‘Stolenwealth Games’: Indigenous protests continue on Gold Coast

Canberra: An Aboriginal group marched through the centre of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast on Saturday, continuing their protest against the hosting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

After assembling on the foreshore, north of the Cavill Avenue mall, about 150 people — mainly women and children — proceeded along the beach chanting and dancing, and attracting plenty of interest from beachgoers along the way.

The organisers of the protest said the march was designed to draw international attention to Australia’s colonial history and many continuing social injustices still experienced by its First Nations peoples.

Police officers and some officials from the Commonwealth Games escorted the group during its first leg, before being joined by a heavier police presence at the entrance to the mall.

The protest occupied two points within the mall for about an hour to perform traditional dances and listen to speeches delivered by key figures within the “Stolenwealth Games” protest group, before returning to their base camp at the northern end of the tourist strip.

The organisers said they were pleased with the march and thanked the Queensland police and Games negotiators for joining the rally.

No incidents were reported during the march.

In a statement prepared by the protest group, they said that the Commonwealth and its colonised countries had now gathered on stolen Aboriginal lands for the Commonwealth Games, and like in 1982, they were again protesting against their non-acceptance of colonial rule, the forced oppression of Aboriginal peoples and the suppression of their ancient freedom rights.

The protest group said it would continue to hold demonstrations during the Commonwealth Games, which end on 15 April.

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