Saturday, January 26, 2013

Last day of freedom

The Nyoongar Tent Embassy and Black Action Group organised a ``Last day of freedom'' event on January 25.

``We had a big celebration and corroboree,'' organiser Preston Colbung told Green Left. The day chosen was symbolic as the day before Invasion Day and therefore a day of freedom.

Events included bands, local and young artists, displays and cultural activities. Women's and men's circles were each held and a women's smoking ceremony was held to cleanse the island.

The event was held at Matagarup (Heirisson Island) where the Nyoongar Tent Embassy was established last year.

``You can feel the calmness and peacefulness [at the event],'' organiser Marianne Mackay told Green Left. However she said that ``we won't be camping here for a while'' because ``we need to smoke the island and cleanse it'' due to the negative energy from last year.

This refers to the vicious actions by police and Perth City Council to close down the Embassy over several months last year.

``The whole purpose of today was to celebrate women,'' Colbung told Green Left. ``As Matagarup is a birthing site, the aim of today was to celebrate indigenous women in Australia – how far we've moved forward and to keep our sovereign rights going.''

Mackay said that the organisers want to make this an annual event. ``We want to make sure that everybody gets involved – wadjalas [white people] too.''

``It's wicked to see so many mobs here today,'' she said projecting that in future years the event will get bigger and bigger.

[This article by Alex Bainbridge was written for Green Left Weekly #951.]

The video below has been produced by Green Left TV in the spirit of solidarity with Aboriginal people asserting their sovereignty and campaigning for justice