Invasion Day, also called the Day Of Mourning and Survival Day, represents the onset of attempted genocide, forced child removals, rape, over-policing, mass incarceration, and the dispossession of First Nations people from their lands.
As we approach January 26th, the editorial team of Honi Soit recognises that the settler-colonial project of “Australia” is built on the exclusion and oppression of First Nations peoples. We recognise that as settlers, we benefit from ongoing colonial dispossession, and must make an active effort to centre Indigenous perspectives on the issues we report on. We do not believe a country can exist justly on these lands without First Nations sovereignty as its basis.
The history of resistance on Invasion Day stretches back long before “Australia Day” was established. In 1938, activists held the first Day of Mourning protest with a march through Sydney followed by a mass congress. Invasion Day has never been just about changing the date; it has always been about fighting the ongoing colonial project that any day of national celebration inevitably represents.
In the past year, mounting calls for justice have been met with punitive and evasive responses from police, media and politicians. 2020 saw the profit-driven destruction of the Djab Wurrung sacred birthing trees to build a highway, and the devastation of Aboriginal lands under the development of the Narrabri gas project and Adani coal mine. Federal and State Governments have increased funding to the police despite calls to defund and abolish.
We pledge to platform Indigenous voices throughout our term and to be reflective when we fail to act as a counterpoint to racism in the mainstream media, which fostered public acceptance last year of police shutdowns of Bla(c)k Lives Matter protests by peddling the myth that they would cause a surge in coronavirus cases.
We stand with First Nations peoples’ calls to abolish “Australia Day” and echo the sentiment that there can be no national celebration until justice is achieved and the systems that murder Indigenous peoples and destroy their land are torn down and built anew.
We urge all our readers to attend the Invasion Day protests, respect Indigenous healing and resistance on this day, and support First Nations causes every single day of the year.
For more information on the Invasion Day protest: https://www.facebook.com/events/191807872607233
Groups to follow and support:
Honi Soit is distributed on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.