Indigenous activists: ‘Australian nationalism is dangerous’

Sydney's Invasion Day march. Photo: Zebedee Parkes.

On January 24, Victorian Liberal opposition leader Matthew Guy said “unpatriotic councils” that do not use January 26 to celebrate would be sacked. He was specifically threatening the Moreland, Darebin and Yarra councils, which have shifted celebrations and citizenship ceremonies away from January 26.

Meriki Onus, a Gunditjmara and Gunnai woman, a co-founder of the Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR), criticised Guy’s approach, telling Green Left Weekly Radio: “That is dictatorship. Those councils were elected and they made decisions to make political and social statements. To threaten them should be a concern for all of us. We have to remove and abolish anything that represents Australian nationalism.”

Asked what she thought about Australia Day, Onus said: “Australia day is a day of collective mourning for me, my family and my community. It is a day when war was declared on our people. It has affected my family and community and it’s my whole reality.”

“We want to abolish the day altogether. We do not want another day. No day is acceptable — until we right all the wrongs we will continue to protest.

“Australian nationalism is dangerous not just for the Aboriginal people but also for people of colour and refugees.”

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.