For the 11th year running, RISE: Refugee, Survivors and eX-detainees, the FIRST self-determined advocacy and welfare organisation in Australia governed and led by eX-detainees, is making a public statement, supporting the boycott of “Australia Day” aka Invasion day. Even before we made our first public statement our organisation has never “celebrated” this day from the time we were founded in 2010.
As eX-detainees, in so-called Australia, we acknowledge that the land we seek protection on is the land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples whose sovereignty was never ceded.
On this day RISE, on behalf of the eX-detainee community, continues to acknowledge Sovereignty was never ceded, and we stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of this country. We are committed to fighting for justice on the terms set by people and nothing else.
Refugees coming to Australia are being indefinitely detained both onshore and offshore, involuntarily deported back to their countries to danger and physically and sexually abused in detention centres. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have shown their greater solidarity with eX-detainees by raising their voices against Australia’s white supremacist refugee policy. We would also thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples for their recognition and ongoing solidarity with us.
The crisis of disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths and adults being placed in institutionalised “care”, incarcerated and separated from their families and communities is not a recent one. We believe this is systemic abuse which has resulted in over 200 years of discrimination as part of the British colonial genocide strategy.
RISE eX-detainees call on members of our community to stand on the side of justice and equity. Take action at the very least, by condemning any refugee community representatives who partake in “celebrations” on “Australia Day’” or event, that disrespects and erases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples by glorifying stolenwealth and genocide.
Finally, RISE eX-detainees urge members of our community, allies and supporters to amplify and donate where possible to self-determined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples-led movements and organisations.
‘Nothing About Us Without Us’
This post was originally published on RISE.