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Australia Old Parliament House Catches on Fire; Media Blames Indigenous Demonstrators But Are Australian Police the Culprits?


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Earlier today, Australia’s Old Parliament House in Canberra caught ablaze. Footage of the fire shows flames and smoke raging from the front doors of the country’s former parliament building.

While Australia’s present parliament is another building a short distance away, the Old Parliament House has remained as a museum and national heritage site.

Below is footage of the fire at the Old Parliament House:

The site has been a hotbed of protest activity in recent weeks for indigenous rights and Aboriginal sovereignty in the capital Canberra. The indigenous group has held demonstrations leading up to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on the former parliament’s front lawns.

The tent embassy is a protest occupation site that launched a national discussion about indigenous land rights and has been a permanent fixture on the lawns outside Old Parliament House since 1992

Earlier this week, the indigenous group and their supporters served a ‘Notice of Acquiescence by Default’ on the Old Parliament House. The notice was addressed to the Australian Federal Police, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Department of Justice and Community Safety, and The Australian Commonwealth de facto Corporate Administration.

Watch this video of the group serving the documents on 12/29/2021.

Earlier today, the indigenous rights group conducted a sacred smoking ceremony fire around the Old Parliament House. Moments later, the building caught ablaze and a standoff occurred between the group and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Police.

Mainstream media has already blamed the fire on the indigenous group and labeled them terrorists for the supposed vandalism.

BBC stated:

Australia’s former parliament building in the capital Canberra was briefly set alight on Thursday by protesters during a demonstration for Aboriginal sovereignty, police said.

No-one was injured in the fire, which engulfed the Old Parliament House’s front doors before it was put out.

It follows a fortnight of protest activity at the site, police said.

Protest violence on this scale is rare in Australia, but flare-ups have become more common during the pandemic.

Some of the protesters had identified themselves as part of anti-government and “sovereign citizen” groups, observers said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the violence, saying: “This is not how Australia works.”

“I am disgusted and appalled by behaviour that would see Australians come and set fire to such a symbol of democracy in this country,” he said.

Workers inside the heritage building were quickly evacuated once the fire broke out on Thursday.

The current residents of the building, the Museum of Australian Democracy, had on 20 December shut its doors after indigenous protesters held a “peaceful sit-in”.

The museum said it recognised protesters’ rights to a peaceful protest. It has not yet addressed Thursday’s protest.

While the mainstream media and Australian government quickly condemned the indigenous group for the fire, we’re getting reports that police started the blaze.

Contacts on the scene stated that police used pepper spray on the ceremonial fire on the building’s front steps. The highly-flammable spray ignited the sacred smoking ceremony fire and caused the Old Parliament House to catch ablaze.

The standoff between the indigenous group and police escalated as fire crews worked to put out the fire.

Watch footage of the standoff from this Instagram video.

One of my contacts has informed me there’s currently no footage available of the moment the Old Parliament House caught ablaze. The stated reason is because nobody should be recording the sacred ceremony.

Here’s a full witness statement from another member of the indigenous group at the scene.

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