Protesters set fire to Australia’s Old Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday, demanding indigenous rights and Australian Aboriginal sovereignty. According to the authorities, the fire burned the front doors of the Old Parliament House before being put out. People trapped inside the heritage building were quickly evacuated as the fire broke out, and authorities later stated that no one was injured in the unfortunate tragedy.
The fire began as a traditional smoking ceremony, but swiftly grew out of control. According to media, emergency services in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) were notified to the area shortly before noon and discovered the front doors on fire. The federal parliament was housed in this building from 1927 to 1988. It contains the Museum of Australian Democracy and is listed on the National Heritage Register. An investigation into the incident’s cause has commenced, according to the ACT Police Department.
Government officials decried the attack on Thursday, with some dubbing it a “democracy attack.” According to media, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce described it as “an utter disgrace,” saying that “this is the parliament that has for so long underpinned their democracy’s freedom and made the decisions that have created them as a nation, battling for the expansion of rights and the correction of the colonial past.” He also stated that setting fire to a structure is not a viable form of protest and is a serious crime.
The Old Parliament House is on fire, according to Michael McCormack, a Member of Parliament, and protesters are chanting, “Allow it to burn! Allow it to burn! “According to media, this is disgusting. He also called it a horrible attack on democracy, heritage, and sovereignty. He went on to say that the current trend of rewriting history serves no purpose.
According to media, Australian Member of Parliament Ben Morton made a statement declaring that criminal damage has no place in democracy. He added that the activities at Old Parliament House today were tumultuous. He also stated that the protest’s damage diminishes the message that nonviolent protestors are attempting to convey. He encouraged the government to take action against all criminal activity. He also expressed his gratitude to the first responders.