a selfish rabble

It makes Steph really happy that the selfish rabble of Australians and people around the rest of the world exists. We’re condemning the forced closure of remote communities. May 1 was an international day of protest and action. I was at the Melbourne protest, and we shut down Melbourne during peak hour on a Football Friday.

I got into fights with white men. Exclusively white men, which tells you a lot. Their arguments essentially devolved into two key elements. “You’re losing your audience. You gotta let people get home.” Mad chookas to the chick behind me who followed up my argument, after he got stuck on ‘you gotta let people get home,’ with “People are losing their homes, mate.”

“Peaceful protest does nothing. You have to fight their militia with a militia. You have to militarise.” Also, I note, a white man.

Police look on as protesters stage a sit down protest outside of Flinders Street Station. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Police look on as protesters stage a sit down protest outside of Flinders Street Station. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

It was crowded, and we blocked traffic. It was definitely an inconvenience.

Someone from WAR read out what Bolt had written; that it’d be great if we’d done it on a quieter street, making less inconvenience. Which completely misses the point.

I’d like to note, though, that every time someone yelled ‘make room’ for a person with assistive mobility tech, we made room for that person to get through to Flinders Street; often that way was led by a protester clearing space for them.

I loved the guy from Country West of Melbourne who said, “Let me read you something my Great Grandmother wrote me. ‘ALWAYS WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE, ABORIGINAL LAND.'”

There was a passion and a power and a vibe, and please keep on.

There’s a reason why I continue being part of this selfish rabble. It’s not at all to be selfish – surely it is easy to see that this is not selfishness, but selflessness. I am a latecomer to this land – born on stolen land in the 80s, to latecomers to the land. We have plenty of unviable communities remotely, rurally; and at least Indigenous Communities have a cultural connection, have a continuing relationship to the land, and aren’t built on stolen promises and stolen lives and stolen children. If I can fight for my right to vote, or to be allowed to work in this country, both things people had to fight for decades ago for me to do them now, I can damn well fight for the right of Indigenous Australians to live on the land that wasn’t stolen from them.

Some links:

The live blog from The Guardian

At Buzzfeed

At the ABC

A piece on the latest raid at Heirisson Island from a NZ station

You can find more stuff at #sosblakaustralia and by following @sosblakaustralia

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