Terra Nullius Claimed At Australian Commission

Published: Mon 13 Dec 2004 11:17 AM
Protestors claim Terra Nullius at Australian High Commission
Today twelve protesters scaled the fences of the Australian High Commission in Thorndon (Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand) in solidarity with actions for indigenous justice and in opposition to police brutality against First Nation peoples in Australia.
The arrogance of the colonialism that ‘founded’ Australia and its exploitative nature led the protestors to satirically declare Terra Nullius* over the Commission grounds.
In a light hearted protest ‘colonists’ staked survey pegs to the grounds but were interrupted by a kangaroo that was soon apprehended and ‘silenced’ much like the voices of indigenous Australians. Meanwhile bloodied hands were plastered all over the front of the Commission and the water fountain was dyed red, symbolic of the ongoing deaths of indigenous Australians in their struggle for self- determination.
One of the protestors said “ We are thoroughly disturbed by the silence of the New Zealand government and media over the abuses and terror tactics used by the Australian state recently against the people of Palm Island. This silence mirrors the suppression of indigenous rights in Aotearoa/ NZ, the latest phase shown by the implementation of the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. We call upon the Australia and New Zealand governments to recognise indigenous sovereignty and believe that only through this process can non-indigenous peoples live with integrity in these lands.”
*‘Terra Nullius’ meaning ‘empty land’ was a common tool used by colonialists to ignore the fact that the land was already inhabited, deny the sovereignty of indigenous peoples and steal their land, which has been used in both Australia and in 1840 in the South Island of New Zealand .

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