Anti-monarchists have taken to the streets in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra on the one-off public holiday on Thursday.Wild scenes have started to come out of the protests, with some choosing to burn Australian flags to send a message to the Commonwealth.Hundreds of protesters gathered in Brisbane’s CBD just after midday where they marched from the Queen Victoria Statue on Williams Street through to the Eagle Street Pier precinct.“Our message to England and the Monarchy is to f**king burn,” one speaker said to the crowd through a megaphone.Following the speech, the group set a newspaper alight before using it to burn two Australian flags.As the group walked back through the city they chanted: Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.”In the days leading up to the public holiday, notices for the protest said the groups will decry past atrocities and the ongoing impact of British colonisation in Australia.Activist groups Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) and Fighting In Solidarity Towards Treaties are just some who organised demonstrations.“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,” WAR wrote on Facebook.“This is a demonstration against racist colonial imperialism.”The protests began just hours after hundreds of Australian leaders and politicians gathered in Parliament House in Canberra to mourn the Queen with a memorial service and minute of silence.While many praised the longstanding monarch’s 70-year reign, indigenous leaders say the monarchy represents a violent history.“The Commonwealth has blood on its hands. The death of Elizabeth II has sparked ongoing calls for justice for the dispossessed,” Sydney protest organisers wrote on Facebook.“First Nations sovereignty has never been ceded. Blackfullas here in so-called Australia and around the World will be out in protest.“We demand a ceasefire to the continuing war against the planet and its custodians! We demand an end to inherited power and stolen wealth.”Thousands of Australians showed their interest in attending one of the protests.
Originally published at www.news.com.au