A protest at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
QUEENSLAND: Activists have gathered in central Brisbane to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Aboriginal rights rallies at the Commonwealth Games.
In September 1982, about 2000 people marched through the city to draw international attention to Aboriginal human rights.
Hundreds were arrested during a series of protests over the next 11 days, making international headlines.
Commonwealth Games protesters urged the Bjelke-Petersen government to repeal the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protection Act, chanting slogans such as “Smash the Act”.
Aboriginal elder Uncle Bob Weatherall, who was among those demonstrators in 1982, on Friday kicked off the 30th anniversary commemorations at a park in Brisbane’s CBD.
Addressing a gathering of 100 people, Mr Weatherall said nothing had improved for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
They are still being robbed of their land by mining companies and the Queensland government is “basically still managing Aborigines”, he told reporters.
“There’s been no improvement. There’s just basically getting the crumbs off the table.”
Brisbane resident Monique Bond, 70, also marched in 1982 and said the law was appalling.
“I’d never marched in my life before, but I thought `well I live here, so I really need to do something’,” she told AAP.
“It’s a pity that we’re still fighting about these main issues.”
Participants are marching from Musgrave Park in Brisbane’s inner south, following the original route covered on September 26, 1982.
An opening ceremony is being held at Musgrave later on Friday, ahead of weekend forums.
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