15 January 2021

Lidia Thorpe: “Since James Cook first set foot at Kamay (Botany Bay), there have been at least 270 massacres of First Nations peoples in this country. We will never know the true number of casualties — only that many thousands of First Nations people across this nation were massacred in numerous frontier wars, over many decades, often in cold blood. Today, black deaths in custody only serve to remind us that this period of violence and injustice has not yet finished. That’s why, for Aboriginal people across this country, January 26 marks a day of mourning. When Aboriginal people speak up about the realities of colonisation, often the response to this reality is the same — casual racism and a collective denial that tells us our lives don’t matter. But I know that we are not alone in wanting to believe that this country is capable of telling the truth about its violent history — reckoning with its past, so it can better deal with its present. As with ANZAC Day, we ask that all Australians join us in acknowledging January 26 as a day of respectful reflection and mourning for those who died fighting for country. … [W]e can’t do this alone — we need all Australians to come on this journey of truth-telling with us. Ahead of this year’s Invasion Day, we’re asking you to turn up for us. To stand with us — to turn this day of mourning into a day of healing so we can move forward together as a nation.”

Details of Invasion Day rallies (including Covid-safe plans) around the country are available through the organisers, the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance.