Re-enactment of the 1978 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, when a group of activists marched from Taylor Square, down Oxford Street, to Hyde Park and then to Kings Cross, where they were met by a brutal police presence. Many were arrested and severely beaten.

To commemorate this important event, a group of the original so-called '78ers', and supporters, re-enacted these events of June 24th, 1978 by meeting at Taylor Square and marching the same route down Oxford Street. While there was again a police presence, this time no violence unfolded - the proceedings were officially sanctioned and supported by the police.

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End the NT Intervention! March and Rally

A modest but passionate crowd of around 150-200 people gathered at Hyde Park in Sydney's CBD to protest against the Federal Government's so-called 'Intervention' which was implemented in the Northern Territory 11 years ago, to this day.

Speakers, including Elizabeth Jarrett, Uncle Ken Canning, Christine Palmer (NT), Paddy Gibson, Raymond Finn (SA) and David Shoebridge, decried the Intervention, accusing the Government of specifically targeting Aboriginal communities with draconian restrictions.

The crowd marched down Elizabeth Street to Belmore Park.

More information on the NT Intervention can be found:

Here, here, here and here.

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180 Years - Anniversary of the Myall Creek Massacre

June 10th this year marks the 180th anniversary of the Myall Creek massacre, where at least 28 Aboriginal men, women and children were slaughtered and their bodies mutilated, then burnt.

The incident was just one of countless other massacres on Gomeroi-Gamillaraay country during the 19th Century. 

The Myall Creek Massacre in 1838 is significant, not just because of the lives lost and the brutality of the events, but also because it was the first instance that white Europeans were prosecuted and found guilty of violence against Aboriginal people. While some people have cited the trial as an example of British justice at work, the flow on effect was that the violence against Aboriginal peoples across Australia went 'underground' - massacres were covered up in secret rather than openly committed, waterholes were poisoned, and the slow dispossession of land and culture continued and continues, right up until today.

The photos below were taken earlier this year, at the site of the memorial for the Myall Creek massacre in northern NSW.

 

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Keep Kids In Culture - National GMAR Delegation in Canberra

A national delegation from Grandmothers Against Removal (GMAR) gathered at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra last week to demand the government halt the systematic removal of Aboriginal children from their families.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd's 'Apology' to the Stolen Generation. The GMAR delegation insists that today's government-led child removal program is a continuation of that Stolen Generation - in effect, that the process of discriminating against Aboriginal families in regards to child removal has never ceased since at least the early part of last century.

After presenting a list of demands to government ministers and opposition shadow ministers last Thursday, the visiting members of GMAR brokered a meeting with representatives from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) on Friday. At that meeting, the grandmothers told personal, heartbreaking stories of having children taken by government agencies and demanded that Aboriginal communities be placed at the centre of decision making to resolve Aboriginal child welfare issues. The PMC representatives agreed to meet again in six months time.

The following day, Saturday the 26th of May, was National Sorry Day - a day that marked the 21st anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report into the Stolen Generation. The GMAR delegation gathered at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and marched up to the lawns of Parliament House, where impassioned speeches were made.

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Gary Foley: Black Power, Then and Now

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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