Severe damage dealt to Australia’s former parliament building in Canberra after fire erupts during aboriginal rights protest
Australia’s Old Parliament House saw its doors engulfed by a blaze on Thursday as an aboriginal rights protest outside of the building apparently went wrong.
On Thursday night, Indigenous rights organizations protested outside the building when it caught fire. A group called People’s Treaty had reportedly gathered at the scene over recent days, while other media reports suggested that several different groups were involved in the demonstrations, ranging from the “sovereign citizens”Movement to protest Covid-19 and compulsory vaccinations
Videos from the scene showed cheering and clapping to the beat of traditional aboriginal instruments, as the Old Parliament House’s entrance became engulfed by fire. You could see the smoke rising into the air, as it was black. The incident was also reported to police seenThe crowd began to move slowly away from the still-on fire building.
A separate incident saw the crowd attacking journalists who arrived on the spot to capture the fire, as videos shared via social media. The incident has not been reported to the police.
According to media reports, the fire was out of control within 20 minutes. The fire still caused extensive damage to the building’s doors and firefighters were seen clearing the debris from the charred entrance.
Some protestors claimed that the fire resulted from a tradition smoking ceremony gone wrong. Others claimed the incident was caused by police using pepper spray to disperse the ceremony, thus creating the fire.
Linda Champion, the Australian Capital Territory’s policing operation commander, confirmed that police had used a “small amount”a pepper spray on protesters, but it denied being linked to the fire. Protesters had lit a flame and set off the fire that caused the blaze. “outside the front door,”She added.
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Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister, has denounced “an” “appalling” “disgraceful”Incident and required authorities to act “swiftly and in accordance to the law.” The Old Parliament House was a home to Australia’s federal parliament between 1927 and 1988 and currently serves as the Museum of Australian Democracy. Andrew Harper, the deputy director of the museum, stated that he had yet to enter the building to evaluate the extent of the damage.
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