RISE Press Release Re-“Australia Day” aka Invasion day 2017
NO We Refugees, Ex-detainees and Asylum Seekers do NOT Support Invasion Day.
As refugee communities seeking protection and freedom on this land we acknowledge that we live in occupied territories where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the traditional owners and where sovereignty has never been ceded. ‘Always was, always will be Aboriginal land’
RISE represents over 30 refugee community groups in Australia and being the first registered, non-profit refugee organisation in Australia led and managed by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees, RISE declares that we do not endorse any movement or individuals who claim to be pro-refugee but celebrate “Australia Day” aka Invasion Day on the 26th of January.
We believe this systemic abuse of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a result of over 200 years of discrimination as part of the white colonial genocide strategy that continues to this day.
RISE founder, ex-detainee and CEO Ramesh Fernandez said “When you tell your kids what “Australia Day” means, would you tell them it was the day people celebrate white occupiers coming to Australia and colonising the land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which resulted in genocide, the slaughter, dispossession and continuous discrimination of Indigenous communities upto this day? Or will you teach them to perpetuate lies after lies to cover up colonial occupation and genocide?”
RISE especially requests that refugee and ex-detainee community groups in Australia NOT participate in any “Australia Day” event that celebrates the barbaric practice of genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Further Mr.Fernandez added “As survivors of occupation, rape, torture and oppression we should not undermine the struggle for survival that other oppressed community groups face. We should respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their sovereignty. It is not a day to poster yourself on a billboard, dance, sing or wrap a flag around yourself that represents occupation, colonisation and genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia”.
We fully support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples sovereignty and self-determination and stand in solidarity with them everyday. Invasion Day is another day for colonial gimmicks, post-colonial love and racism in Australia for people who still believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples don’t own this land or don’t exist.
What can you do?
Support Invasion Day rally
Donate / Amplify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples-led movements and organisations
Grandmothers Against Removals
Justice For Julieka Dhu
Hey Sis, we’ve got your back
SOS BLAK AUSTRALIA
Black Rainbow Living
Family Violence Prevention Legal Service
First Nations Telegraph
Rebuild Aboriginal community that Burnt down
Justice for Kevin Henry
The above list was given to us by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members who support/work with RISE. If you would like to add any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples-led organisations to this list please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, we thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia who have been supporting refugee self-determination and standing in solidarity with our community groups every day.
Sovereignty + Sanctuary: A First Nations / Refugee Solidarity Event held in 2016