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.
Sam Watson, a leading Murri activist from Brisbane, has been involved in Aboriginal rights struggles since the 1960s.
He is a prominent author, playwright and filmmaker, and is the Aboriginal affairs spokesperson for Socialist Alliance. A Birri Gubba man, he was previously an academic at the University of Queensland, and received honours for his 1990 novel The Kadaitchi Sung and acclaim for his 1995 film Black Man Down.
Watson spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Jim McIlroy about the issues confronting Aboriginal people.
I was privileged to be invited to observe a National Gathering of First Nations peoples on November 4–5 at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.
Representatives from many different clan groups from a large number of First Nations across the continent attended. It was a direct response to the events at Uluru earlier in the year, with regard to Constitutional Recognition. Its initial purpose being to discuss the formalisation of a process of recognition of each tribe’s sovereignty.
Thousands protested at Invasion Day rallies held across the country to remember the First Fleet's arrival at Port Jackson in 1788 and the ensuing genocide of Aboriginal people, racial discrimination and dispossession of their land.
Large crowds gathered at rallies in cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth, Canberra, Darwin and Adelaide.
One of the biggest protests in many years was in Sydney, where about 3000 protesters marched from Redfern's historic The Block to Sydney Town Hall.
Photos by Zebedee Parkes
Verbal Reality Volume 2
Coming October 2013
Rapper Provocalz has dedicated a song to Australia's Liberal and Labor parties on his new album - but it won't be music to their ears.
On his track "Liberals or Labor", the Indigenous emcee suggests the two big parties are so contemptuous of voters that some, like him, might consider swapping their ballots for bullets:
Liberals or Labor, they both leave us to rot
So it's criminal behaviour, politicians get shot
Pop pop pop pop!
It's that real hip-hop, hip-hop
Bring The Sun Out EP
"Land rights is a load of crap," says Kaylah Truth. They are not the kind of words you'd expect to hear from a radical, politically-savvy Indigenous rapper. But Truth, of militant Murri hip-hop group Impossible Odds, says she has learnt from bitter experience to pursue sovereignty instead.
On the band's album, Against All Odds, she raps:
I no longer need my fists to fight
I just write whenever those emotions do arise
Elders and activists from the Nyoongar Tent Embassy in Perth took to the streets on October 18 in a march to state parliament in defiance of Premier Colin Barnett's attempts to do away with native title.
Traffic was stopped as the crowd of 50 people took over St George's Terrace in Perth's CBD and made its way to parliament.
The protest delivered a petition putting the Barnett government and the South West Land and Sea Council (SWLSC) “on notice” because they are illegitimate bodies to make policy decisions affecting local Aboriginal people.
The war on Aboriginal people continues … Sovereignty and Justice Now!
This rally will mark 230 years since British military forces invaded Gadigal land and declared British rule over this continent, along with Aotearoa and other Pacific Islands. While colonial regime continues to hold a day of celebration, we resist the ongoing war against Aboriginal people.