no pride in invasion
News, Victoria

Invasion Day: Melbourne activists supporting First Nations people

A group of Melbourne LGBTIQ activists will gather this Sunday in solidarity with First Nations people.

The No Pride in Invasion protest is to be held on Invasion Day, a day of mourning on the day currently known as Australia Day.

Among the issues being protested are high rates of incarceration and deaths in custody of Aboriginal Australians, the Northern Territory Intervention, removal of Aboriginal children from families, and the destruction of sacred sites, according to organisers.

The activist group has been granted permission by the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) collective to gather for a second year at the Parliament of Victoria, on the land of the Kulin nation.

Queer Wiradjuri person Mitch Hibbens welcomed the event and said more such solidarity was needed.

“It is heartening to see the members of the wider queer community come together and stand in solidarity with First Nations people this Invasion Day,” Hibbens told Pink Advocate.

“The queer community knows discrimination all too well in this country and despite some of the gains, they’re often not equally distributed in our society.

“I don’t need to recount the many horrifying statistics that are used in mainstream media as descriptors of Blak life in the colony.

“The No Pride in Invasion group recognise this and are utilising their privilege for action.”

Organiser Joshua Badge also noted that both First Nations people and the queer community still face discrimination.

“Our communities regularly deal with surveillance, policing, and criminalisation,” he said.

“Harassment, vilification, and structural domination are everyday experiences for many of us.

“They are also daily experiences for Aboriginal people.

“We must work together against all kinds of oppression, from queerphobia to racism.”

Badge highlighted racism as a cause of issues including the “dire over-criminalisation” of Aboriginal people, particularly women, and called on the LGBTIQ community to show solidarity.

“No Pride in Invasion is a group of LGBTIQ folk who want to support Indigenous struggles,” he said.

“We invite all queer people, their friends, families, and allies to march in solidarity with First Nation Peoples this Invasion Day.

“Indigenous rights are queer business. Nobody is free until we’re all free.”

Hibbens said that acts of solidarity such as protests are important in demonstrating allyship, but that activism must extend beyond one day a year.

“How are you working each day in your own life to privilege the voices of First Nations people?” he asked.

“How are you respecting and upholding the sovereignty of mob and the stolen land you live and work on; how are you educating and informing yourself of the local issues?

“This as an encouraging step – seeing communities come together to collectively support the ongoing fight for justice in the continent now known as Australia.”

The No Pride in Invasion protest will be held from 10 am this Sunday 26 January at the Parliament of Victoria.

Supporters are asked to be respectful as guests on Aboriginal land, and to wear black or the colours of the Aboriginal flag.

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