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Sydney Invasion Day rally is a defiant victory in face of state suppression

Written by: Lindy Nolan on 27 January 2021


The Invasion Day rally in Djarrbarrgalli, Sydney’s Doman, was an important victory.

Two months of pressure, blackmail and threats aimed to isolate organisers and frighten away participants. Yet, between five and ten thousand people were prepared to physically defy government and police orders.

They had been invited by Elders, Custodians, to stand on sacred ground, and attend they would.

It is an honour to have been among those First Peoples and their allies in Djarrbarrgalli.

The night before, live on NITV, Gumbaynggirr-Danggali-Naaguja-Yamatji singer Emma Donovan saluted the marchers around the continent, but clearly and particularly, it seemed, to she spoke to give courage to those so close to where she grew up, in Surry Hills near Redfern. 

Then she sang to life the years of marches past and yet to come in Language. 

There was no march in Sydney on January 26, through last minute compromise between organisers and police. But the voices of First Peoples were heard loud and clear: Sovereignty never ceded. Self-determination. Stop the violence, thefts and murders. Pay reparations.

Police spokespeople can bleat all they like that police are ‘committed to working in partnership with the community to deal with issues like the ones raised by Indigenous protesters’. They are the organised front-line defenders of invasion and imperialism.

But there will be no peace until there is justice.

Australia is a crime scene. The rallies and marches are symbols of unstoppable change that is coming beneath the very noses of the invaders. 



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