Tuesday, January 26, 2016

“Australia Day”

26 January is “Australia Day”.

In 1788 on the 26th of January British ships dropped anchor in Sydney Harbour. It was one of the greatest land grabs in world history and the slaughter of the indigenous people ensued. Australia been declared ‘terra nullius’: empty land. In 1838, the Sydney Monitor reported: “It was resolved to exterminate the whole race of blacks in that quarter.” This referred to the Darug people who lived along the great Hawkesbury River not far from Sydney. In a land littered with cenotaphs honouring Australia’s settler dead in imperial wars, not one stands for those who fought and fell defending their land against the British invader and settler..

John Pilger rightly describes the present situation of the real Australians. “Apartheid runs through Australian society. Within a short flight from Sydney, Indigenous people live the shortest of lives. Men are often dead before they reach 45. They die from Dickensian diseases, such as rheumatic heart disease. Children go blind from trachoma, and deaf from otitis media, diseases of poverty… In the 1920s, a “Protector of Aborigines” oversaw the theft of mixed race children with the justification of “breeding out the colour”.  Today, record numbers of Indigenous children are removed from their homes and many never see their families again."

On January 26, Indigenous Australians and their supporters will march from The Block in Redfern, Sydney, to the Sydney Town Hall. The march will begin at 10 am.

On Thursday February 11, Grandmothers Against Removals will address a rally in Canberra. This will start at 12 noon at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, then march to Parliament House.

1 comment:

Mike Ballard said...

The absurdity of nationalism is to be found all over the place in the mythistories of the bourgeoisie. January 26th, 1788 was when a British sea captain touched land in what became known as Australia. He wasn't even the first European to do so, much less the first human to discover that this continent existed and could support life. That happened 50 or 60 thousand years before Cook sighted land.

Of course, the class ruled State of Britain needed a place to plant their surplus wealth producers after the US bourgeois and slave owning exploiters declared and won independence from Cook's ruling class aka "the Crown". And so, the saga of private property, class rule and the legal niceties of the political State were established in what would become Australia on 1 January 1901. Supposedly, Australia was a Commonwealth after this date, but wealth was not held in common as it had been before 1788. No. The majority of people who lived here before 1788 were forced. via the legalised violence inherent in the political State, to live within the rule of the bourgeoisie's laws aka "the rule of law".