The fight to save a collection of ancient, sacred birthing trees on Djab Wurrung country has stormed into Melbourne’s CBD this morning, with hundreds of protestors gathering in front of Parliament House, bringing the voices from the protection embassy camp to the front steps of the Victorian government.
Led by Djab Wurrung women, protestors began occupying space in front of parliament house at around 8.30am, forcing the closure of Spring and Bourke Streets until the predicted end of the protest at around 12pm.
Hey @DanielAndrewsMP we are outside. Can you hear us ? #notreesnotreaty #listentothedjabwurrung pic.twitter.com/xBEym0q1EC
— WACA (@akaWACA) September 10, 2019
Among the women speaking out against the eviction of the Djab Wurrung protection embassy camp and the removal of thousands of trees between Buangor and Ararat, including some 200 sacred birthing and direction trees, some of which are believed to be around 800-years-old, embassy leader DT Zellanach travelled from country to speak into power, supporting the rally’s calls of “no trees, no treaty.”
At the time of writing, the embassy camp has been actively blocking the removal of the trees for around 14 months, despite notices of eviction from the Victorian government being delivered to make way for Major Road Projects Victoria to begin clearing the land.
Young Djab Wurrung women also stepped up to speak, confirming that the removal of the sacred trees to make way for a new four-lane highway affects every generation.
Alongside the speakers, Sampa The Great, DRMNGNOW and women’s dance group Djirri Djirri are anticipated to perform as part of the protest.
At the time of writing, the protest has begun to move away from parliament house down Spring Street to the Coroner’s Court, where the inquest into the death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day continues.
While the protest is held in the city, a presence remains on country at the Djab Wurrung Embassy camp, as the fight to protect indigenous land and heritage enters into another day.