My land tells me all I need to know And has done for forty thousand years So I ask What have you brought to this land That would make me change my mind Or My Aboriginal purpose by Paul Buttigieg
[Editor’s Note: BCC put out the sacred fire in Musgrave Park on 2 Feb 2013. Indigenous people took the embers and charcoal to Brisbane City Hall to deliver a message to the authorities. They were accused of willful damage of town hall by police. Listen to the defence of the sacred fire and why this was not willful damage … read the following challenge to us all …]
By Kaylah Tyson
My friends: Murri, White, Maori, Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, African, American, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, what ever you identify with: I ask from the heart that you read this. Dont just scroll past thinking ‘these blacks are at it again’….
Right now at Musgrave Park, the Police & Brisbane City Council are once again harrassing our people who had planned to have a bit of a dance up today. They have come in & told everyone to leave & have once again put out the fire. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. As an ongoing battle, these ‘authorities’ continue to enter Musgrave Park which has been a meeting place for many mobs since the beginning of time. Putting out our fire and trying to move us on is DENYING US THE RIGHT TO PRACTISE OUR CULTURE. We don’t have church. We have the fire. That is where we yarn, dance, sing, teach & learn. Just like any other culture has their practices, this is ours. Why, in 2013, am I as an Aboriginal woman, still denied my civil rights? Even though I am strong in standing for what I believe in, I have never been one to get angry or forceful towards those that may not have the same strength but right now I am asking each and everyone of you, as cultural people & human beings to think about what it would be like for you to not be allowed to practice your culture, learn from neighbouring tribes & have the chance to pass that knowledge on to your younger generation not only in this day and age but in your own country?!
As I write this, tears are flowing heavily. I will never give up carrying on the fight that my mother & grandmother previously fought but I HAVE TO put this on YOU: Does this feel ‘right’ in YOUR heart? Will you endeavour to help us stand up to the authorities? Or will you stand back and say ‘its not my place’, ‘I’m too busy’, ‘I don’t know enough about this to make a change’??
If you are a permanent Australian resident, it is your place. Our history is your history too! Are you too busy to ensure that you will always have your rights protected? So it may not be your people yet but if they can oppress us, who’s to say your people aren’t next? And you don’t feel that you know enough? Learn. Simple.
Please have these conversations with your own people & pass the message on that we need your help.
This isn’t a thing about colour. Its about our right as people.