In­va­sion Day war of words heats up

NewsMail - - NEWS - James Dowling Her­ald Sun

THERE are calls for an Abo­rig­i­nal ac­tivist to be axed from a gov­ern­ment­funded body for say­ing Aus­tralia should be burnt to the ground.

Mean­while, the group be­hind the In­va­sion Day march in Melbourne has called for “Aus­tralia to be abol­ished”.

In a so­cial me­dia post, the War­riors of the Abo­rig­i­nal Re­sis­tance group has backed the com­ments of its mem­ber Tarneen Onus-Wil­liams and re­leased its own ex­ple­tive­laden state­ment, say­ing “f--your flag, your an­them and pre­cious na­tional day”.

It added: “Abol­ish Aus­tralia, not just Aus­tralia Day.”

Ms Onus-Wil­liams is not just as­so­ci­ated with the provoca­tive WAR protest group, but also the state gov­ern­ment-funded Koorie Youth Coun­cil.

Ms Onus-Wil­liams, 24, made no apolo­gies for scream­ing “f--- Aus­tralia, I hope it burns to the ground” dur­ing the march on Aus­tralia Day.

“Yes, some peo­ple use that lan­guage but it’s noth­ing com­pared to the way Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple have been treated,” she told the Her­ald Sun.

“Peo­ple who cel­e­brate Aus­tralia Day are cel­e­brat­ing the geno­cide of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, wav­ing Aus­tralian flags in our faces. It’s dis­gust­ing.’’

The WAR group backed her com­ments yes­ter­day, say­ing it would not rest un­til “we burn this en­tire rot­ten set­tler colony called Aus­tralia ... to the f---ing ground”.

“Un­til ev­ery cor­rupt and il­le­gal in­sti­tu­tion of white su­prem­a­cist, pa­tri­ar­chal, cap­i­tal­ist set­tler colo­nial power forced upon us is no more,” it read.

Op­po­si­tion MP Tim Smith said Ms Onus-Wil­liams’s com­ments should dis­qual­ify her from fur­ther rep­re­sent­ing the Koorie Youth Coun­cil.

“Den­i­grat­ing Aus­tralia is no way to im­prove Abo­rig­i­nal dis­ad­van­tage and fur­ther the cause of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, and (Premier) Daniel An­drews should show some back­bone and sack her,” he said.

The coun­cil has re­ceived $1.7 mil­lion in state gov­ern­ment fund­ing since 2012 from both Lib­eral and La­bor gov­ern­ments.

On Sun­day, the coun­cil stressed Ms Onus-Wil­liams had a vol­un­teer role at the or­gan­i­sa­tion and she was not rep­re­sent­ing it at the In­va­sion Day rally.

In a state­ment the coun­cil added it did not share her views and it had not or­gan­ised the rally, but it did make a num­ber of so­cial me­dia posts pro­mot­ing it.

Premier An­drews said Ms Onus-Wil­liams’s com­ments were “wrong and shame­ful”, but her coun­cil mem­ber­ship was a mat­ter for the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

In­dige­nous leader War­ren Mun­dine at first said the coun­cil should be de-funded over Ms Onus-Wil­liams’s com­ment, but later ap­plauded its de­ci­sion to back away from her stance.

But he said WAR was an ex­trem­ist “hate group” of oxy­gen thieves.

“Shows the true mo­tive of ex­trem­ist left: ha­tred of Aus­tralia,” he tweeted.

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