The global movement toward dismantling colonisation.

An Aboriginal flag engulfs a large stone, twine securing it in place, that lays beneath a fishing pontoon, at the bottom of the sea.

My cousin sunk it there on the day of my brother’s funeral.

We scattered Wayne’s ashes off that pontoon, the place he use to fish almost every day.

I recall the significance of what my uncle said to me, “Within only a few weeks his ashes would’ve made it to the shores of every continent in the world.” Wayne had never travelled outside of South Australia, let alone overseas.

Nowadays Wayne’s name and story, just like his ashes, has travelled across nations through the collective work we have undertaken in solidarity with other Aboriginal peoples throughout the world.

Solidarity, that is, with the movement towards a world free of colonial invasion; a world where genocide has ceased, Aboriginal deaths in police and correctional custody – like my brother’s death, are unheard of, and where people discontinue the celebration of these atrocious acts, like on every January 26th, for instance.

“We will have to go to great lengths. We cannot go on as usual. We cannot pivot the centre. We cannot be moderate. We will have to be willing to stand up and say no with our combined spirits, our collective intellects, and our many bodies.” Angela Davis

At this present moment I sit with Kaleesha Morris in our Airbnb on Piscataway country, so-called Washington, DC.

We were invited over to so-called America to speak at the Indigenous Peoples march alongside over 100 other Aboriginal, Native, First Nations, Indigenous speakers from across the globe who’re actively resisting similar invasion to that in Australia.

I question how Aboriginal peoples are further criminalised for showing up to Invasion Day marches and standing against the celebration of ongoing bloodshed, but the ones spilling the blood remain sanctified?

Already we have had an incredible time with Native groups and other allies.

We caught up with the Pechanga Band/Tribe in Temecula, Southern California, who hosted us for a day on their reservation where we grew our knowledge of the complexities of treaty arrangements, the diversity of practices within Indigenous natural resource management, and ate wild rice and chicken soup prepared for us by the Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. We shared soul food with our Bakongo-Brasileiro brother Heritier Lumumba while hearing his experience of travelling back to his homelands, the connections he reignited with his nations, and discussed personal strategies applied on the largely spiritual journey toward decolonisation of our innermost self. I met with Chase Iron Eyes, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member and Lead Counsel for Lakota People’s Law Project, and his staunch daughter Takota, where we spoke about the continuing genocide occurring on native lands – particularly through the establishment of dangerous pipelines like the Dakota Access Pipeline.

While Australia debates which date they will celebrate the ongoing invasion of Aboriginal lands on in the lead-up to January 26th, we continue to focus on our own global nation-building efforts to stand in solidarity and create that anti-colonial world we so desperately need.

I question how it is that when the ‘Change the Date’ campaign begins promoting a new date where Australians can celebrate the ‘good parts’ of the nation, the intentional massacres of Aboriginal peoples which sparked the establishment of the day become null and void.

How is it that the Australian community can’t see the contradictions in their own behaviour?

I question how Aboriginal peoples are further criminalised for showing up to Invasion Day marches and standing against the celebration of ongoing bloodshed, but the ones spilling the blood remain sanctified?

Just like Chase Iron Eyes, when we stand to resist the torture of Aboriginal peoples and lands, to protect our futures, we are called ‘domestic terrorists’.

And like Heritier Lumumba, when we stand to call out and resist systemic racism and carry a message of culture revival we are shunned and isolated by the nation. Or, like the Macarro family and the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, when we resist the extension of dangerous infrastructure on and around our lands we are expected to feel guilty for halting the ‘progress’ of a world that seeks to pollute the water we drink and air we breathe.

How is it that the Australian community can’t see the contradictions in their own behaviour?

That we are the ones who are being criminalised in our plight for justice and freedom.

I think about the lessons I have been given over the time I have spent in so-called America thus far. I think about the perverse mentality of the colonising state to actually WANT to celebrate the day the massacres of Aboriginal peoples began. And, I think about what hope is left within Australia for justice for my brother, if the murders of Aboriginal peoples don’t matter and in fact, are celebrated on a national day.

My question to you, however, ultimately rests with this: Are you going to join in the fight toward changing the day of celebration or are you going to join in the global movement toward dismantling colonisation?

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