Canberra (AP) – In the Commonwealth country of Australia, protests against the monarchy broke out shortly after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. On the occasion of a national mourning holiday declared by the government, thousands of people took to the streets on Thursday to demand a departure from the crown and the country’s conversion to a republic, Australian media reported. There were demonstrations in the metropolises of Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, among others.
In front of the British consulate in Brisbane, protesters burned an Australian flag – the national flag bears the Union Jack, the national flag of the United Kingdom, in the upper corner. In Sydney, a tribute to Elizabeth II was painted over in the colors of the Aboriginal Australian flag.
Many Aborigines in particular would like to break away from the monarchy, as they associate it with the colonization of Australia and the oppression of the indigenous peoples. At that time, tens of thousands of Aboriginal children were taken away from their parents to be “re-educated” in homes and Christian missions according to the ideas of the white immigrants.
The calls for a republic have never stopped
“Today is about reflecting on the pain and trauma that the monarchy has brought to our country,” a protester in Melbourne told 9News. “When will anyone mourn for the people we’ve lost? For all my ancestors, who mourns for them?”
In a referendum in 1999, 45 percent of Australians wanted their country to become a republic – the rest voted against at the time. Since the death of the Queen, however, calls for a new referendum have been getting louder. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently stated that he is not currently planning a referendum on this issue. Now is the time to pay tribute to the late Queen. In the past, however, he had repeatedly hinted at plans to make Australia a republic.
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