Monday, January 28, 2008
Dennis Walker's Invasion Day Speech
Hamish Chitts, Brisbane
This is a transcript of Dennis Walker of the Noonucal people's speech to Brisbane's Invasion Day (Jan26) rally outside Queensland's parliament.
Photo: Dennis Walker by Owain Lewis Jones
Thank you, I won’t bore you with the statistics of the devastation being wrecked upon us in this illegal occupation and the genocide happening as we speak. Suffice to say, and this is my pet baby, the incarceration rates are up, the deaths in custody are up. I don’t like it, I don’t know who does, except those who may profit from it I guess.
We need to begin to deal from our own sovereignty. Instead of the Union Jack being in their flag it should be our flag, we decide. This is by their law, Captain Cook was instructed by his sovereign King George III, “You are, with consent, to take advantage of convenient situations”. He did not get consent, there has never been any consent given in this country by any black fella as far as I know about anything they do. So there is no consent, the sovereign said get consent, Captain Cook did not get consent he acted as a false agent. That’s their law, not ours, their law. Any act of a false agent makes all laws that flow from it, including the First Fleet – the first boat people, all illegal. Now the way to get over that problem is to deal fairly and treaty it and work out our differences and get on with it.
However in their arrogance, and just in case you think I’m arrogant – I know I’m arrogant, but as arrogant as I am, I could never be as arrogant as a white man in this country and don’t say you as individuals aren’t responsible for it, you pay taxes so your police forces, your legislators and your courts do the dirty work for you. So don’t say you haven’t got a hand in this, you helped pay for this coming down on us. Don’t forget that it’s not just us they’re coming after, we are just the convenient scapegoats to get the uranium out so the state can keep the power. Your youth death rates are up too, they come for us today they’ll be coming for you tonight, I think James Baldwin said in the book The Fire Next Time.
I have been trying to get in touch with our Premier about this day, today. Unfortunately she’s not concerned about the fires she’s more concerned about the floods, which I can understand at the moment. So she didn’t have time to meet with me. However I did write her a letter asking for an audience and this letter said:
I am writing to you as I am somewhat concerned at the ever increasing incarceration rates and deaths in custody of Indigenous people. As you are aware I have tired many ways to address these matters as did my mother before me and we both agreed the only way forward would be by treaty in order for all parties involved to be reconciled under God. I have drafted my Invasion Day message titled ‘A Time for Peace’ and I hoping to talk to you on these matters prior to that and thus this letter to obtain an appointment with you to discuss treaty and related matters.
Peace, prosperity and healing,
Dated Thursday 17 / 1 / 08
That was delivered to her parliamentary office along with enclosures, a copy of A Time for Peace, something I wrote and I’ll read out probably at Musgrave. Also included a copy of my treaty to lease. I also included a copy a letter of reference she gave to me back in 2002 when she was minister of education. She said:
Dear Mr Lynch
I write in support of the application made by Dennis Walker for financial assistance through the Brisbane City Council’s Community Development Assistance Grants to initiate a sacred treaty circles project. This project aims to contribute to the spiritual, environmental and social healing in the Brisbane region and through providing a focussed gathering point, commitment and gathering arena in order to reinforce traditional Aboriginal culture and enhance community relationships. I am very supportive of this goal and ask you that you look favourably on this application.
Thank you for your consideration, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
Anna Bligh MP
Member for South Brisbane, Minister for Education
1st March 2002
So they speak with a forked tongue. She couldn’t meet with me to discuss treaty so I could say, “Listen, we’ve got a deal going with the Queensland Government that may be a little humane and we may get a chance for some justice here, but we’ve still got to do this via a treaty process.” They’ve refused to meet, they’ve refused to talk, they continue the genocide, the death rates are up and the incarceration rates are up. What do we do? On March 11 and 12 we go to Canberra and put it to Rudd. Essentially the same thing – treaty now. If Rudd won’t deal we should go overseas and ask for the overseas community to treaty with us so we can get rid of the oppressor.