Gary Foley: Black Power, Now and Then

Legendary Aboriginal activist and Gumbaynggirr man, Professor Gary Foley, yesterday delivered a historical overview of Aboriginal resistance and the Black Power movement in Australia.

Professor Foley was introduced by Larissa Behrendt (UTS) and Lee Rhiannon (The Greens). Also present were leading activists of the movement, Paul Coe and Patricia Corowa, as well as celebrated photojournalist, Barbara McGrady.

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Francis

Studio portrait of South African born Nigerian, Francis, in traditional Nigerian outfit.

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The Nakba - 70 Years On

Today marks 70 years since what the Palestinians call the 'Nakba' - the 'disaster', or 'catastrophe' - the first day of the mass expulsions of Palestinians from their homelands, which continues today.

Today also marks the day that the USA opened an embassy in Jerusalem, an inflammatory act that set off demonstrations in Gaza that saw at least 58 people killed and thousands injured.

In Sydney, about 500 people gathered at Town Hall to rally against ongoing atrocities being committed against Palestinians. Speakers included Mona Abu Zalaf, Damian Ridgewell, Nessa Roberts, Ramzy Baroud, Fouad Chreida, Sara Saleh, David Shoebridge, Louisa Romano and Harsha.

During the speeches, many parallels were drawn between the plight of the Palestinians and the plight of Aboriginal peoples here in Australia.

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Archie Roach with Tiddas - Dancing With My Spirit

To launch his 'Dancing With My Spirit' album, legendary singer/songwriter and story teller, Archie Roach performed at the Enmore Theatre with long time collaborators, Tiddas, to a rapturous reception. 

The Mission Songs Project provided support with the revival of old missions songs from a time passed.

Uncle Allen Madden opened the show with a Welcome To Country.

 

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C-Punks

C-Punk [aka Cripple Punk / Crpl-pnk /] is an international solidarity movement and online community of those living with a disability that agitates against ableism.

It has been described by its founder, Tai/Tyler, as a, "primarily lgbtq+ radical disability movement with strong ties to leftism and a foundation in rejecting oppressive power structures".

Below are some studio portraits of three C-Punks from inner Sydney, Australia, Charlie, Flynn and Hayden.

Charlie says, "The cripple punk movement, like many waves and constellations of disability rights movements, asserts our (disabled people's) place as the prioritised voices in conversations about us. Not carers, not families, not disability sector workers, not abled politicians, not abled people full stop."

Author's/photographer's note/tag: “I am able-bodied.”

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Frontiers Wars March

Yesterday, on ANZAC Day, around 100 people marched behind the official ANZAC parade in Canberra, to lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial to commemorate the Frontier Wars.

The Frontiers Wars was a series of wars between the invading British and Aboriginal nations, starting when Captain Cook's landing party fired on Gweagle people in 1770. The Wars spread across the entire Australian continent during colonisation, decimating Aboriginal populations and their cultures. Countless massacres by the British are hallmarks of these conflicts. Nevertheless, there was desperate resistance by Aboriginal peoples against overwhelming odds.

Yesterday's march began with a solemn smoking ceremony at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, before heading to the Australian War Memorial for the march.

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The Not So Subtle Art

Venturing onto the beaches of Sydney's Eastern suburbs yesterday, I came across this scene which seemed to speak volumes about contemporary Australia and its place in the world.

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1916 Easter Rising Commemoration - Sydney

During Easter in 1916, a major uprising against British colonialism in Ireland was brutally put down. Led in part by socialist, James Connolly, the uprising sought to establish a republic, independent from Britain after centuries of occupation. Nearly 500 people were slaughtered, 3,000 wounded and much of Dublin left in ruins in what became known as the Easter Rising, with the leaders, including James Connolly, executed in the aftermath. Many of the atrocities committed by the British during the Easter Rising caused widespread outrage, and eventually served as a catalyst for the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1922.

Each year, the Australian branch of the James Connolly Association commemorates the Easter Rising at Waverly Cemetery in Sydney's east, where a memorial stands amongst the other grave sites. Today, around 100 people marched through the cemetery in memory of the events of 1916.

After speeches and a minute's silence for those who lost their lives in the Easter Rising, marchers called for the release of Republican Tony Taylor, who is currently being incarcerated in Ireland without trial. 

 

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Palm Sunday Rally - 'Refugees Are Welcome Here'

At a time when the Australian Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, is considering fast tracking visas for white South African farmers, and while hundreds of non-white refugees waste away on Nauru and Manus Islands, including a 10-year old on suicide watch, around 7,000 people marched down Broadway, from Belmore Park to Victoria Park to protest against the Government's refugee policy, which has been condemned as cruel, dehumanising and brutal.

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Palm Sunday Rally - Refugees Are Welcome Here

On Sunday, around 7,000 people marched down Broadway, from Belmore Park to Victoria Park to protest against the Australian Government's refugee policy, which has been condemned as cruel, dehumanising and brutal.

More photographs to come.

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Time To Choose

Bathers look on from Prince Albert Park pool, on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon, as thousands of protestors stream past demanding action on climate change.

Around 10,000 people marched through Sydney's CBD yesterday on the Time2Choose rally, highlighting the concern for a range of environmental issues.

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Time2Choose - Climate Change Rally

Thousands gathered at Martin Place in Sydney's CBD to demand action on climate change, the banning of fracking and CSG, more renewable energy over coal, the protection of rivers and more voice to Aboriginal people who have over 80,000 years of knowledge and practice of sustainable environmental, land and water use.

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No Nuclear Dump at Brewarrina - Rally

Photographs from a rally in Sydney, protesting against Federal Government plans to establish a nuclear waste dump at Brewarrina in North Western NSW, on Ngemba land. Traditional custodians of the land, the Ngemba, are opposed to the dump.

Speakers at the rally included organiser Natalie Wasley, Ngemba and Brewarrina representatives, Trish Frail and Natalie Eastwood, Nathan Moran from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation, Jim Green from Friends of the Earthand NSW Greens parliamentarians Jamie Parker and David Shoebridge, as well as others. The Wakagetti dance troupe provided dance performances and a smoking.

About 100 people from all around Australia then marched from Bligh Street outside the Commonwealth offices, through Sydney's CBD to NSW Parliament House, chanting, "No bundabunda (poison) on Ngemba land".

Three other sites, in South Australia, are also under consideration for the nuclear waste dump.  All are on Aboriginal land.

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Protest Against Sunrise, Seven Network

Around 100 people rallied outside the television studios of the Seven Network's Sunrise program for the second time, to protest against comments made last week by an all white panel, suggesting that removing Aboriginal children from their families was a "no brainer" and stating that, "Just like the first Stolen Generation, where a lot of children were taken because it was for their wellbeing, we need to do it again, perhaps".

Aboriginal communities around Australia and their supporters were outraged and demanded an apology from Sunrise, which to date has not been forthcoming.

The rally was organised by Fighting In Solidarity Towards Treaties (FISTT), a social and political initiative aiming to represent and liberate Australia's First Nations people.

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Masta Ace at the Factory

Veteran hip hop artist, Masta Ace, performed last Friday night at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville.

In 2013, Masta Ace revealed he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, after suffering from the disease for many years.

On this night, Masta Ace performed with live local band, Mister Ott.

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Africultures Festival - Portraits

Portrait photographs from the 10th annual Africultures Festival at Wyatt Park in Lidcombe.

Thousands gather from across Sydney to celebrate the vast diversity of African culture through song, dance, food and performance.

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