Thousands of people mobilized in Australia this Sunday to demand the enshrinement of the country’s indigenous peoples in the constitution ahead of a referendum on the issue in which polls predict a “no” victory.
If the October 14 consultation is approved, Indigenous peoples would be recognized in the constitution and an advisory body would be created to provide support and guidance to Parliament on policies affecting them.
More than 200 years after British colonization and the subsequent persecution of Aborigines, These populations are more likely to be poor, undereducated, sick, or incarcerated. according to studies.
The “yes” supporters who, according to surveys, are in the minority are thinking about it The reform could address the inequalities they have faced for several centuries.
However, the “no” supporters criticize a reform that, in their opinion It was designed and produced by city politicians who have no knowledge of remote Aboriginal communities.
The Sunday pre-referendum demonstration, called “Walk for Yes,” began in a park in the city of Sydney. Thousands of protesters sang the song “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham, which was used by groups supporting the change.
A police source told the Sydney Morning Herald there were between 12,000 and 15,000 people.
Activist group Yes23 estimated there were around 30,000 in Sydney alone.
The indigenous communities that have lived in the country for 60,000 years would be recognized for the first time in the Magna Carta. Photo: AFP
About the reform
The constitutional reform This would mean that Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors have lived in the country for at least 60,000 years, would be recognized in Magna Carta for the first time which can only be changed by popular vote.
Indigenous people are estimated to make up 3.8% of Australia’s population, or about 900,000 of the 25 million people who inhabit Oceania’s largest country.
The body to be created as part of the consultation, Aboriginal Voice, would provide advice to the government on issues affecting Aboriginal Australians.
The government can consult him when adopting measures and implementing draft laws. This could impact these communities, but the agency will not have the power to make funding decisions nor could it veto resolutions or legislation.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who supports the “yes” vote in the referendum, claims it is a question of identity.
“It’s about our identity as a nation,” Labor’s Albanese said after the Australian parliament agreed to call the referendum earlier this year.
About the demonstrations
At the march in Sydney, The crowd was made up of people of all ages, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and many wore T-shirts that said “Yes.”
Several volunteers also handed out sunscreen and water to protesters who, some wearing hats, moved in the sun and temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius.
A Yes23 spokeswoman, Rachel Perkins, said: The act that capped the rally said the “yes” vote would represent “the greatest tribute to the country this nation has ever made.”
The measure ensures support and guidance in Parliament. Photo: AFP
The march in Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, attracted about 20,000 people, according to Yes23.
There were also demonstrations in Melbourne, Perth, Hobart, Canberra, Darwin and Newcastle.
In the USA, too, a crowd of native people gathered on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York to vote for the “yes” referendum.
This series of demonstrations comes after the results of recent polls released last week predicted a defeat for the Voice to Parliament movement.
To change the constitution, The proposal would require a positive national majority in the referendum and majorities in at least four of Australia’s six states.
Since Australia’s independence in 1901, only eight of 44 proposed constitutional changes have been adopted.