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When whitefellas dance Ceremony, it’s time for consequences

Written by: Lindy Nolan on 18 January 2024


(Sovereignty banner faces parliament from tent embassy.  Photo: Will E. Clicket  Flickr Commons)

The so-called sovereign citizen movement is a puppet of the most vicious wing of US imperialism, that wants rules and laws only to benefit itself. The puppet master wants to make war, exploit lives and destroy environments with zero consequences. 

Sovereign citizens claim that laws, like taxes, are ‘illegal’ if they stop citizens ‘freely’ living their lives. 

Here they claim James Cook’s secret instructions from British Admiralty – to chart this continent and make agreements with inhabitants – was illegally broken by him when he claimed British sovereignty on Possession Island. They say all subsequent law here is illegal. A small but growing number of First Peoples agree.

Laws ALWAYS have a class content. The British didn’t reprimand Cook for claiming British sovereignty on Possession Island. 

They promoted him from lieutenant to captain. Eighteen years later, Britain invaded what is now called Australia.

They aimed to challenge the Dutch spice trade monopoly and create both a military base against France and a dumping ground for convicts. They knowingly brought the diseases and guns that decimated other First Peoples in other lands they’d already invaded. 

A birthright

When so-called original sovereigns invaded the Tent Embassy in 2022, allowing painted up whitefellas to dance “ceremony”, some claimed missing Aboriginal children were prey to paedophiles in tunnels under old parliament house. 

This divisive Q-Anon poison provides some First Peoples’ troops backing Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s demand for a royal commission into child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities. It will launch another witch-hunt.

False claims of paedophile rings run by male Elders was the excuse for the 15-year NT Intervention. In reality it was a land grab that humiliated and disempowered Aboriginal men and destroyed almost all NT First Peoples’ hard-won rights. By every measure it made their lives far worse. 

Recently sovereign citizens have bombarded native title meetings. Native title is not land rights. It can be divisive. It can be manipulated to favour lands councils over custodians. But it can have great positive impact for First Peoples too.

The sovereign crew use the negatives to trick and win over First Peoples, calling it ‘slave title’, saying ‘you’re actually signing the land away’.  

First Peoples themselves led the pushback against sovereign citizens’ hijack. In early January 2022 Birpai journalist Jack Latimore, quoted Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) spokesperson, Gamilaraay and Kooma woman Ruby Wharton, who slammed the attempt to “co-opt the First Nations Sovereignty rights movement.

Wharton said, “Sovereignty is our birthright.

“It’s our birthright to occupy our traditional homelands, it’s our birthright to speak language, it’s our birthright to practise our traditional laws and protect our Country.” 

She ridiculed so-called Australian sovereignty for belonging to the British queen or king. Parliamentarians still swear allegiance to them, and Britain’s flag dominates the Australian one. But like Australia, Britain now dances to a US tune. 

Wharton is right, Australia is not independent. Sovereignty is in other hands. Laws are in other hands. It’s time for consequences. It’s time to smash the foundations and build new ones. 


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