Invasion Day war of words heats up
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.