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Issue #1717      February 3, 2016

Invasion Day Commemorations

The interest in this year’s Invasion Day activities around Australia caught organisers by surprise as they had not expected the large turnouts for the rallies and marches. In Perth organisers of a rally to protest Premier Colin Barnett’s plans to close over 150 of the 200 Aboriginal communities in Western Australia, started from Heirisson Island – or Matagarup in the local Nyoongar language – expected only about 100 people to turn up but had 300 people march in one of the largest Aboriginal rallies in Perth in the last ten years.

Rally against closure of Aboriginal communities on Invasion Day Perth.

The rally proceeded along the length of Adelaide Terrace before turning towards Langley Park and up to Ozone Reserve where this year’s Survival Concert was held and celebrations of Aboriginal music and culture continued into the evening while the anachronism of the white invaders’ celebrations continued around them.

However, a Channel Nine reporter outside the Survival Concert did put a rhetorical proposition for their viewers, “There are calls for Australia Day to be changed as it excludes Aboriginal people.”

In Melbourne hundreds of protesters converged on Flinders Street Station following that city’s Australia Day celebrations led by two groups; Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance and First Nations Liberators, to mourn for the dispossession suffered by Aboriginal people and the suppression of their language, culture and religion by white authorities since 1788.

There were also Invasion Day rallies in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart – where protesters called on Premier Will Hodgman to pressure Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to change the date of the national holiday.

However, considering that Malcolm Turnbull rejected a fresh push for Australia to become a Republic, he was unlikely to concede that the date of the national day should change.

The twin issues however will not go away as Australia needs to become a republic and there is little about our identity and our unity as a nation tied up in January 26, 1788. Invasion Day and the celebration of the culture and survival of our Aboriginal people is something real and indisputable which resonates with most Australians people.

The Communist Party of Australia calls on the federal government to advance the cause of Australia becoming a republic, a fresh look at the constitution and the movement of our national day to a day that is more inclusive and unifying.

Next article – Shipping Australia Ltd: Anything but Australian

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