On January 26, around 150 Tasmanian Aboriginals and their supporters marched to Parliament House Lawns in Hobart to both commemorate the Aboriginal lives lost after the British Invasion of 1788, but also to protest the fact that the invasion is celebrated as Australia day.
Spokesperson Nala Mansell-McKenna said “January 26th commemorates the day the British first stepped on Australian soil. Their aim was to rid themselves of the Aboriginal race, and to do so they raped, murdered, invaded & thieved. It’s the date the whites took everything and we lost the lot, how could any reasonable person celebrate such a tragedy?”
The rally was addressed by local Aboriginal activists Jim Everett and Sara Maynard, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Legal Secretary Michael Mansell and Socialist Alliance activists Melanie Barnes and Jenny Forward.
Barnes told the crowd “We must understand why the major parties don’t want to change the date. To do so would require honesty about the foundation of the Australian nation, that is, it’s founded on rape, murder, theft, genocide and dispossession. To recognise this would mean you would be required to do a lot more than change the national day.”
Jennifer Wakefield, Tim Dobson