Invasion Day Protest 2017

No pride in genocide! I am in Sydney, land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, who have looked after these lands for over 75,000 years. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.

The 26 January is a painful day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is a date commemorating the day British ships (”the First Fleet”) arrived on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands. It is a day that marks the decimation of First Australians; the dispossession of their land; the removal of children to be raised in Missions and in White foster homes with no ties or knowledge of their culture (“the Stolen Generation”); amongst many other human rights crimes. This history impacts Indigenous life chances in the present-day.

On the 26th, I joined 10,000 people in Sydney who marched in solidarity with Indigenous Australians to tell the Australian Government to change the date of Australia Day so that First Australians aren’t being excluded through a national holiday making genocide. Another 50,000 people marched in Melbourne, and tens of thousands more did the same in cities and town around Australia.

Below, you can read my tweets of the protest as it unfolded.

Intergenerational crowd protesting for Indigenous rights on 26 January 2017.

The Protest

The Invasion Day protests are family friendly! We’ll march from Redfern to Yabun Festival. Standup for what’s right and enjoy music!

Observed “minute of silence for 229 years of terrorism.” Since the Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody, the number of deaths in custody have doubled. The number of children forcibly removed from family has quadrupled. 6,500 Aboriginal children are now in out of home care and suffering. Grandmothers Against Removals Sydney stand against children growing up without culture and connection to country.  Grandmothers Against Removals Sydney are asking everyone to start a conversation about the reality of history. It’s been 10 years since the Northern Territory Intervention which has been incredibly damaging.

Muslim activists now speaking on importance showing solidarity to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Migrants benefit from living in this nation. We need to acknowledge our privilege and continue supporting Indigenous Australians.

A young Indigenous man in Sydney today is 44 times more likely to be in jail than non-Indigenous youth.

“Forget about it they say. It’s in the past. Ok. What about we forget about ANZAC Day then?”

See my follow-up post on the Yabun Festival

[Top video: people are marching down a main road chanting, “No pride in genocide.”]