national liberation

UK General Election 2015: It’s Tomorrow!

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Mental health is one of the Liberal Democrats’ top priorities. We are committed to ending discrimination against mental health in our NHS, delivering genuine parity of esteem between mental health and physical health.

We will transform NHS services for children and adolescent mental health, ensuring children and young people can get high quality care, close to home, where they can stay in touch with family and friends.

Aboriginal rights protest disrupts Australia Day Parade in Melbourne

Hundreds of people marching for Aboriginal rights have disrupted official Australia Day celebrations in the Melbourne CBD.

The group – holding Aboriginal flags and chanting “always was, always will be Aboriginal land” – followed the parade down Swanston Street, flanked by police.

The rally that followed was lead by two organisations: Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance and First Nations Liberation.

Organiser Meriki Onus, 27, said the group had earlier gathered at the steps of parliament house to lay flowers in commemoration of Aboriginal people who were killed during white settlement, the Stolen Generation and Aboriginal deaths in custody.

She said January 26 was a day of mourning for Aboriginal people.

“We don’t celebrate Australia Day, because Australia Day celebrates genocide,” Ms Onus said.

“Today is Invasion Day for Aboriginal people.”

As the vocal group marched from Parliament to town hall and on to Birrarung Marr, people chanted “No pride in genocide” and “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.”

Placards carried in the procession included “End the NT intervention” and “Stop deaths in custody”.

The rally came to a brief halt at the intersection of St Kilda Road and Flinders Street as members of the crowd burned gum leaves.

Ms Onus said the turnout for the rally was far greater than she had expected.

Djuran Bunjileenee, from First Nations Liberation, said it was important for the wider community to remember the events of January 26.

“Australia Day is the day our land was physically occupied by invaders,” Mr Bunjileenee said.

Progressive activists and scholars, while prepared to make critiques of the US and Canadian governments, are often not prepared to question their legitimacy. A case in point is the strategy of many racial justice organizations in the US or Canada, who have rallied against the increase in hate crimes since 9/11 under the banner, “We’re American [or Canadian] too.”

This allegiance to “America” or “Canada” legitimizes the genocide and colonization of Native peoples upon which these nation-states are founded. By making anti-colonial struggle central to feminist politics, Native women place in question the appropriate form of governance for the world in general. In questioning the nation-state, we can begin to imagine a world that we would actually want to live in. Such a political project is particularly important for colonized peoples seeking national liberation outside the nation- state.

Progressive Jewish women and the women’s movement as a whole must take a stand on the question of Palestine and Israel, without allowing charges of anti-semitism to cloud our view of what Zionism is really about. We can’t cop out by saying it’s just too confusing. Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir articulated a fundamental tenet of Zionism when she stated in 1969: “It is not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” Behind this chilling lie is the reality that “Israel” was carved in blood from the homeland of the Palestinian people. Before the Zionist invasion, Palestine had a population of a half a million people. Muslims, Christians, and 20,000 Jews lived together for over thousands of years.

The Zionist leader Herzl commented that if the Zionist movement was to receive British support, it must show the British government “spot in the English possessions where there were no white people as yet.” Uganda, Argentina, and Palestine were all seriously considered as possible sites for the Zionist settlement. British Zionist Lord Melcher argued the reasons why Britain should support the colonization of Palestine: “The advantages to the British Empire are obvious. The Suez Canal and air stations, the oil-pipe outlet in Haifa and its harbor, have become vital to our naval strategy in the Mediterranean. The security of the imperial complex of interests can be better assured by a large European population than by the few battalions that can be spared.“ (emphasis added)

The Zionist and British usurpation of land and power was accomplished through terror and genocide. In 1948 alone 385 Palestinian villages were destroyed and their names erased from the map. Over the years 1 and ½ million people were displaced at gunpoint. By the hundreds of thousands, Palestinians were forced to flee into the desert, living for decades in tent villages while the settlers took over their farms and groves.

At every step, the Palestinian people resisted being driven from their homeland. Since the Zionist invasion, there have been six major revolts and scores of popular uprisings; 30,000 martyrs have died in the process. This is the reality behind the Zionist myth that the colonization of Palestine has “made the desert bloom.” The Zionist state of Israel could not exist without the backing of US imperialism, which has built Israel into an outpost of white supremacy. 20% of the US foreign aid budget goes to the Zionists; in turn Israel operates as the policeman of imperialist interests in the Middle East. Just as South Africa invades Angola, Namibia and Mozambique to enforce imperialist domination of Southern Africa, so Israel bombs Lebanon, Iraq and annexes Syrian land with impunity. Like the white settlers in South Africa, the Jewish settlers in Israel provide the manpower and political base for white supremacist aggression.

On a world scale, Israel actively supports other fascist regimes and military dictatorships. Israel is a major supplier of military aid to South Africa and the repressive regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala. It supported Somoza in Nicaragua, the puppet government in South Viet Nam, and now Pinochet’s rule in Chile. Fascist South Africa and Israel are each other’s number one trading partners. This situation cannot be brushed off by blaming the right wing policies of Israeli Prime Minister Begin. It is not the particular administration that is in question, but the basic nature of the Zionist white settler state. From the very beginning, Israel’s takeover of Arab land has depended on aggression, the threat of aggression, and on serving the interests of US imperialism.

—  “The Issue of Zionism in the Women’s Movement” published by Women Against Imperialism (April 1982)

Australia Day January 26 = Invasion Day, Day of Mourning and Protest

For Indigenous Australians, for whom the date represented invasion and an irrevocable impact upon their culture, land and population, there was no cause for celebration. During the sesquicentenary events in 1938, approximately 100 Aboriginal protesters gathered in Sydney to present a different view of the celebrations. For the protesters and those represented, Australia Day was instead ‘a day of mourning’, highlighting the loss of life, land and language that was a cause of the European occupation of Australia.