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2 monuments symbolizing Australia’s colonial previous broken by protesters forward of polarizing vacation

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Two monuments symbolizing Australia‘s colonial previous had been broken by protesters on Thursday forward of an more and more polarizing nationwide vacation that marks the anniversary of British settlement.

A statue in Melbourne of British naval officer James {Cook}, who in 1770 charted Sydney’s coast, was sawn off on the ankles, whereas a Queen Victoria monument within the metropolis’s Queen Victoria Gardens was doused in pink paint.

Photographs posted on social media confirmed the physique of the {Cook} statue mendacity on the bottom with the phrases “The colony will fall” spray-painted on the stone plinth the place the statue previously stood.

Protesters doused the identical statue with pink paint in January 2022.

Australia Day, held annually on Jan. 26, commemorates the anniversary of British settlement in 1788. However argument rages within the nation over how historical past ought to bear in mind a fleet of 11 British ships carrying a human cargo of convicts arriving in present-day Sydney on Jan. 26, 1788.

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For a lot of Indigenous activists, Australia Day is called “Invasion Day” because it marked the start of a sustained interval of discrimination and dispossession of Indigenous peoples with out the negotiation of a treaty. The shortage of such a treaty places Australia out of step with comparable international locations together with the US, Canada and New Zealand.

“We perceive and acknowledge the advanced and numerous views surrounding Australia Day,” Port Phillip Council Mayor Heather Cunsolo mentioned Thursday.

“We will’t condone, nonetheless, the vandalism of a public asset the place prices will likely be in the end borne by ratepayers,” she added.

The {Cook} statue has since been taken away and employees eliminated the ft from the plinth.

Victorian state premier Jacinta Allan mentioned the federal government would help the native authorities to restore and reinstate the statue.

Police mentioned they had been investigating each incidents.

A referendum proposal to create an advocacy committee to supply recommendation to Parliament on insurance policies that have an effect on Indigenous individuals — the nation’s most deprived ethnic minority — was resoundingly rejected by Australia’s voters in October final 12 months.



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