Aboriginal Anger on Australia Day

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 23:25 p.m. EDT, 26 January 2012

English: Invasion Day protest at the Aboriginal Tent EmbassyPORT JACKSON, Australia – Today is Australia Day which commemorates the establishment of the first settlement at Port Jackson, now part of Sydney, in 1788. Originally, instituted for the exclusive enjoyment of the white settlers, the country has more recently tried to promote the holiday as an opportunity for Australians to come together to celebrate their country and culture.

However, this celebration is a painful reminder to the Indigenous Australians of their relegation to second class citizenry and the extreme racism they face on a daily basis.  According to the website Creative Spirits, “87% percent of Australians agree that there is racial prejudice in Australia. 42% percent believe that Australians with a British background enjoy a privileged position.

26% percent of Australians have anti-Indigenous concerns. 41% percent of Australians agree that ‘Australia is weakened by people of different ethnic origins sticking to their old ways.’ 11% percent of Australians don’t think that all races of people are equal. 35% percent of applications job seekers with Indigenous-sounding names had to submit their resumes numerous times to get the same number of interviews as an Anglo-Australian applicant with equivalent experience and qualifications in a study in 2009. 70% percent of surveyed Australians thought India’s media was wrong to brand Australians as being racist toward Indians, after several attacks on students.”

Today, in opposition to the racist treatment of Indigenous people in Australia, some 200 supporters of indigenous rights surrounded a Canberra restaurant and banged its windows while Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott were inside officiating at an award ceremony. Around 50 police escorted the political leaders from a side door to a car.

The protester were encamped at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which in true sit-in fashion, is a collection of tents and temporary shelters in the national capital. This de facto Embassy serves as the focal point for the anti-Australia Day movement. The Tent Embassy celebrated its 40th anniversary on Thursday. Many Aborigines refer to the national holiday as Invasion Day because the land was stolen from them and settled without a treaty or fair compensation.

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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias

2 Comments on “Aboriginal Anger on Australia Day”

  1. Limner Says:

    Well it’s about time someone did something about it. History has a way of repeating itself.


  2. Filipino Festival Says:

    Reblogged this on FilipinoFestival.com.


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