Activists in London, Berlin and Athens protest Invasion Day

January 30, 2020
Invasion Day protest in Berlin on January 26. Photo: GLW.

While thousands of people rallied in cities across Australia on Invasion Day, activists in London and Berlin held [protests in solidarity.

In London, activists gathered at the Captain Cook statue at The Mall on January 25.  

2020 marks 250 years since first contact between Captain Cook and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the beginning of colonisation and dispossession of their land.

The event was organised to show solidarity with the First Nations peoples who consider “Australia Day” to be a day of mourning, not celebration. 

Statements and demands from Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) and Fighting in Resistance Equally (FIRE) were read out, along with a statement from Rodney Kelly, the great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson of Cooman, who was shot at by Captain Cook's crew in 1770.

Kelly, who lives in Cobargo, New South Wales, wrote: “For the first people of Australia, it is Invasion Day or Survival Day, and we are still fighting for our rights.

“We still have deaths in custody. We still have forced [community] closures. We still have kids taken away from family. We still have people going to prison at alarming rates.

“With so many horrible things done to my people in the past it still continues today. When will this stop I ask? Well it's 2020. Now is the time to stop and give us our sovereign rights”

Activists displayed an “Abolish Australia Day” banner and signs saying: “Sovereignty never ceded” and “No pride in genocide”.

Anna Kennedy, a London-based Australian attending the protest, said: “We stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia who continue to resist colonisation and genocide, as they have done for 250 years.

“London represents the heart of empire and the foundation of colonialism in Australia so it is particularly relevant for us to gather here. It is an outrage that we commemorate the day Australia was colonised, and a disgrace that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to face violence and discrimination to this day."

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Invasion Day protest at the statue of Captain Cook in London on January 25. Photo: James Taylor.

Creative protests involving projections and stencils also took place at sites including Australia House.

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Protest artwork on a London bus stop on January 25to draw attention to the genocide and dispossession. Photo: Project Stencil.

In Berlin, about 100 activists participated in a protest at the Brandenburg Gate on January 26. Organisers told Green Left that this was the fourth year that an Invasion Day rally had been held in Berlin.

The event was supported by a number of anti-colonial groups, including: Berlin Latin American Bloc, Berlin Queers Against Racism and Colonialism, Palestine Speaks and Fridays for Future Berlin.

Participants brought along banners and placards, which read "Anticolonial, Anticapitalist for Climate Justice" (Antikolonialistisch, Antikapitalistisch für die Klimagerechtigkeit), “Abolish Australia Day”, “Always was, Always will be”, “Stop Black deaths in custody”, “Stop Adani”, “No pride in genocide”, “Scomo, Fuck off” and "250 years of resistance to colonial Australia. Sovereignty never ceded".

Invasion Day protest in Berlin on January 26. Photo: GLWDSC07359.jpg

Invasion Day protest in Berlin on January 26. Photo: GLW

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Fridays for Future banner at the Invasion Day protest in Berlin. Photo: Kate Bernadette

In Athens, activists gathered in front of the Australian embassy for a vigil following the call by WAR for solidarity actions around the world.

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Protesters hold a vigil on January 26 outside the Australian embassy in Athens, Greece.

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