Invasion Day 2024 Wrap Up: Tens of thousands march in protest across the country.

In a post-referendum show of massive solidarity, tens of thousands turned out on Friday for Invasion Day rallies across Australia. It was beautiful to see the Australian public standing firm in their belief that things need to improve for First Nations communities.

Amnesty’s proud to support the fight for Indigenous Rights. We actively encouraged staff and supporters to attend their local protest marches to stand in solidarity with First Nations communities.

Ngunnawal Country (Canberra)

Amnesty staff and supporters on protesting on Ngunnawal Country met at Veterans Park. They then merged with the larger protest group organised by the Aboriginal Embassy at Garema Place.

Naarm (Melbourne)

Amnesty staff and supporters assembled on Wurundjeri Land at Giliot Reserve before joining thousands of protesters at Melbourne’s Parliament House.

A protestor holds a sign with the words TREATY NOW in front of a crowd of demonstrators at Parliament House in Naarm (Melbourne).

First Nations Peoples stand in solidarity with Palestinians

We were proud and grateful to see pro-Palestinian activists out in force today. Rising up from the crowds were both Palestinian and Aboriginal flags, symbolising our shared struggle for liberation.

Uncle Gary Foley invited Nasser Mashni of the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network (APAN) to take the microphone. Addressing the crowd, Mashni stated that so-called ‘Australia Day’ is this country’s Nakba.

First Nations solidarity is not just about recognising the parallels or seeing that we strategically have more power together. It is[…] about recognising that our struggle is one. Our struggle is one, our liberation is one, our humanity is one, we are one together. Together, we can’t be defeated.

Nasser Mashni, APAN
Crowd at Naarm Invasion Day Protest outside Parliament House.

Meanjin(Brisbane) and Gubbi Gubbi Country (Sunshine Coast)

The QLD contingent of Amnesty showed solid commitment with representatives marching in TWO protests, in Meanjin and also on Gubbi Gubbi Country.

Boorloo (Perth)

Amnesty staff and supporters attended the protest march on Noongar Boodja from Forrest Chase to Stirling Gardens, where there was also a beautiful yarning circle held by the community.

Protestors at Invasion Day 2024 Rallies in Perth
Protestors at Invasion Day 2024 Rallies in Perth
Protestors at Invasion Day 2024 Rallies in Perth
A protestors in a wheelchair at Invasion Day 2024 rally in Perth holds a sign with the words 'No Pride in Genocide'
Invasion Day 2024 Rallies in Perth

Tarntanya (Adelaide)

Amnesty staff and supporters out on Kaurna Country met at Tarndanyangga (Victoria Square) in Adelaide to protest along with thousands of other people in a massive turnout.

Melukerdee Country (Cygnet, Tasmania)

The Southern-most contingent of Amnesty staff and supporters joined Uncle Rodney Dillon from Amnesty’s Indigenous Rights Team. Their protest marched from Burton’s Reserve in Cygnet.

Gulumoerrgin (Darwin)

Amnesty staff and supporters joined a protest on Larrakia Land organised by First Nations organisation Uprising of the People. Big shout out to Uprising of the People’s Mililma May for getting this event happening despite massive hurdles this week.

Gadigal Country (Sydney)

Amnesty activists joined the larger protest crowd at Belmore Park and marched through the streets to eventually end up at the Yabun Festival.

Protesters on Gadigal Country called for Indigenous Justice and Land Rights. Elders from Moree spoke about the recent spate of deaths on Gomeroi Country. They also spoke on the need for First Nations self-determination in regard to land management and caring for Country.

Indigenous deaths in custody

Paul Silva spoke about his Uncle David Dungay Jnr, a Dunghutti man who died in police custody at Long Bay prison in 2015. There’s been no accountability or justice for his death to this day. The crowd also heard from Ness Turnbull Roberts, a survivor of the foster care system. She called for an end to family policing and “professional kidnappers” taking First Nations babies from their homes.

Lachlan Wright became emotional when speaking about his son Jai Wright. He called for justice and transparency in the circumstances of Jai’s death in hospital after he collided with an unmarked police car in 2022. The family were given conflicting information at the time of Jai’s death. They’re hoping for answers at the Coronial Inquest, which begins on Monday at the NSW State Coroner’s Court in Lidcombe. Lachlan asked for support and solidarity at the Inquest, where there will be a Welcome to Country before the family provides a statement outside the court.

Given the sheer numbers in attendance at the rally in the incredible heat, it’s clear to everyone that we have more goodwill and solidarity than ever before. The time for change is now.

Kacey Teerman

Marching up Broadway and seeing hundreds of police officers standing shoulder to shoulder along the edge of our route, it was incredibly powerful and emotional to be surrounded by so many mob and allies, chanting our resistance to the over-policing of First Nations communities, particularly our kids. I’d love to know if any ‘Australia Day’ events had the same kind of police presence.

Rach McPhail

Kacey and Rach from Amnesty’s Indigenous Rights team and a group of incredible volunteers hosted a stall at Yabun. They shared information about the work we do, giving out Amnesty merchandise and a nature scavenger hunt with Gamilaraay language for the kids.

Thanks to everyone who joined us

Thank you to our beautiful volunteers! It was great to connect with the First Nations community, stand in solidarity and celebrate Blak excellence!

Amnesty stall at Invasion Yabun Festival, Gaadigal (Sydney)

Thank you to everyone who showed up for First Nations peoples this week, whether by attending a protest march or through some form of online activism. The battle’s far from over, and we’re grateful to have you on this journey with us.

Uncle Rodney Dillon, Kacey Teerman and Rach McPhail