Key messages from Solidarity Session #33 – Colonialism in Australia and Gaza*
  • Current events in Gaza can be deeply triggering for First Peoples as we see the similar tactics of colonisation being used against Palestinians; dehumanisation, genocide and illegal occupation of land.
  • There are economic motivations of colonisation and genocide – links to globalisation and neoliberalism. For example, in some rich pastoral regions, the First Peoples were systematically pursued and indiscriminately massacred en masse to protect the economic interests of the colony and ensure steady expansion and growth of the sheep and wool industry.
  • Current research shows parallels between colonisation in Tasmania and Palestine. Using data to show the mechanisms of ongoing colonisation such as incarceration, infant death to educate people about the effects of colonisation.
  • What we need to understand is that colonisation is present in both Gaza and Australia. Genocide is happening in Gaza right now, and even though massacres are not present in Australia right now, there are other factors that speak to ongoing colonisation:
    Cultural genocide – losing languages, ceremony, 60,000 years of oral history.
  • Remote Indigenous communities operating like prisons, run by government or non-indigenous entities, are heavily policed and militarised, record high levels of incarceration, and First Peoples dying while incarcerated.
  • We want to visibilise capitalism, patriarchy and colonisation – how can AFSA and other organisations be doing this work?
    • We need to re-emphasise the role of dehumanisation as a tactic of colonisation and embark on a process of humanising First Peoples. If we speak to First Peoples and ask them if and how they’ve experienced ongoing colonisation, we’d have a collection of stories that re-humanise First Peoples’ experiences.
    • We need affirmative action! Enough of hypocrisy by Australian politicians who give lip service to First Peoples while supporting Israel. “How can we fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on government buildings while funding and supporting Israel?”
    • By educating our communities around what is happening and what has happened here so that everyone understands that colonisation hasn’t ended.
  • We need to remain cognisant of propaganda being used to silence First Peoples and allies. “The best way to shut you up is to call you a radical”. Here, we need to band together and demonstrate strength in numbers.
    Boycotting can be an effective tool in diminishing the power of colonial governments. AFSA commits to researching food products imported from Israel to share with eaters who actively support Palestinian liberation.

    • Further to this: Boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS). AFSA commits to meeting with interested members and allies to strategise on a BDS campaign.
  • For non-indigenous people, let’s think about our own ancestral links to colonisation. For example in Ireland, where colonised peoples migrated/fled to other parts of the world and ended up ‘owning’ slaves. This is an important point in terms of replicating violence – when the oppressed become the perpetrators.
  • “We are circle people. But we don’t build a wall around our circle, we bring people in…”
  • “Culture doesn’t see colour, it just sees spirit”

*Please note: AFSA has made the decision not to attribute specific comments or statements to individuals who attended this session, to ensure it remains a safe and open space for First Peoples in Australia, Palestine and around the world to share their experiences.

Published On: 29 February, 2024Categories: Events, Indigenous, NewsTags: , , , , ,