Aust Day: White authorities like 'KKK' says Indigenous leader
MURDER, rape and genocide are still being committed against black Australians by white authorities who were "like the Ku Klux Klan", an indigenous leader has claimed.
Along with another indigenous campaigner leading the "Invasion Day" event in Sydney today, the two activists say Australia Day should be abolished altogether.
The pair plans to lead Sydney's Invasion Day ceremony with stories about recent atrocities against Aboriginal people say "murder and mutilations, rape and molestations" continue.
Rather than supporting a change of date for Australia Day, they say no date is appropriate until deaths in custody stop and indigenous women are no longer raped.
They disagree with Aboriginal leaders who say change it because it signifies "the start of the massacres, start of the genocide against our people", as well as with those who say we should keep the date of Australia Day.
Lizzy Jarrett and Ken Canning will take the stage today at Sydney's Victoria Park, citing cases such as Lynette Daley, who bled to death after a brutal rape in 2011, and the deaths in custody of indigenous men David Dungay, Tane Chatfield and Eric Whitaker.
Mr Canning, whose indigenous name is Burraga Gutya, told news.com.au that "white" authorities like police, parliamentarians and prison officers had murdered Aboriginal people or turned blind eye to it.
"They may as well string us all up right now," he said. "They are a branch of the KKK," he said.
"I have gone past change the date.
"I don't want to see any date under this regime which has the highest amount of deaths in custody per head of any group in the world.
"We have the highest amount of incarcerated people, 2.7 per cent of the population and 40 per cent nationally of incarcerated people.
"In the Northern Territory, 86 per cent of the adult population (in prison are indigenous) and juveniles, it's 96 per cent."
Mr Canning said incarceration of indigenous women had undergone a "massive explosion ... almost tenfold increases".
"Homeless people are in crisis and let's stop blaming Aboriginal people for the conditions they live in.
"People continue to die. Trauma is killing them, suicide and just ill health from the body breaking down from stress.
"I don't think you can celebrate a day that was the beginning of the attempted genocide of our peoples."
Mr Canning said he was "not pointing the finger at white people" and that the Sydney Invasion Day ceremony had "many non-Aboriginal people come in support to the drug and alcohol free non-violent event.
"I see an evolution in thought among non-Aboriginal people, but not politicians."
Last September, Mr Canning posted a photograph of Australian and Israeli prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Benjamin Netanyahu with a post on Facebook describing them as murderers.
"Two murdering colonial leaders meet to congratulate each other on their continued genocide of innocent peoples."
In November on Facebook, he posted a picture of the Ku Klux Klan with the caption, "a typical Australian government task force responsible for inquiries into Aboriginal murders in custody."
Mr Canning cited the case of the three Bowraville indigenous children who were murdered several decades ago. The case remains unsolved.
A new task force headed by NSW Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin took over the investigation after early police dismissed the disappearance of one of the victims, Colleen Walker.
"I mean Jubelin is doing a good job now but back then when Colleen Walker went missing they said she's just gone walkabout to Redfern," Mr Canning said.
"We've still got these atrocious figures and cases.
"David Dungay was in Long Bay Hospital with three weeks to go at the end of a seven-year sentence.
"He's sitting eating biscuits and they put him in a choke hold.
"He was last heard saying 'let me go. I'm not resisting. I cannot breathe.'
"And 90 seconds later he is dead."
Mr Canning will MC the Invasion Day event in Sydney this afternoon - at the same time as other protests across the country - along with poet and indigenous campaigner Lizzie Jarrett.
Ms Jarrett, who describes herself as a warrior and a proud Gumbaynggirr woman, told news.com.au that "the genocide is continuing" and welcomed non-indigenous support of Invasion Day.
"But if you are going to be real and supportive of the struggle, it has to be every day not just [January 26]," she said. "Saying sorry to black people mens nothing while you are still killing us, putting us in jail and stealing our children.
"There are so many days to choose. This day is just offensive and most people think they are celebrating Captain Cook.
"They are wrong, although he was the first to invade. He committed the first crime and shot the first musket.
"The Hawaiians did us a favour [killing Captain Cook].
"But the 26th of January 1788, that's when the massacres started, that's when the rapes started."
Both Mr Canning and Ms Jarrett have campaigned against the deaths in custody and under the hashtag banner of #blacklivesmatter.
But Mr Cannings said he was thinking of starting a new hashtag campaign called #therighttolive.
Ms Jarrett wrote a poem about Australia Day, which she recited at the Invasion Day ceremony in 2016. The poem says Australia Day marked "murders and mutilations" and "rapes and molestations".
A video of Ms Jarrett's recital is on YouTube.
Lizzy Jarrett's poem:
26th Jan Australia's day to celebrate their nation
Celebrating our brave warriors murders and mutilations
Celebrating our bravest women's rapes and molestations
Celebrating our bond of family broken by forced separations
All in the name of the great white Australia's assimilation
So "please explain" who enjoys a celebration
Of the Genocide of our First Nations
It's in the past, get over it they say
Okay so how about we forget about Anzac Day
For realise we are still, still STILL prisoners of war
229 years of terrorism on our shores
Today we stand strong as we have survived
BLACK and PROUD, STRONG AND ALIVE!"