On 28 January 2023 we blockaded, for as long as we could, an official “australia day” (better known as “Invasion Day”) party, being held at the Lightbox nightclub in London.
This event (together with everything it represents) is beyond fucked up. The party is a deeply disrespectful and offensive celebration of the historical and continuing colonial genocide of First Nations peoples. It marks the ‘official’ start of the colonial invasion in so called australia. The genocide is ongoing.
We are ashamed of britain’s (and our own) historical and continuing complicity in the past and present genocide. Oppression is multi-layered, but many of us benefit from the legacy and continuation of empire and atrocity. Our failure to remember and respect this day, including our failure to disrupt this annual celebration of brutality, is a form of complicity. We need to get our shit together and do better to show up in solidarity with First Nations people, and have to do more to disrupt the empires built on their oppression.
We pay our respects to all First Nations people in so called australia. We acknowledge their continued resistance to the active genocide. We include below a press release published by Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance regarding a mobilisation this year in Naam. Our action was taken in solidarity. We do not seek to act in the name of First Nations people in Naam.
INVASION DAY RALLY MELBOURNE: TREATY BEFORE VOICE
Statement attributable to the Coalition of community organisers:
The 26th January is not a day to celebrate. It is an annual reminder of invasion, occupation, genocide and the ongoing impacts of colonisation that continues to destroy our land and waters. As the oldest living culture in the world, it is our right and our responsibility as First Nations people to protect our country, culture and our people. That is why we meet this day with protest and mourning, as one of the longest standing protests in the world.
A Dawn Service will be held at 5am at Kings Domain Resting Place, Linlithgow Avenue. This will be followed by the Invasion Day Rally where we will be meeting at 11am at the Victorian Parliament on Spring St and marching to Flinders St Station.
It has been 85 years since William Cooper, Jack Patten and other community leaders held the first Day of Mourning at Sydney Town Hall on 26 January 1938. We find ourselves in 2023 making the same demands. We’re sick of being ‘advisors’ on our own lives while the violent state continues to murder us, lock us up, steal our children, destroy our sacred land and culture. As sovereign peoples, governments need to respect Aboriginal sovereignty, law, culture and protocols, and negotiate on our terms.
● Land back and land rights – stop selling land promised to us
● End Aboriginal deaths in custody and implement all the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the coronial inquests
● Climate justice
● End the theft of Black children and implement the recommendations of the Bringing
Them Home report
● Abolish police and prisons
Here in so-called Victoria, the Andrews government enjoys the optics of being a progressive state, yet it continues to fail our people, as does every other government in this colony. Our children are still being stolen by the state; billions of dollars are funnelled into prisons and police while our family members and children are still being targeted, locked up and dying in custody; and our land is still being destroyed for corporate profit. Our children are being killed by racist attacks on the streets, our women murdered and disappeared, our people are living in poverty, our lands, sacred sites and waters destroyed by extractive industries with complicit and willing governments. There’s blood on the Andrews government’s hands.
While the nation debates our position in its constitution, we remind people that we are over 50 years on since the last successful referendum and ask people what has changed? We have sat through coronial inquest after coronial inquest, we have participated in Royal Commissions and Enquiries, we have met State and Federal Governments on their terms. Yet the majority of recommendations made in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody have not been implemented nor the recommendations into the Bringing Them Home Report. We participated in Constitutional Recognition discussions more than five years ago and unequivocally refused, we demanded a Treaty, but we now are being forced to enter discussions around a Voice to Parliament. With progressives talking over the top of us and bigots denying our humanity, our self-determination is being steam-rolled.
As a coalition of community organisers, we call on you to respect our demands and take action with us. We also remind attendees that COVID19 is still impacting our communities and we encourage all attendees to wear a mask, bring hand sanitiser and take all necessary precautions to keep each other safe.