Saturday, May 02, 2015

Arm in Arm With Kooris, Forever.

Today, on May the 1st, in every city of Australia, several thousand white Gubbas, along with their black Koori compatriots, protested about the State's threat to force the closure of many indigenous communities. These are small out-stations, deep in the West Australian interior, where Aboriginal people live a lifestyle close to their sacred land, with their extended families, as traditionally as possible, given that the State has also forced them to assimilate into modern civilization.

Our penny-pinching white Rulers say the black communities cost too much for the taxpayers to build the infrastructure necessary to supply water, food, electricity, communications and education into the deep bush. Let's forget the billions spent on politicians' office renovations, $300,000 annual wages, perks and life-time pensions. THEY want to move the indigenous people into large concentrated towns closer to cities and thus exacerbate their dislocation, disorientation and disgruntlement. It's been the blacks' land for 60,000 years, we all live on it but most of them don't get any rent.

The white Rulers have dispossessed the blacks of everything, including their identity, many times over. It's only lately the Kooris have fought back and demanded their rights, to their lands, their languages and their culture. Alongside them are a few staunch white Gubbas, totally supportive and militant, arm in arm with the Kooris, refusing the dictum of the State. WE will all riot across the nation if necessary, it's outrageous that the State has picked on the indigenous Australians yet again to squeeze money from the most vulnerable and exploited.

A few years ago the State made a big hullaballoo about saying "SORRY" to the Kooris for robbing, raping, murdering and stealing their children. It was all a load of crocodile tears and colonialist paternalism, quickly forgotten by the majority of gronks who benefit from the taking of the Aboriginals' heritage. "SORRY" Day was a smoke-screen behind which the Powers that be continued to steal the land from the blacks for idyllic holiday resorts, vast cattle ranches and lucrative mining leases. And THEY are still taking black children from their families and putting them into foster care, all under the euphemism of "Human Services", in reality an army of snippy social worker types earning a living riding on the backs of the poor.

There were a thousand protesters in Belmore Park tonight, all waving Aboriginal land-rights flags and shouting in anger, cheering in sympathy. John Pilger, the famous film-maker, spoke forcefully about the injustice of white settlement and asked us not to forget the first major war Australia got involved in. Not Gallipoli or D Day, in the World Wars, but "The Frontier Wars" in Auz itself where thousands of blacks, with the help of a few whites, fought the invasion of the colonialists. His film on the fuck-over of Indigenous Australians, "Utopia", shocked the world and showed that we're not the paradise of jolly sun burnt sportsmen and movie-stars, but an apartheid state worse than South Africa..

  A mob of irate Kooris raged their poetry about strength, survival, rebellion and love of country onto the crowd's heads and into the cool winter's night, a glowing moon lighting us all up with their fighting words. We then left the park, next to Central railway Station, a place where once a tribe of Kooris lived but were moved on to Redfern at the end of the 19th century to make way for a World Fair. 
We marched the two kilometres to The Block in Redfern, where that same tribe had lived for a hundred years but were again being moved on as the area was to be gentrified. Here the crowd yammered and shrieked, venting their fury at the repetitive dispossession of the blacks. Some of us whites are in full fury with the blacks and are willing to put ourselves on the line with them,  fed up with their being ripped off and fucked over.

The night's outrage and solidarity got me excited, I was willing to riot, the cops on horses were ready, but the State is probably going to back down on the whole bastard act as too many are threatening to riot across the land. So we can feel mollified, for awhile. But we'll never let our guard down, the State is relentless, merciless, ravenous and unforgiving.

I often fantasize my great great grandmother was a Koori, for my family have been in Australia for two hundred years and many a white man took a black woman as his concubine, but kept it and any children secret. Something has to explain my skin going  black and hair bleaching blond in my childhood's summer months, and my intense sympathy with their cause. I pray it's so and I hope she's smiling down upon me from The Dreamtime.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.