Hundreds of people protested at anti-monarchy rallies across Australia on Thursday as the country marked a national day of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The government declared Thursday a public holiday throughout the country.
A national commemoration was held in Canberra, attended by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Governor-General David Hurley, representative of King Charles III. in Australia.
They both returned from the Queen’s funeral in London on Wednesday.
The holiday was marked by some protests that focused on the damage British colonization had done to indigenous Australians.
Australia is one of the few former British colonies that never made a treaty with the indigenous population.
The government plans to change the Australian constitution with a referendum that would create a mechanism for Indigenous people to consult parliament on policies that affect their lives.
Aboriginal resistance fighters were among the organizers of the protest in Melbourne, where protesters held banners reading “Abolish the Monarchy” and “Black Lives Matter”.
During the protest, the group called for an end to “racist colonial imperialism and its continuing effects” on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who represent about 3.3% of Australia’s population.
Two polls released after the Queen’s death show most Australians want to remain a constitutional monarchy.
Proponents of the Australian republic claim that this is a temporary reaction to the intense media coverage of the popular monarch.