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(en) Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group: Anvil Vol 8 No 1 - INVASION DAY 2019 by ablokeimet
Thu, 31 Jan 2019 09:56:31 +0200
Invasion Day, 26 January, is now the largest day of Left wing mobilisation in Australia.
Attendances are much greater than those at May Day and are only exceeded by set piece
events organised by the unions. Increasing numbers of both indigenous and non-indigenous
people are turning out on this day and their demands are increasingly radical. These are
welcome indicators of the growth of a movement which rejects the racism on which Australia
is founded. ---- The capitalist media in Australia have been campaigning for over thirty
years to generate Australian nationalism and focus it on an officially designated
"Australia Day". Indigenous people have never accepted this and have pushed back. In the
face of this resistance, it has become increasingly difficult for the capitalist class to
maintain their myth of a happy and united society that celebrates its nationhood. Constant
reminders from indigenous people about the invasion of this land and the genocide and
dispossession which followed have been causing more people to listen. The voices of
indigenous people are amplified. A discordant note has been introduced.
"Change the Date"
In response to this problem, some progressive elements inside the capitalist class of
Australia have started pushing the argument to "Change the Date" of Australia Day.
Recognising the appalling insult to indigenous people of celebrating the start of
genocide, dispossession and racism, they have begun arguing that Australia's national day
should be moved to a different date in the year.
This suggestion has run into two problems, besides the predictable opposition from the
racist establishment. Firstly, there is the matter of an alternative day. The obvious
date, in terms of its appeal to nationalistic sentiment, is Anzac Day. That is
controversial, both because of the strict militarists who want to retain Anzac Day as it
is, and progressives who are reluctant to boost a celebration of militarism even more.
Other, less obvious, dates have failed to gain either recognition or traction. Some are
proposing shifting the date at some time in the future when a treaty is negotiated.
The second problem, more substantive, is that a growing number of indigenous people in
Australia are opposed to "Australia Day" being celebrated at all. Not only is Australia's
history a shameful litany of crimes against indigenous people - genocide, dispossession,
wage theft, discrimination, child removal, police brutality and more - but the crimes
continue today. There can be no pride in genocide, no matter what date it is celebrated.
Now that the Invasion Day rallies have taken up this call, the "Change the Date" campaign
is exposed as not being about justice for indigenous people, but about allowing the
settler population to celebrate nationalism without having Australia's institutional
racism rubbed in their faces while they do it.
Abolish Australia Day
The Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group endorses the demands of the Melbourne Invasion Day
rally for 2019: Aboriginal Sovereignty, not Constitutional Recognition; Stop Taking Our
Kids; Abolish Australia Day; Stop Deaths in Custody; Shut Down Prisons. All strike at the
racist foundations of the Australian State. Some, though, are only achievable through a
workers' revolution that abolishes capitalism. It is only libertarian communism, the
Workers' Commonwealth, and not the racist Australian capitalist State, that can negotiate
just treaties with the indigenous peoples and nations that have never ceded their
sovereignty. It is only the Workers' Commonwealth that can shut down the prisons. It is
only the Workers' Commonwealth that can end deaths in custody by abolishing the police.
So, this year and every year, the MACG joins the call to abolish Australia Day. Our vision
is of a stateless communist society, a Workers' Commonwealth worldwide and operating on
the basis of consistent federalism. Here, in the land that is currently called Australia,
the Workers' Commonwealth will be the vehicle through which non-indigenous people work
with, and learn from, indigenous people how to live sustainably in the land, as they did
so successfully for over 60,000 years before the First Fleet brought British colonialism
to these shores.
ALWAYS WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE
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