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Cowardly History: Australia Day and Invasion

by Binoy Kampmark

Australia Day 2021It’s the sort of stuff that should have been sorted years ago in Australia: a murderous, frontier society ill disposed to the indigenous populace; the creation of a convict colony that was itself an act of invasion rather than settlement; the theft of land and its rapacious plunder.   

Even some of the rough colonists were not oblivious to such a crude record.  Henry Parkes, in planning the Centenary celebrations as New South Wales premier in 1888, was asked by a fellow politician what he would be doing for the poor and needy for the occasion.  Wealthy landed citizens had been promised a banquet of much quaffing and gorging.  As a gesture, Parkes considered the distribution of food parcels.  “Then we ought to do something for the Aborigines,” came the response.  The answer from the premier was coldly revealing: “And remind them that we have robbed them?”

Read more: Cowardly History: Australia Day and Invasion

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Support the Tumandok People's Protest


                               SYDNEY PROTEST               MELBOURNE PROTEST

                                       MONDAY FEB 8, 12.30PM            MONDAY FEB 8, 12 NOON

                               outside Sth Korean Consulate          outside Philippine Consulate              

                                    44 Market St, Sydney                    257 Collins St, Melbourne

On December 30, 2020, at around 4am-5am, 9 Tumandok Indigenoous leaders were first tortured and then shot dead in their homes, and another 16 were arrested in a joint police and military operation in the villages of Tapaz, Capiz and Calinog on Panay Island, in the central part of the Philippines. Some were over 70 years old.

Today on Panay, the families and friends of the victims are marking the 40th day since their deaths. Our protest today is an act of solidarity with these communities.

According to the families of those killed, the victims were sleeping and unarmed when the police and military raided their homes. Most were members of TAMUNDOK an alliance of 17 villages opposed to the construction of the Jalaur Mega dam.

The 16 arrested - 10 men and 6 women - were taken from their homes, where firearms and explosives were planted. They were then charged with these non-bailable offences.

Read more: Support the Tumandok People's Protest

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Continuing strategic dependence on the US or strategic independence for Australia?

by Bevan Ramsden *

Bevan RamsdenA People’s Inquiry has been opened by IPAN for submissions on the impact of the U.S. -Australia alliance, its costs and consequences and to canvas alternatives. Readers and contributors to Pearls and Irritations are invited to respond and join this urgent national conversation.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has launched a national People’s Inquiry into the costs and consequences of Australia’s involvement in US-led wars and the US alliance and what are the alternatives.

Its aim is to promote a national conversation on this vital subject and is inviting submissions from a wide range of organisations and individuals, and that invitation is extended to the readers and contributors to Pearls and Irritations. The great majority of Australians have never been asked about this alliance, it’s implications and its limitations.

Read more: Continuing strategic dependence on the US or strategic independence for Australia?

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Morrison’s ancestors’ land theft

by John G  (This article was originally published by Vanguard on January 26, 2021.)

Frontier Wars Anzac Day Protest Canberra“It’s all about acknowledging how far we’ve come. You know, when those 12 ships turned up in Sydney, all those years ago, it wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either”.

(Scott Morrison referring to Australia Day, Gladstone Qld, The New Daily, 21 Jan 2021)

It ”wasn’t a great day for my fifth great-grandfather, William Roberts” Morrison revealed  to The Guardian while also revealing in the Second Fleet, on the Neptune, was Kezia Brown, a gardeners' labourer convicted of stealing clothing who would become Mr Morrison's fifth-great-grandmother.

(Scott Morrison, National flag-raising and citizenship ceremony, Canberra, per The Guardian 26 January 2019)

Read more: Morrison’s ancestors’ land theft

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Black Madonna

by Humphrey McQueen

Have you paid much attention to your Xmas card stamps? In this article, McQueen surveys Australia's stamp history. Commenting on the contenders who got a guernsey, he points out that First peoples' art is missing, other than for mere decoration, from the collection. Given the current state of vitriol and ideological state of affairs in Australia First Peoples' art won't appear too soon on Aussie stamps. The conqueror's mentality prevails.

Our Lady of the AboriginesWhen Pope Paul VI visited Australia in December 1970, the Vatican issued commemorative stamps. One is of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. The other shows a painting from the St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin entitled ‘Our Lady of the Aborigines.’

The artist was a Czech, Karel Kupka, who lived and worked with Aborigines in northern Australia, on and off, from the mid-1950s. Darwin’s Bishop O’Loughlin commissioned him ‘to bring religion to the people in terms of local understanding’ by creating something similar to Chinese and Japanese Madonnas.

The Virgin’s face is individual and the child is a person, each expressive of ‘nobility and natural dignity,’ in the words of the Darwin missionary, Father Frank Flynn.

Read more: Black Madonna

Parent Category: Spirit Content