A radical Aboriginal activist who organized a rally in support of Voice to Parliament has highlighted a glaring problem with such marches.
Bruce Shillingsworth, who opposes The Voice, said there were “only a few First Nations brothers and sisters” among the 15,000 people at the Sydney rally on Sunday.
Some 200,000 people across Australia took part in marches across the country, with demonstrations in cities including Melbourne and Canberra.
Shillingsworth, who is on bail awaiting sentencing after being convicted of a serious crime, said news.com.au Indigenous people at the march “stuck out like a sore thumb.”
He said the rallies were filled with “nice non-Indigenous people who think they have a right to speak for First Nations people.”
He previously described the campaign to include an indigenous voice in Australia’s constitution – which will be voted on on October 14 – as “nothing more than a symbolic act”.
A radical Aboriginal activist who attended a rally in support of an Aboriginal voice in Parliament on Sunday (pictured) highlighted a glaring problem with such marches: there were few Aboriginal people.
Shillingsworth recorded video of the rally and spoke to the camera as residents marched behind him in Redfern this weekend.
“As you can see, this is the Yes campaign,” he said.
“What we’re seeing right now is that all these nice non-Indigenous people think they have the right to speak out on behalf of First Nations people.
“Now, vice versa, we know that First Nations people would never dream of having a say over non-Indigenous people. »
On September 4, Shillingsworth was convicted of aiding and abetting arson by coordinating protesters, ordering someone to hide the cameras, and linking up with other protesters to prevent police from putting out a fire in the old Parliament.
The December 30, 2021 fire caused $5.3 in damage after being deliberately started.
The prosecution alleged that the day before the incident, Shillingsworth, 32, had encouraged people to “take a stand” and “come here and break down this door”.
Social media footage played in court showed him on the building’s portico giving an emotional speech to his fellow protesters.
“We can break down any door. Gates of injustice. Gates of Genocide. Doors behind which they take our children and hide them,” he could be heard saying.
In another video from December 29, 2021, Shillingworth referenced the “eviction papers” the group posted on the doors of the old Parliament House.
“We have served this notice. An immediate eviction notice… We tell them they have to move immediately,” he said in the video played in court.
In CCTV and body camera footage from December 30, Shillingsworth was identified as part of the crowd blocking police attempts to reach the fire.
Shillingsworth, who had pleaded not guilty, argued that the day’s events were simply a cultural ceremony.
On September 4, Bruce Shillingsworth (pictured) was convicted of aiding and abetting arson by coordinating protesters, ordering someone to hide the cameras and establishing connections with other protesters to prevent police from put out a fire in the old Parliament.
“What we wanted to do was go in there and smoke this place up,” he said.
“(A) smoking ceremony is a process of purification. It is to purify evil spirits. Believe me, there are a lot of evil spirits in this place. That’s when they made the decision to kill my people.
The convicted criminal, who is also known to wear a fake police uniform very similar to the real NSW Police uniform, will return to court on October 26 to be sentenced.
He says his composite police force, which he calls “Tribal Lore Enforcement,” will “take control through the power, jurisdiction and authority of tribal lands.”
Politicians and Indigenous elders spoke at many of the 40 rallies held across Australia this weekend.
In Melbourne, Australia’s Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney told 30,000 attendees it was “really overwhelming to look at this crowd and see you.”
“To know where your heart is, to know where your mind lives. And that you, like us, want to seize this opportunity to move this country forward together,” she said.
“For 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have spoken 363 languages, but without a voice. In 27 days you have the power to do something.
In Canberra, Ngunnawal elder Aunt Violet Sheridan said the referendum was not about politics, but about “respect and justice”.
“Let’s make sure our stories, our lands, our voices are respected and valued,” she said.
“Our voices deserve to be heard in the decisions that shape our lives, those of our children and our grandchildren.”
Shillingsworth was accused of being the leader of the group who camped near the Aboriginal tent embassy and damaged the old Parliament House (above).
In Brisbane, Leeanne Enoch, a Quandamooka woman, told a crowd of 20,000 that the nation was facing a “profound turning point”.
“So I’m asking all of you to continue the work that you’ve been doing: walking, talking, calling people, having conversations so that we get a yes vote,” she said.
Despite rallies and high-profile publicity campaigns, such as one featuring a young Aboriginal boy asking simple questions and another using John Farnham’s song You’re The Voice, polls indicate the referendum will fail.
The most recent Resolve Political Monitor survey showed that only 43 percent of voters supported a plan to enshrine Voice in the Constitution, a drop of 20 percentage points from last year.
READ MORE: Barnaby Joyce refuses to answer whether he supports Australia Day change
Fractures in the No campaign over what would happen if the Indigenous Voice to Parliament were rejected made for some bizarre scenes on Sunrise.
Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce failed to back No leader Warren Mundine on Monday morning, a day after the Bundjalung man suggested a no vote was the best way to reach a treaty and supported changing the date of Australia Day.
Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce failed to support No campaign leader Warren Mundine on Monday morning, despite being asked five times by Sunrise host Natalie Barr.