Invasion Day
Kyah Patten addresses protesters during an Invasion Day rally in The Domain, Sydney (Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

INVASION DAY PROTESTS

Thousands of people have marched in largely masked, peaceful, and socially-distanced Invasion Day protests, with The Guardian reporting that just a handful of people — including some white nationalists — were detained in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Melbourne/Naarm march, which came after Scott Morrison declared Australians “have risen above our brutal beginnings”, saw Greens senator and Gunnai Gunditjmara/Djab Wurrung woman Lidia Thorpe reiterate calls for a Treaty by announcing “a war was declared on the first people of this land” in 1788 that “has not ended”.

Elsewhere, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Liberal MP Russell Broadbent has called on the Morrison government to adopt the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart — which calls for both a First Nations Voice to Parliament and Makarrata Commission for developing treaties — in full.

Amid the debate between Thorpe and authors of the Uluru Statement from the Heart on whether to first pursue Treaty or Constitutional reform, First Nations publication IndigenousX has issued a call for Australia to ratify the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before enacting either.

PS: For some global perspective, check out news.com.au’s guide to how yesterday’s protests were covered by international media as much of the world continues to battle COVID-19 outbreaks.

GIVING BACK

In other January 26 news, ABC reports that 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame has pledged to use her platform to confront grooming and psychological control techniques used by child sex abuse predators. Tame also added her voice to calls to change the date of Australia Day.

The Australian ($) also notes that artist Peter Kingston has returned his Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award, joining reporter Kerry O’Brien who refused his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and doctor Clara Tuck Meng Soo who returned her Order of Australia Medal (OAM), in protest of Margaret Court being elevated to the role of Companion of the Order of Australia (AO).

According to members of the Council for the Order of Australia speaking with The Sydney Morning Herald, Court’s award was down to an attempt to fix a perceived gender disparity after Rod Laver was honoured five years ago.

A COAL RECEPTION

According to The Australian ($), federal “city” Liberal MPs have pushed back against a proposal by the Nationals to finance otherwise nonviable coal plants to restart Australia’s manufacturing industry — a possible future that, as leading economist Ross Garnaut not only explained in his book Superpower but is currently having a crack at himself in central Queensland, could be developed through renewables, hydrogen, batteries and biomass.

The news comes as The Guardian reports the Business Council backs Independent Zali Steggall’s climate change bill for a 2050 net-zero target and rolling emissions budget, while The New Daily explains a new report from the Climate Council will today outline how Australia’s economy stands to lose $100 billion every year as tourist attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef disappear due to climate inaction.

Elsewhere, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that founder and chief executive of the world’s largest private equity firm BlackRock has used his influential annual letter to CEOs to call for plans on how they intend to reshape their businesses to operate in a net-zero economy.

JOE’S NOT SO SLEEPY

Finally, Joe Biden is set to sign a series of executive orders revolving around “equity” policy on Tuesday (Eastern Time), which, according to according to a draft of a calendar document sent to administration allies and viewed by CNN, relates to policing reform, prison reform, and public housing.

The news comes after new Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he will allow the 50-50 Senate to officially organise so Democrats can take control of key committees, and, as news.com.au reports, as Biden records a higher approval rating (63%) than Donald Trump ever did throughout his term as president.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

A referendum on constitutional recognition for First Australians being held on 26 January would be a unifying moment for our nation.

Anthony Albanese

On a day marked as Invasion/Survival Day for many Indigenous Australians and allies, or Australia Day for nationalists/public holiday fans, the opposition leader looks to unite them by proposing an idea roughly no one would get behind.

CRIKEY RECAP

Could small businesses survive a Google-less Australia?

“This weekend brought a lot of heated bluster from old media (and its political representatives) about Google’s supposed threat to democracy.

“In Senate hearings on Friday, Google Australia head Mel Silva confirmed the company would pull the search engine from Australia if the federal government hurried ahead with its mandatory news bargaining code as currently drafted. This confirmed Crikey’s report the week earlier: the code, as is, means no Google search.”


ABC’s Invasion Day own goal will hinder rather than help needed change

“Kudos for an incredible own goal to the person at the ABC who came up with the idea of officially condoning the use of the term ‘Invasion Day’ instead of Australia Day.

“The incredibly inflammatory and premature decision is certainly going to polarise the nation further and even set back moves to either change the date or the name of the day.”


Yes, governor-general. Who really runs the Order of Australia awards?

“With the decision to award Australia’s highest honour to Margaret Court, it feels eerily as though Yes, Minister has come to Yarralumla, with Jim Hacker playing the role of a hapless governor-general rubber-stamping what is put in front of him.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Vaccine export dispute in Europe may threaten Australian supplies

Nick Kyrgios doubles down on savage take-down of Novak Djokovic ($)

Australian government MPs push for protectionism in China trade war

Taxpayers fund charity watchdog’s Brisb-Melb commute ($)

Google backflips on news product launch amid political battle

Two Coalition MPs urge further bailouts for Australia’s COVID-hit tourism industry

Solar power outshines old records despite gloom of pandemic

Sydney airport hottest place in NSW as parts of the city hit 40C

Xi Jinping warns against new Cold War

Ghislaine Maxwell seeks dismissal of criminal case, cites Epstein agreement

THE COMMENTARIAT

7 more things you should know about Invasion DayLuke Pearson (IndigenousX): “Years ago I co-authored a piece for NITV called ‘10 things you should know about January 26’ partly because we weren’t allowed to say ‘Invasion Day’ when I worked there, but also because knowing things is good. So here’s seven more things you should know about Invasion Day.”

Learning from a tragic past to build a better futureJosh Frydenberg and Josh Burns (The Sydney Morning Herald): “The Holocaust was not just a crime committed against the Jewish people, it was a crime against humanity. Roma, Sinti, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses, political and religious leaders were all victims of the evil, brutal Nazi killing machine.”

One year after ‘Black Summer’ bushfire crisis, media misinformation still burnsKetan Joshi (RenewEconomy): “During Australia’s Black Summer bushfire crisis, misinformation raged alongside the flames. Large media outlets pushed the line that the sheer intensity of the crisis could be explained by a sudden surge in arson attacks, using an inflated number that simply kept growing in size. This falsehood was presented as a counter to the widespread assumption that climate change had played a major role in making that bushfire season so wildly catastrophic and unusual.”

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  • Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Peter Fray

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