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Protests Against Remote Community Closures Shuts Down Melbourne CBD For Third Time

Despite an apparent backdown from the government, protesters are still out in force.

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Protestors have gathered in Melbourne on Friday evening to rally against forced closures of Aboriginal communities.

Police say hundreds of protestors will block Swan St bridge until 7pm tonight in #Melbourne for #sosblakaustralia

It's the third time in the last three months that protestors have bought Melbourne's city streets to a standstill.

Protestors have closed the Swan St Bridge and are now marching through the city.

St Kilda Rd traffic is banking up. Only going to get worse with protest ramping up.

VIDEO | Indigenous woman asks "can you smell the fascism?" #auspol #sosblakaustralia

The protest is part of the SOS Blak Australia movement, which successfully galvanised thousands of people earlier this year to rally against the threat of remote communities being closed down in Western Australia.

The nationwide protest movement saw the Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett backflip on his plan to close remote WA communities. The WA state government is now in talks with key community members about the future of these communities.

SOS Blak Australia say the latest protests are about keeping the government accountable.

"Though the protests have made state and federal governments tone down their rhetoric, new plans show that their nation-wide agenda remains the same: the steady winding back of Indigenous services and community and cultural protections," the groups said in a statement on Friday.

"While the rhetoric has shifted away from the terminology of forced closures, there is no tangible backdown by the state. Recently, the West Australian Government has called for regional Aboriginal leaders to nominate to join Strategic Regional Advisory Councils being established in the Kimberley and Pilbara. Minister Redman has said, "The reform will only work if it is developed and implemented in collaboration with Aboriginal leaders."

IT STARTS TODAY - PLEASE SHARE WIDELY#SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA ACTIONS TO CONTINUE - OUR COMMUNITIES NEED CERTAINTYWith...

Posted by Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities in Australia on Thursday, June 25, 2015

The calvary out in force in #Melbourne #sosblakaustralia

VIDEO: anti-Aboriginal community closure protests in central Melbourne disrupt peak hour http://t.co/jqaxiP6z7g

The last protest on May 1 saw thousands of protesters close down streets around transport hub Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, causing commuter chaos. Similar scenes unfolded in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Protests are expected to continue over the next three days in several locations across the country.

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