Uncle Wayne Wharton told Green Left that the federal Coalition government are hypocrites for spending millions of dollars marking James Cook’s 1770 landing on the east coast. He said First Nations communities are “totally insulted” by the millions of dollars being spent on the celebrations.
This is the “biggest hypocrisy”, Wharton added, because the government is trying to “resurrect and celebrate the falsehood of terra nullius” — the idea that Australia was an uninhabited land before British invasion.
Referring to the 1992 Mabo decision, Wharton said: “We went to the highest court in the land to prove that terra nullius was a lie” and now they’re trying to reverse that. “The lies have got to stop.”
“Before we can talk about Treaty or reconciliation, the lies and deliberate deception about the history of this country needs to be addressed,” Wharton said.
The Meanjin (Brisbane) Invasion Day rally on January 26 will be focused on 250 years of colonial destruction. Wharton made an impassioned plea for people to join the Invasion Day rally — to “stand beside us”.
“Aboriginal people have asked for nothing more than what is rightfully theirs,” he said. “But when people like [author] Bruce Pascoe reveal the truth, they are maliciously attacked… I’ve never seen anything so inhumane and low than what was displayed in the last two weeks [in relation to Pascoe].”
This year’s rally, which is expected to be big, will begin at Queens Park in Brisbane (next to the Casino) and march to Musgrave Park. Organisers will be running a fundraiser to help fund travel to Sydney in April for the protests against the 1770 “celebrations”. Supporters are also being urged to help by bringing water, ice and other essentials to the park on the day, or the night before.