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Archives April 2015

First Nation communities should not be closed: International academics weigh in

For over two centuries, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia have had to endure brutal agression against their societies. Every year on Australia Day, Australians celebrate the arrival of the First British Fleet, on 26 January 1788, on the coast of Eora Country. But today, the first peoples of Australia still call it « Invasion Day ». This difference in perceptions bears witness to the political and cultural gap which separates Aboriginal people from other Australians. Read more about First Nation communities should not be closed: International academics weigh in

It's about time Australia owns up to its significant history of slavery

Slavery

Some people know about the South Sea Islander slaves but most are ignorant that many thousands of First Nations people were also used as slaves right across Australia, in settlement, on pastures and in industries. Even First Nation children were used in most industries and often kidnapped by 'blackbirders' - the children received no wages and had no opportunity to attend school. The adults often died of slavery or abuse. Here is an article by Alecia Simmonds, Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Read more about It's about time Australia owns up to its significant history of slavery

First Nations human rights campaigner Ray Jackson shone a light on deaths in custody for 30 years

On April 23, an Aboriginal man who dedicated his life to fighting against the deaths of his people in Australian police and prison cells succumbed quietly to his own death in his small flat in Waterloo. Ray Jackson, a Wiradjuri warrior for human rights, was one of Australia's most vocal and knowledgeable deaths-in-custody campaigners. A fighter for Koori justice – or "fkj", as he always signed his weekly emails – Jackson spent nearly 30 years holding our police, prison and court systems to account every time a "blackfella" died in custody. Read more about First Nations human rights campaigner Ray Jackson shone a light on deaths in custody for 30 years

Murrawarri Head of State refused entry to ANZAC Day March

Fred Hooper being apprehended by Australina Federal Police officers

Mr Fred Hooper, Head of State of the Murrawarri Republic, who served in the Royal Australian Navy as a submariner, was prevented from marching in Canberra on ANZAC Day in commemoration of his Grandfather and his two great uncles. Mr Hooper said from Canberra. “ I wanted to march with my Navy mates, but was prevented by the Australian Federal Police. Instead I was given a police escort from the back of the parade to the front, where the Submarine Association was gathered before the official march commenced.” Read more about Murrawarri Head of State refused entry to ANZAC Day March

Is There a Place Where White People Are More Committed to Faux Race Blindness than South Africa?

Racism worse than South Africa

A South African writer has claimed Australia is more racist than her homeland, where segregation by skin colour used to be law. She said the treatment of Aboriginals is worse than apartheid South Africa and that Australians are denying there are no differences between races. 'Last week I opened the newspaper and read a story about a white woman who called a family of neighbors who are originally from Sierra Leone "jungle bunnies" and "monkeys." In the story her racist rant had been filmed on their phone. I was chagrined, but others I spoke to weren't: They argued that the paper was "just trying to be neutral." Read more about Is There a Place Where White People Are More Committed to Faux Race Blindness than South Africa?

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