The Pride in Protest (PiP) collective has released a statement on Twitter and Instagram, expressing support for a “progressive No” vote for the Voice to Parliament referendum later this year.
PiP has said that supporting the Yes23 campaign “alongside the very same corporations we want to kick out of Pride events is not an effective strategy to fight oppression.”
PiP asserted that the Albanese government has “shown no inclination to support [treaty and land rights], let alone anything broader”. They noted that the government has “actively funded the destruction of Aboriginal land, rejected motions for sovereignty and treaty, and insisted that the Voice will have no influence.”
The collective argued that change comes from “grassroots campaigns led by Blak people” such as supporting “opposition to Santos’ fracking of Gomeroi land, opposing Blak deaths in custody, and stopping child removals.”
PiP did express sympathy with the “progressive supporters of the Voice” who see it as a “first step toward some of the ideas contained within the Statement”, but said they believe the hope is “misplaced.”
SRC First Nations Officer Benjamin McGrory declined to comment.
Conservatorium Students’ Association (CSA) First Nations Officer Cianna Walker did not provide substantial comment, stating only that PiP’s position was “missing the whole point.”
CSA President and member of the Artists for Yes campaign, Alexander Poirier expanded, stating “I’m disappointed to hear that Pride in Protest have come to the position of opposing the Voice to Parliament.
“In an attempt to keep to its radical nature in deciding its position, I’m afraid PiP has let perfect be the enemy of good, and has been restrictively selective in who it consulted. In saying that ‘no Blak-led grassroots movement will emerge from the Yes23 campaign,’ they have ignored the many everyday people campaigning around the country for Yes (…) and have gatekept who can be grassroots or activist.”
PiP’s statement joins broader discourse surrounding the left’s position on the Voice. Supporters of the Voice point to a lack of alternatives and how a “No” result would push First Nations justice off the agenda, particularly given the political capital expended to make the referendum happen in the first place.
People and groups against the Voice point to the lack of enforceability, and like PiP, point to Labor’s failure to support First Nations issues. They also emphasise grassroots organisation as opposed to a Voice built within the existing structures of government.
In a statement to Honi, PiP explained their position further.
“Pride in Protest reached a position on the Voice after extensive research and consultation with grassroots Blak activists. Many of these activists have been leading the fights against Blak deaths in custody, forced child removals, fracking, the NT Intervention, and also the constitutional recognition proposal since it was first conceived by John Howard. We put faith in these voices due to their solid principles, grassroots nature and the solidarity they have demonstrated with the queer community in the past. We highly encourage anyone interested in this issue to read the documents published by the Blak Sovereign Movement, which can be located on the website of the same name.”
Honi has previously published an editorial on the Voice which can be read here.
Pride in Protest’s full statement can be accessed through this link: https://twitter.com/prideinprotest/status/1681528915515576320