Australia Invasion Day 2014
Every January 26, Australia celebrates “Australia Day,” but for many Aboriginal peoples it has become known as Invasion Day. The annual mobilization includes rallies and events intended to challenge the state’s narrative of colonization and to promote Aboriginal resistance.
According to one participant, “Brisbane saw the biggest Invasion Day rally for many years. More than 400, predominantly Indigenous people, came together outside Parliament House to register our disgust at the celebration of racism that is Australia Day and to send the message that, no matter the oppression, Indigenous people have survived and will continue to resist genocide.”
In addition to rallies and concerts, the house of Capt. James Cook, located in Melbourne, was vandalized with anti-colonial slogans. As well, an 8km stretch of beach front in Sydney was also vandalized with anti-colonial graffiti.
Activists spray graffiti on Capt. James Cook’s home in Australia Day protest
MELBOURNE, Australia – Activists have vandalized the historic home of the 18th century British explorer Capt. James Cook with graffiti to protest against Australia’s national day.
The walls of Cook’s cottage in Melbourne was spray-painted Thursday night with slogans describing Jan. 26 as shameful.
Jan. 26 is Australia Day and commemorates British settlement of Sydney in 1788. Opponents call it “Invasion Day,” and regard it as a shameful reminder that Australian land was taken from Aborigines by British colonists without a treaty.
The cottage was originally built in 1755 in England by Cook’s parents, who discovered the site of the first colony.
Detective Senior Constable Scott Gray said it was the third graffiti attack on the building since Australia Day last year.
Graffiti denouncing Australia Day as “Invasion Day” has been daubed along the foreshore at Sydney’s Botany Bay, angering locals.
9News National, Jan 24, 2014
Botany Bay is where Captain Cook first landed in Australia.
Rockdale mayor Shane O’Brien said he was angry and disappointed on behalf of the local community.
“So I don’t think our community deserved this sort of attack and the cost associated with cleaning it up.”
Mr O’Brien said he was also disappointed because he was a big supporter of reconciliation.
“When something like this happens anyone who’s unsure or not really there yet is more inclined to swing the other way.”
“I wonder what goes through the heads of these people when they actually set back their own cause.”
Police are viewing CCTV footage in a bid to catch the culprits.
The Botany Bay attack follows a similar anti-Australia Day graffiti attack on the historic Cooks’ Cottage in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens early on Friday.
Vandals sprayed paint on the cottage and smashed a window.