No Australian support for U.S. wars
21 September 2019
by Bryda Nicholls
Monash University student and Worker Student Alliance member
My name is Bryda, I’m a proud Palawa woman from Tasmania. I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we’re gathered today. And pay my respects to elders past present and emerging.
This land was stolen and never ceded.
Today is the UN international day of peace. One of our demands here today is for so called Australia to stop backing US wars. We are calling for Peace.
Now, shamefully there are many barriers to Peace. How can we aim for peaceful Australian foreign policy when this country refuses to acknowledge its genocidal past.
I’d like to tell you about my ancestor Malanargenna who fought in what’s known as the Black war in Tasmania. It wasn’t a war it was a genocide. The atrocities These acts of genocide aren’t left in the past they happening now. The Andrews government is committing cultural genocide against the Djap Wurrung people.
So we all need to stand in solidarity with the Djap Wurrung women. Those trees are women’s business, for them to look after and protect. Some of those trees are over 800 years old, why don’t they have heritage protection status? How old is Fed Square? One decade? Two? This Square, this concrete and brick monstrosity has heritage protection status, that is shameful.
There’s no way that we could ever truly achieve peaceful foreign policy without confronting our colonial past and the acts of genocide that have happened and been ignored and the acts that happening now that are also being ignored. We need people to step and learn about our past, our history, we need truth, we need justice, we need solidarity. Or there will be no way we can achieve a peaceful future if we don’t recognise the horrible acts of past, they’re just got to repeat themselves until we look them in the face and acknowledge them for what they are.
Thanks IPAN for hosting this rally, thanks everyone for coming along and thanks for inviting me to speak.