What happened on Invasion Day 2014?

gwenda and the cops
Cops refuse entry to SouthBank in Brisbane

On January 26th 2014, we rallied outside QLD Parliament in Brisbane City at 10am. There were twice as many people as last year.  People from all tribes spoke and danced. Shannon Ruska led a thousand others in the welcome song.

People brought their clap-sticks, their boomerangs and their ochre, so when we marched through the streets painted up, our old people could hear us.

We marched over to Musgrave Park to commemorate those who walked before us, and walk in their footsteps as we continue the resistance against invasion, genocide and assimilation.

The march was stopped from going through South Bank. The reason given was because we were causing a disturbance. However, when first approaching the gate, one of the marches calmly told everyone to go through 2 at a time only so as not to cause anyone grief.

All the white non-marchers were allowed to go in two-at-a-time, so when Ruby went to go through (shown wearing the Torres Strait Island flag) a wall of police said Ruby could not go through and then they shut and locked the gate.

What you are seeing now is when the marchers went past a second gate and tried again to go though and were again stopped by a wall of police.

Volunteers worked all morning making sandwiches, johnny cakes, damper, fruit, bunya nuts etc. to feed the hungry crowd. Old people and young people first. All this came from organisation planned the week in advance and the funds came out of our own pockets. No government handouts.

The Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy hosted the family day in Musgrave Park, with smoking ceremony, with face painting, live music, free food and drinks and the screening of John Pilger’s new film Utopia.

Jagera Hall was packed with people to see John Pilger’s Utopia. Ricky made sure there was entertainment till nightfall. People hung around yarning. Sam Watson called for people to join Musgrave Park Cultural Centre, which is being opened up to the community. Forty-five (45) new members were signed up to add to the fifty (50) who joined in the last couple of weeks.  The tent Embassy had their stall and Karen Fusi sold beads to raise money for the food program.

Following the First Nations annual march from Parliament House to Jagera Hall. The Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy Presented UTOPIA by John Pilger to an audience of over 300 people at 4pm Sunday 26 January Jagera Hall, 121 Cordelia St. South Brisbane
Contact was/is 0424 610 492

for more information see https://www.facebook.com/brisbaneaboriginal.embassymedia and https://m.facebook.com/BrisbaneBlacks

For more information about the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign embassy, call 0424 610 492.

Ian Curr
28 January 2014

18 thoughts on “What happened on Invasion Day 2014?

  1. Who is organising this rally? What role does the LDP have in this? (the contact person is the president of the LDP)

    What is the rally’s idea of “freedom”?

    The LDP have a policies of no minimum wages, no minimum employment conditions, individual work contracts, removal of unfair dismissal laws, no closed shops, no union right of access to workplaces, privatisation of public enterprises including the NBN, ABC, SBS, Australia Post, Medibank, electricity generation, bus ferry and rail services, free trade, reduction of government services to reduce taxes, reduction of government welfare services, denial of welfare to non-citizens, abolition of public housing, time limits on receiving welfare, etc. etc. etc.

    1. Re: “The LDP have a policies of no minimum wages, no minimum employment conditions...etc”

      The minimum wage has been wiped out in most countries … it still exists in Australia for some. A lot of work in Australia is unpaid. Asylum Seekers are denied the right to work. Social democracy is nearly finished in this country, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke saw to that. The Qld state government is privatizing, outsourcing and corporatising government services in health, disability, accommodation support and public housing. The federal government is in the process of dismantling Labor’s National Disability Insurance Scheme. The state government is selling off government offices in William and George Streets (eg Executive Building and Neville Bonner Building). The government is paying for the cost of the re-development and the lease-back agreement expires after only 10 years handing over the buildings to the developers at a loss to the government. The building contracts were signed off by building unions while they were in dispute with the LNP government over the lack of EBAs on the QCH site. We are heading towards a US kind of economy where the minimum wage is only $7.50 (for some) and people lie sick beside the road, victims of traffic accidents can’t get medical help unless they have money and a lot of it.

      As for the Liberal Democratic Party, they are liberals and their policies are consistent with the philosophy of Adam Smith etc.

      What I don’t get is why political parties like the Greens that flirt with both liberalism and social democracy pretend that their policies on taxation, small business, the relationship between the worker and the boss are not also based on exploitation of workers?

      John, it is time to wake up!

  2. LDP = Liberal Democratic Party

  3. Why are you promoting an LDP event? I thought WBT does not support anti-worker organisations?

    LDP policies – http://www.ldp.org.au/index.php/policies

    See in particular their policies – Deregulate and Privatise, Foreign Aid, Free Trade, Health, Labour Market regulation, taxation, welfare.

    I notice that ZZZ also promoted the LDP during the election, apparently because the president is a musician.

    Why is this happening?

    Why don’t you promote CLive Palmer as well, he has a better refugee policy than the LDP and unlike the LDP he actually has an Aboriginal policy.

    1. Hello John,

      You are right WBT does not support anti-worker organisations. Please note that Gabe Buckley as a senate candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party supported sovereignty at the recent federal election.

      I can’t see any anti-worker sentiments in the poster.

      The event advertised is not an ‘an LDP event‘ as you put it.

      See in particular their (LDP) policies – Deregulate and Privatise, Foreign Aid, Free Trade, Health, Labour Market regulation, taxation, welfare.

      Every mainstream political party in Australia including the Greens is also guilty of supporting capitalist (free-market) policies – the Greens went to the last election with a policy of lowering the company tax rate.

      There are a number of organisations involved in organising activities on invasion day (26 January 2014) including the Socialist Alliance and Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Tent Embassy – neither of those organisations are anti-worker.

      Ian Curr

  4. So as well as being anti-worker, anti-union, anti welfare, the LDP also support expanding uranium mining, nuclear power generation and uranium enrichment in Australia

    They oppose land clearing restrictions, they oppose protecting old growth forests, oppose protecting endangered species on private land and propose the privatisation of all publicly owned land including national parks. They support commercial whaling.

    LDP “Equality before the law” policies –

    “The Liberal Democrats would:
    Abolish all affirmative action programs
    Abolish all government funded programs and bodies that cater to particular ethnic, racial, religious or gender groups.
    Abolish government funding for bodies that promote group discrimination such as the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia.
    Remove the power of all bodies except courts to issue binding decisions on matters such as discrimination and vilification.”

    If this event is not an LDP event, as you (Ian) say, what is the role of this right wing group in this campaign?

  5. Hello Ian,

    I have noticed that some Murries are confused about the “Freedom Day” rally and are trying to find out info about it on facebook. I do not know why you do not want to identify who is organising it but I think it would be appropriate to do so, especially since it is competing with the invasion day rally.

    also, one of my previous comments links to Unlearningtheproblem. I do not know if this was my mistake or if you inserted it but I want to clarify that unlearningtheproblem has nothing to do with the LDP.

    1. hello john,

      i know of no confusion about invasion day – always was always will be …

      what i do know is that people have come to the tent embassy meetings on three consecutive occasions asking for support against the VLAD laws.

      Last night (18 Dec 2013) people came asking for support for Kevin Hill who has been jailed under under the conditions imposed by the VLAD Act.

      We were told by his family and supporters that Kevin Hill has been placed in solitary for up to 29 hours (apparently the mandatory is 22 hours) at a time and forced to wear pink overalls. They were understandably upset by the injustice of this, especially since Kevin Hill has committed no crime; we were told that Kevin was picked up by police for a failure to appear on a summons dated 1999 and jailed for breach of parole conditions (for driving without a licence). His family told the tent embassy meeting that police claims that Kevin is a member of a vicious lawless association are ludicrous. He has some past association with the Bandidos motorcycle club.

      His family and supporters sought the support of the tent embassy saying they have organised a protest outside the Dept of Justice building (Cnr george & ann streets, Brisbane CBD) at 5pm on Monday 23 Dec 2013. People may have seen the poster, if not they can visit the facebook page “Justice for Kevin Hill“.

      Apparently inmates of the Gatton prison where Kevin is detained quite enjoy their new pink overalls and shorts 🙂

      As people said at the tent embassy meeting, Jarrod Bleijie laws can be used to attack any association and are therefore an attack on democratic rights which should be resisted.

      Here is a petition by his wife Grace calling for justice for Kevin – http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/please-help-kevin-hill-to-all-stand-as-one-to-fight-the-new-laws-that-campbell-newman-has-made-the-anti-biker-laws-and-help-change-the-ways-for-kevin-and-others


      PS – sorry about the confusion of the link – this is a wordpress issue. to save confusion i have deleted the link to to unlearning the problem, is that ok?

  6. 'Mundine calls for Treaty' says:

    In an Australia Day address in Melbourne, Mr Mundine also called for a treaty between Australia and each individual Aboriginal nation, and for Australian governments to automatically acknowledge these nations’ title, circumventing drawn-out native title cases.

    “An indigenous nation which signs on to a treaty would receive formal recognition as a nation and as the traditional owners of a defined area of land and sea,” Mr Mundine said.

    “In doing so, their native title claims should be recognised and concluded.” from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/first-nations-need-to-sign-treaties-says-warren-mundine/story-fn9hm1pm-1226810926014

    1. 4ZZZ: 'Abbott government to negotiate treaties' says:

      [Editor’s Note: This is a story from 4zzz news on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 – 10:34am. The story lacks a quote from aboriginal people so I have included Yothu Yindi’s call for Treaty in their famous song from the 1980s.]

      The Abbott Government’s idea of negotiating treaties with individual Aboriginal nations is being met with fierce resistance from Indigenous communities and opposition leaders.


      Opposition spokesman Shayne Neumann says there is not bipartisan support for this defining moment in Indigenous affairs, stating the federal government negotiating with hundreds of local Aboriginal nations is impractical and would not have the support of the Australian public.

      The idea for the treaties came from the Prime Minister’s Indigenous affairs advisor Warren Mundine.

  7. Please note – my previous comments were responding to the original post which advertised a “Freedom Day” rally organised by the Qld president of the Liberal Democratic Party. (Ian has since removed that original post.)

    It should also be noted that the LDP president withdrew from the “Freedom Day” rally and it was was taken over by a broader organising group from the biker community. See http://unlearningtheproblem.wordpress.com/

  8. Matt Callaghan says:

    So ZZZ are using a building purchased by workers donations to promote an anti worker political sect. Its time Brisbane unions , Search Foundation took that building back and made it something like the NIB in Melbourne

    1. But, Matt, it was the Search foundation that sold it to 4ZZZ in the first place.


    This story is from the new release ebook anthology Naughty Nineties by Bernie Dowling


    In memory of Ruby Hunter, October 31, 1955 – February 17, 2010 La Perouse, a south-east Sydney suburb, January 26, 1992

    NATALIE and I gratefully got out of the cab of my EH ute which had no air conditioning. We had the windows wound down all the way from Brisbane. The breeze rushing past the EH had been warm as in the Australian word for bloody hot. ‘Warm enough for you?’ is a typical comment when the weather is a scorcher. Nat and I adjusted our sunglasses and our broad-brimmed hats.

    ‘Buddha it’s hot on Australia Day,’ I said, as I put my arm around Nat’s thin waste.
    ‘Survival Day,’ My Cucumber corrected.

    Indeed it was and we were about to become punters at the first Survival Day Concert held in Australia.
    We had read about it in Drum Media, a Sydney street paper, which some Brisbane alternative music stores ordered from Sydney in limited quantities. The papers were free so it was thoughtful of Brisbane music stores such as Skinny’s and Rocking Horse to put aside the profit motive for these items.

    The Brisbane street press itself was cut-throat at the time with Time Off, Rave, the more dance-music oriented Scene and the downright weird satire/ cultural reviews in the Bug. They vied for the dollars of an alternative crowd who had a huge appetite for live and recorded music but who in the main had limited financial means to fully indulge.

    Nat and I liked to know what was happening in Sydney and Drum Media duly obliged with news of the Survival Day concert in honour of the holiday known by most as the more flattering Australia Day. Some Aboriginals and Islanders knew Survival Day as the even less flattering Invasion Day.

    These three monikers stemmed from different views of January 26, 1788, when Captain Arthur Phillip rode a refreshing breeze through Botany Bay to set up a penal colony. A few arrogant English still call us White Australians convicts but that is just a cover for their having carelessly lost an Empire in the space of about 50 years. An irreverent rock band touchingly called Queen is doing all the anthems now. Well they were until lead singer Freddie Mercury inconveniently died, during the November just gone.

    The first names to strike us in the Drum-Media concert ad were Archie Roach and his wife Ruby Hunter. Nat and I had seen Roach and Hunter play in Brisbane and we liked what we heard.

    Ruby was one of the Stolen Generations of kids considered to have enough white pigment to be able to breed out the blackness over time. The genetic-cultural script went wonky for Ruby and she ended up on the streets where she met another homeless kid, Archie. With the help of music, they turned their lives around together.

    Cross-cultural dance band Yothu Yindi was on the bill. In 1991, they had a hit with Treaty. A meaningful treaty between Black and White Australia was never going to happen but the song was a joyous blast of compressed air blowing away the pop rubbish from radio airwaves.

    Aboriginal opera singer Maroochy Barambah, also one of the Stolen Generations, would be on-stage. Opera and country are the two musical genres I do not get but Natalie was excited by the prospect of Maroochy’s performance. As for country music, Aboriginals loved it, both from America and White Australia. That was until the youngsters discovered reggae and later hip hop. Then it was ‘bye bye Charley Pride; see you later, Slim Dusty.’

    But the winds of change had not swept across Botany Bay to La Perouse. Prominent on the newspaper poster was a photo of a performer I had never heard of: Roger Knox. Above his photo was the tag-line, the Black Elvis. Funny, I thought Presley was the Black Elvis with a paint job. Underneath the photo was a smaller appellation: The Koori King of Country. That was more like it. Kooris are Aboriginals from New South Wales. Queensland Aboriginals call themselves Murris.

    At La Perouse, a crowd of thousands had gathered early. To welcome us Brisbane visitors a cooler breeze had sprung up from the northern point of Botany Bay. Feeling good.

    We looked for a comfortable spot near the stage. A tall Aboriginal man with curly black hair bumped against my left arm. ‘Are you lost?’ he said in a helpful voice which had an undertone of menace.
    ‘I don’t think so,’ I said. ‘This is the famous French restaurant, Lapérouse, isn’t it?’

    ‘Natalie dug her fingers into the left flesh of my waist. That was one of her signals which silently said, ‘Don’t start, Steele.’

    The Aboriginal man smiled but you could see he made neither head nor tail of what I had said.
    ‘Where are you from?’ he asked.

    I told him Brisbane.

    He pointed north and I saw he had a stack of leaflets in his right hand. ‘That’s a long way,’ he said ‘You must be carrying a lot of guilt.’

    Natalie dug in the fingers.

    ‘Sorry,’ I said. ‘Left the guilt at home. We came for the music.’

    Natalie must have been somewhat satisfied with my response as she released the pressure.
    The Aboriginal thought about that before he thrust two leaflets towards Natalie and me. ‘Something to read between sets,’ he said.

    ‘Ta,’ I said while Natalie responded with the more formal thank-you.

    The man watched as we found a comfortable spot about 30 metres from the stage. I looked around. ‘There are plenty of White people here; what was he having a go at me for?’

    ‘You don’t know that.’

    ‘Did you think he was having a go at us?’

    ‘Yair, I did,’ Natalie said. ‘Maybe it’s your Bob Marley T-shirt.’

    ‘I like Bob Marley.’

    ‘Awlright,’ she said. “Let’s forget about it.’

    I agreed and looked at the leaflet which turned out to be a folded six-page brochure.

    ‘That’s pretty cool,’ I said. ‘This bloke died five days ago and they have already put out a tribute to him.’

    There was an empty rectangle above his name, date of birth and death. ‘Looks like they could not find a photo, but,’ I said.

    ‘Edward Koiki Mabo,’ Natalie read from her leaflet. She continued to read, silently, before putting the leaflet on the ground. ‘He was a Torres Strait Islander. I don’t think they allow pictorial representation during the mourning period.’

    She picked up her leaflet and we read on in silence.

    It seemed Eddie Mabo and four other claimants contested ownership of Mer Island in the Torres Strait on behalf of the Merian people. They took the action before the High Court of Australia way back in May, 1982. Success could spark other land-rights claims not just by Torres Strait Islanders but Aboriginals throughout Australia as well. The decision was to come down later that year. Poor Eddie, after 10 years of fighting the Man, he died, maybe a few short months before the outcome.

    The brochure went on to have some stuff about “terra nullius” which I skipped to read his bio.

    In one part it said Eddie Mabo was president of the Yumba Meta housing co-operative which bought houses throughout the Townsville area so Aboriginal and Islander people could live in any suburb they chose. This broke down the barriers of Black suburbs, Australia’s unofficial apartheid.

    I put the leaflet aside to think about something else. Earlier that month, on January 11, 1992, Paul Simon was the first major recording artist to play South Africa after the lifting of the cultural boycott of that apartheid nation. Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress and South African president F.W. de Klerk were in discussions about ending apartheid. The lifting of the UN ban was encouragement of fruitful discussions.

    What was kind of weird about Simon rushing to play was he had been accused years before of breaking the ban, a charge he denied.

    The UN ban was passed in 1980 though the British Musos’ Union had a bar on touring South Africa for more than a decade before that.

    In 1984, Queen broke both bans by playing a series of gigs at Sun City in South Africa. Sun City was a casino resort which held more than 6000 people in one concert venue.

    Sun City was a funny one. It was in South Africa but it wasn’t. The republic of Bophuthatswana was given independence as a “homeland” for the Tswana people because South Africa looked after its minorities unlike those hypocritical western countries such as the U.S., England and Australia which bagged apartheid. At least, that was how the ruling White elite of South Africa saw it.

    Another funny thing about Sun City was, because it was independent, it allowed casinos and topless dancers, both illegal in the righteous Republic of South Africa. Sun City was only a two-hour drive from the Big City of Johannesburg. Buses travelled from Jo’burg to the casino resort. The Big Smoke of Pretoria was even closer to Sun City.

    Queen went to Sun City and the Big Bopper of the world’s street press, London’s NME, canned the band mercilessly for it. Queen’s guitar genius Brian May mumbled something about the band not being political and playing for anyone who wanted to listen. But most of us thought they had taken the money and flew over. We rock punters can be very unkind.

    Maybe Paul Simon did not read NME. The next year, he travelled to South Africa to hook up with Black African musicians such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo for his planned album, eventually a triumph called Graceland. None of his fellow musicians doubted that Simon’s intentions were good but he had clearly infringed the boycott. His excuse that he didn’t play Sun City (or anywhere else) was lamer than May’s.
    The next year, 1986, Steven Van Zandt, formerly of the E-Street Band, put together 50 artists for the protest anthem, Sun City. Van Zandt did not invite Queen or Simon but otherwise it was a group from Alternative/ Crossover Heaven.

    Australian Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil was in that number as were Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, jazzmen Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis, hip hop outfit Run DMC, DJ Afrika Bambaataa, Pat Benatar, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, metal-heads Motley Crue, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, U2, Darlene Love, Keith Richards, reggae lad Jimmy Cliff, Pete Townshend of the Who, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Geldof, and Joey Ramone.
    The chorus of I ain’t gonna play Sun City reverberated around the world.

    So it was kinda weird that Paul Simon was the first major artist to play Sun City, post boycott in 1992.
    I felt a nudge in my side. ‘Whatcha thinking about?’ Natalie asked.

    I looked at the leaflet in my hand. ‘Nothing,’ I said.

    ‘I hope Eddie Mabo wins his case,’ Natalie said. That terra nullius is the stupidest thing I ever heard.’

    ‘I didn’t read that bit. It means nothing country, doesn’t it? A bit insulting.’

    ‘It means “land belonging to no one” and it’s the reason Eddie is being denied justice.’

    ‘I thought Aboriginals and Islanders believe they are part of the land.’

    ‘That’s not a concept under British law. They are saying because Aboriginals were nomadic they don’t own any particular part of Australia,’ Natalie said.

    ‘I wouldn’t have thought Torres Strait Islanders would be particularly nomadic.’

    ‘That’s not the point, Steele. Terra nullius is just bullshit. Who do you think will win?’

    ‘Nat, the authorities have been stringing it out for 10 years. I reckon they will just bumble along until all the claimants are dead.’

    ‘I hope not.’

    ‘So do I Nat.’

    I thought about Paul Simon and the decisions he made. ‘Nat, do you think we are just a pair of do-gooders?’

    She spoke softly. ‘No-one thinks you are a do-gooder, Steele.’
    I kissed her on the side of her cheek. ‘Thanks, Nat.’


    THE High Court of Australia, on June 3 1992, overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius and found the island of Mer belonged to the Merian people.

    Ruby Hunter, Let the Children Be
    Yothu Yindi, Treaty

    This story us from the new release ebook anthology Naughty Nineties by Bernie Dowling

    1. Bernie Dowling says:

      If you are supportive enough to buy Naughty Nineties I would appreciate an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads or any other cyberspace you inhabit from time to time. Cheers, Bernie. http://www.bentbananabooks.com.au

  10. 'And in the centre' says:

    In the drought-dry heart of Australia, Cheyanne Kunoth – age 15 “and-a-half” – sits beside the bleached greens of her town’s bowling club punching her mobile-phone keypad, desperately trying to muster girls by phone, Facebook or text message.

    She’s the feisty captain of the Tennant Creek Eagles junior girls’ Aussie Rules football team. It’s already blazing hot this Saturday morning, and in only a couple of hours her Eagles are due to face off against the Roos, the team from Ali Curung bush community – Tennant Creek’s nearest neighbours, 150 kms to the south. Cheyanne is anxious.

    This is the biggest day of the football season in the Barkly shire. Tennant Creek, the regional capital, has an official population of just over 3,000, but right now it is brimming with visitors who have travelled along dirt and tar from outback settlements to watch the Australian Football League grand final – the senior male Eagles against the Roos. The girls will play the curtain-raiser.

    But Cheyanne is worried that she won’t be able to field a team, that her players might not all turn up.

    Cheyanne’s young Eagles have no shortage of distractions, living in already crowded homes now overflowing with visiting Aboriginal families. Two- and three-bedroom bungalows accommodate 20 or 25 relatives. Swags have been thrown down on floors, porches and in dusty backyards. Parties have popped up everywhere. Last night’s sleep may have come late or not at all.

    The girls are not answering Cheyanne’s messages.

    The few thousand Aborigines who once owned the entire Barkly shire – which reaches across more land than the whole of the United Kingdom – are caught up in the crush of reunion.

    “The word ‘privacy’ is very rare in most of these young girls’ lives,” says Melanie Baldwin, a Tennant Creek High School teacher who started the Stronger Sisters program, from which the football team sprang.

    A recent University of Queensland study led by Professor Paul Memmott conservatively estimated that the average indigenous household harbours 10 people. Cheyanne understands what crowding means. Just weeks before, when an aunt and uncle stayed at her home, Cheyanne and her cousin Royella had nowhere to lie down. They filled the night hours with tea and talk.

    “It was a bit hard because I didn’t have a mattress to sleep on,” she says. “I kept staying up awake, thinking how I’m gonna sleep. And trying to get my resting for the next day … We had to stay up all night and go to school in the morning.”

    Linda Turner, who chairs Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation laments: “It’s a housing crisis in Tennant Creek.” – http://tennant-creek.theglobalmail.org/

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