'We want white people to stop celebrating the day they invaded us'

Nieuws, gepost door: nn op 28/09/2018 09:11:06

Wanneer: 28/09/2018 - 10:48

On January 26 1788 the first of many British fleets carrying convicts arrived in what is now Sydney, Australia’s biggest city. Officially the date is celebrated as Australia Day. Indigenous Australians have long objected to that. The issue has just flared up again with the right-of-centre prime minister,
Scott Morrison, rejecting the demand to change the date for a national date and suggesting that Aborigines be celebrated separately on a different day.

“We want white people to stop celebrating the day they invaded us,” wrote Claire Coleman, a Wirlomin Noongar woman, on the website of Guardian Australia.

''We don’t want a celebration of how we ‘contributed’ to Australia. We will not accept Australia Day on 26 January without resistance.

“He [Morrison] spoke about not needing to get rid of Australia Day to celebrate Indigenous cultures and our contribution to Australia, and in that he proved he does not have the slightest clue about the topic.

"When I was with 60,000 or so other people on the streets of Melbourne last 26 January we were not complaining about a lack of celebration of our Indigenousness, we were protesting the celebration of the date when our lands were invaded and our cultures destroyed.

“If you think about it, we really did contribute to the wealth of the country because it was land stolen from First Nations people upon which the entire wealth of Australia was and is built.”

“Indulgent self-loathing doesn’t make Australia stronger,” Morrison wrote in a Tweet.

“Being honest about the past does. Our modern Aus nation began on January 26, 1788. That’s the day to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, become, still to achieve. We can do this sensitively, respectfully, proudly, together.”

Associate professor of political science at the multi-camps Charles Sturt University, Dominic O'Sullivan, argues that “a separate holiday for Indigenous Australians misses the point“.

“In recent years, the movement to “change the date” of Australia Day has gained significant momentum. Attendance at Invasion Day rallies now numbers in the thousands across the country.

“The Byron Shire Council in NSW recently announced it will stop holding Australia Day celebrations on 26 January. The federal government swiftly moved to remove the council’s rights to hold citizenship ceremonies – a common Australia Day practice that many councils across the country have discontinued in recognition of what the day may mean for Indigenous people.”


Meanwhile a former prime minister, Tony Abbott, was condemned by Indigenous parliamentarians after visiting the Northern Territory.

“He was really arrogant. He didn’t want to sit down and listen to us.”


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