Australia PM Turnbull says no to national day date change

Many people turned up in the aboriginal flag colours to protest against Australia Day being on Jan 26
Many people turned up in the aboriginal flag colours to protest against Australia Day being on Jan 26
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28 January, 2017

At the Sydney protest a confrontation broke out with police, and a 20-year-old man - reported by BuzzFeed's Allan Clark to be Dispossessed singer Birrugan Dunn-Velasco - was arrested after allegedly attempting to set an Australian flag on fire.

I respect people's right to mourn and even to claim that Australia Day celebrations are causing them grief, insult, and suffering.

Marking the growing debate around the date of Australia Day, thousands of people marched through the heart of Sydney's Aboriginal community, Redfern, onto the city and up to Victoria Park where the Yabun festival was being held.

"I would have personally liked to have had a few more conversations with the business community and others around getting them to understand what the benefits were to them and making sure that they came along on the journey", he said.

During a brief struggle an officer injured his ankle and a woman sustained a head injury.

Thick white smoke could be seen coming out of the crowd.

The police officer has also been taken to hospital for assessment.

The police also confirmed that one man was arrested and taken to a local police station for questioning.

"This was an isolated incident in an otherwise peaceful demonstration".

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But there has been no standardised set of symbols for their many buttons and different manufacturers often use their own images. The association will also aim to have the new symbols adopted as global standards.

The state's new premier, Gladys Berejiklian, condemned the violence.

Aborigines only gained citizenship in 1967 and a vote on whether to recognise Aborigines in the constitution as the country's first people has been on hold for years. "I feel like it's our job to illustrate a lot of those facts and start those conversations or pick them up and then we move from there".

These problems will not be solved by changing the date of Australia Day or giving it a new name. Several marches have taken place around the country, including Brisbane.

Early this morning, hundreds gathered at Sydney's Barangaroo Reserve for a smoking ceremony performed by Aboriginal dancers.

Aboriginal elder Aunty Jacinta Tobin performed her song translated as Let's Sing up Good Dreaming, while 250 voices joined in a choral piece that recognised country, ancestors and healing.

"The tune in the song was given to me by spirit", she said.

Australia Day is being held annually on January 26, but a recent poll has indicated that most Indigenous Australians feel that it should be held on a different date.

They are calling it One Day.

"Our mob needs to be acknowledged just a little bit more, not just a tokenistic thing". Opponents say that the arrival of the First Fleet marks a day of invasion and genocide rather than Australia's National Day, and seek to have the date of the holiday changed.


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