Before 2015, the Invasion Day rally was seen as just a group of hardcore activists; they didn’t register in the minds of the flag-waving crowd that turned out to watch the official proceedings.
That was then. On Friday, when the Invasion Day march reached the barricades that had been pushed aside after the parade moved on, it significantly outnumbered the Australia Day event.
Crowd estimates were between 40,000 and 60,000 people. It stretched the length of four city blocks…
A police officer, one of the dozens flanking the marchers, gave a speculative look down the street when asked to guess the size of the crowd, which had disappeared around a bend.
“More than was expected, that’s for sure,” he says.
Calla Wahluist’s write-up gives a good summary of the day. In a nutshell:
It’s sweaty and friendly and polite. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are here to talk. Non-Indigenous people are here to listen.