Thousands gathered in Sydney and other major Australian cities over the weekend in support of the mistreatment of indigenous people within the country, backed by the Black Lives Matter movement.
At the Sydney protest, an ancient Aboriginal smoking ceremony took place to remember the indigenous people who died in police custody, while their families circled it.
Masks and hand sanitiser were given out and organisers pleaded with people to maintain the social distancing measures.
A month since Australia’s first such rallies, the crowds were smaller amid health warnings about the spread of the coronavirus, as infections grow in the state of Victoria, home to Melbourne, the second-largest city.
Protests did not stop in Sidney. Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and other cities the previous day drew smaller crowds which gathered for the same cause.
The greater global awareness over the treatment of minorities as a result of Black Lives Matter comes as Australia holds an inquiry into mining giant Rio Tinto’s destruction of two ancient and sacred Aboriginal caves.
The latest government data shows Australia’s indigenous people make up just over 3% of a population of about 25 million.