018
Always was, always will be
Always was, Always will be, Aboriginal Land. #InvasionDay #ChangeTheDate #NoPrideInGenocide #TreatyNow pic.twitter.com/hBfd4c4kFP
— Zahra Stardust (@ZahraStardust) January 26, 2018
Change the date