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.