Invasion Day march in Brisbane

Issue 

Invasion Day march in Brisbane

By Maurice Sibelle

BRISBANE — Several hundred people marched on January 26 to commemorate the invasion of Australia. The march followed controversy in the media over the move by Premier Wayne Goss to have native title land claims struck out of court and an announcement by Police Commissioner Jim O'Sullivan of plans to press charges against Murri activists involved in a scuffle at a protest the day after Daniel Yock was found dead in police custody.

Paddy Gerome, Aboriginal health worker, said, "Keating and Goss, you never give us land rights or any rights without strings. Eighty per cent of our people die before we are 50. We are the most imprisoned people in the world. Mr Goss, you are as guilty as your ancestors were until you change the system that brought about these conditions."

Gerome was referring to remarks by the premier that Australians today are not responsible for the crimes of our ancestors.

Cliffe Watego explained, "Daniel Yock died because of the racism that is endemic to this society". He said that Murri art was being used to celebrate Australia Day and sanitise its content.

Sam Watson concluded, "We have survived. We have refused to lay down and die. Nothing constructive was achieved by the Mabo decision. The black leaderships may have been bought off in Canberra. Goss is attempting to wipe out native title claims. Goss is a front for rural interests and the mining companies."

The march proceeded from Roma St Forum to Musgrave Park where the crowd was entertained by the Wakka Wakka dancers, of which Daniel Yock was a popular member.