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Invasion Day Editorial

An editorial for Honi Soit's coverage of the Invasion Day Protest

A resistant hand holding a burning Australian flag to reveal the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flag

Each member of this editorial team and a significant majority of its reporters have led a life of privilege, conferred onto them by the birth of an illegitimate settler colony on January the 26th. The Australia we live in now was built on the genocide, rape and plunder of Indigenous communities, whose land was stolen. Their sovereignty was never ceded. We recognise the importance of never forgetting, whitewashing or ignoring the dark realities of this country’s history and its present. From the sandstone structures of our university, built with materials obtained through dispossession and massacre, to the streets and suburbs named after genocidal figures, the fabric of “Australian society” is laced with the subjugation of Indigenous communities. For that reason, our position is not to call for a change of date but to reject any day of national celebration until over 230 years of ongoing injustice are addressed and remedied.

Throughout this week we will publish content that provides a range of voices on Indigenous history and the persisting issues that affect First Nations people in this country. Whilst it is our hope that these articles are insightful and thought-provoking, we recognise that a mere week of coverage will never truly capture the magnitude of the abuse and oppression that Indigenous communities have faced since the day of the invasion. Importantly, our support, coverage and prioritisation of such issues in our publication will not be limited to one week. As an editorial team, we make a commitment to always centre, engage with and respect the voices that have echoed throughout this country far longer than ours.

We have made no attempt to hide our position on the Invasion Day protests. We see no benefit in canvassing conservative opinions in a student paper formed with the explicit intention of empowering voices otherwise silenced by mainstream media. Our coverage won’t purport to take a neutral position because no such position exists. In our view, to place ourselves conveniently on the sidelines of issues of justice would be materially no different to denying that justice itself. We are and always will be supportive of First Nations peoples, and hope to centre their perspectives in our coverage.

Honi Soit is not at the forefront of Indigenous activism, nor should it be the focus of attention this week. We encourage all our readers to attend the Invasion Day protests, the information for which is provided below, and engage with groups working towards change.

Honi is distributed on the Gadigal Land of the Eora Nation.

Always was, always will be, Aboriginal Land.

Honi Soit 2019

A comment from the artist Merindah Funnell:

In my Wiradjuri culture fire is looked at in a positive light. It represents rebirth/gathering. My ancestors would not only be able to control fires caused by things such as lightning but would burn land for new vegetation. In this illustration, I have depicted the Australian flag being burnt in exchange for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag representing the horrors of what happened on the 26th January and how it is everyone’s responsibility to remember the date for the truth it is instead of how we celebrate Australia Day.

For more of Merindah’s art please visit: https://www.instagram.com/merindahfunnell/?hl=en

For more information on the Invasion Day Protests:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1750661138392701/

For more information on the USyd contingent to the Invasion Day Protests:
https://facebook.com/events/303479187185364

For more information on FIRE Fighting In Resistance Equally:
https://www.facebook.com/FIREFightingInResistanceEqually/…