Invasion Day spike

THE debate around changing the date of Australia Day saw numbers soar at the annual Invasion Day rally.

Hundreds of people marched from Forrest Chase to the Supreme Court Gardens on Friday, chanting “Australia was and always will be Aboriginal land” with signs reading “No pride in genocide”.

• The Invasion Day rally in Perth. Photos by Georgia Blackburn

The rally temporarily blocked off traffic on St Georges Terrace, but marchers reported drivers were supportive, giving them the thumbs-up as they passed.

A small number of police, including a couple on horseback, surveilled the scene.

The march culminated at Supreme Court gardens for the start of the Birak concert, a City of Perth event celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through music, dance, art and food.

The Perth march was part of a series of nationwide rallies, with Melbourne the biggest, pulling in huge crowds (estimates vary wildly from 7000 to 60,000)

Earlier in the day about 30 Reclaim Australia supporters gathered in the CBD for a rally to keep the January 26 date.

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