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It occurs when the traditional Australia Day parade has been dropped from the eastern calendar 26 of January.

Andrews has urged people not to come together, be it for celebrations or protests.

Thousands of Melburnians march through Melbourne on January 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Getty)
Australia Day celebrations
The Australia Day celebrations took place on January 26, 2019. (AAP)

“It’s not about what you’re meeting for, it’s about, are you meeting in a safe way?” Mr Andrews said.

“(The Invasion Day march) is not a sitting event and the judgment of the public health team, not the politicians, could not be made safely.”

Opposition leader David Davis called Andrews’s approach a “clear double standard.”

“It’s a repeat of what happened in June with the (Black lives matter“March then,” Davis said.
Protesters gather in front of the police station while holding up signs during a Black Lives Matter protest on Bourke Street, Melbourne, in June this year. (Images by SOPA / LightRocket via Gett)

But a service will be held at dawn on “Invasion Day”, with the backing of Melbourne City Council.

“I don’t think the world should stop because of COVID, we just have to do it differently,” said Jill Gallagher, a former Treaty Commissioner.

Invasion Day Protesters
Protesters are seen during the Invasion Day rally in Brisbane, Sunday January 26, 2020. Thousands of people joined the demonstrations across Australia in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders calling for an end from the Australia Day celebration on January 26, which commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet to Sydney in 1788. (AAP)

“It remains important to convey a message about what Australia Day means to us as Aboriginal peoples.”

Outdoor gatherings in Melbourne are currently limited to 100 people, but exemptions can be granted for public events as long as the organizers submit a COVID safe plan.

All attendees must be registered and must maintain social distance.

“The sunrise ceremony is a way to support an event that reflects that ancient Australian history,” said Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp.

The service at Kings Domain will be broadcast to 250 seated people with COVID council and marshals organization QR codes.

Intelligence services have suggested that people on both sides of the political spectrum are planning protests.

“There will be zero tolerance for any antisocial or criminal behavior,” said a Victoria Police spokesman.


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