This is why we protest


My grandfathers had to go to extraordinary lengths to hide who they were and keep our family safe.

They couldn't speak their language where others could hear, they hid my aunties and uncles as children by covering them in ash from the fire to darken their skin , they walked off missions controlled by the Aboriginal protection board - the institutions that played a key role in the Stolen Generations.

For decades, they were restricted to Aboriginal reserves, living under constant threat of violence, poverty and sickness. I'll always have hurt, anger and sadness for how they were treated and the prevailing justification: "this was for our own good."

But in 1938, they travelled for days to get to Sydney and mark 150 years of colonisation with the first Day of Mourning on January 26. It's that boldness and courage to take a stand that inspires me to this day.

Emboldened by stories of people they'd never met in the US civil rights movement who were fighting against segregation and oppression, they carried hand signed petitions from hundreds of people. They had no rights, no acknowledgement of their humanity. So they protested.

They believed that even if governments don't listen, people would.

For decades, our communities have been protesting against the injustices we face. From the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972, to more recently protesting the death of Kumanjayi Walker at the hands of police1 and the fracking of the NT,2 we've come together throughout the years to demand equality and justice.

It's strength and resistance that defines who we are as First Nations people — not the opposition and dispossession we continue to face.

This is why we protest on January 26.

Will you stand with First Nations people on Invasion Day and attend one of the rallies across the country?

In resistance,

Larissa for the GetUp team

Larissa is a Widjabul woman who leads the First Nations team and work at GetUp


[1] Thousands from remote communities march for Kumanjayi Walker in Alice Springs, ABC, November 15, 2019
[2] NT Traditional Owners protest against fracking at Origin Energy's AGM, NITV, October 16, 2019
Australian Government Equality Indigenous & Heritage Political

GetUp! Australia :
PO Box A105, Sydney South, NSW, 1235, Australia Wide
GetUp! Australia
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