Flying the flag
I’m deeply ambivalent about Invasion Day celebrations; there’s just something about people wrapping themselves in flags and boozing on in the name of nationalism that makes me cringe.
The whole flag thing bothers me, particularly as our flag has no representation of our Aboriginal history and still contains the logo of the British Empire. I won’t even start banging on about the dubious decisions some young women make wearing the Union Jack on one breast and the Southern Cross on the other (what’s that supposed to represent, that the left boob is for the UK and the right one for Australia?)
I’d feel a whole lot more comfortable about a national holiday that celebrated more than the European occupation of this land to the detriment of the previous inhabitants.
I attended the Richmond Valley Council Australia Day celebrations at Ellangowan, where our Indigenous culture and heritage was recognised and celebrated.
I also dropped in at the Lismore Lake Pool to have a chat with the families who decided to use that free, outdoor space, rather than the user-pays pools. There may be only a couple of weeks left before the Lismore Lake Pool is closed – something that would be a loss to the community and in particular those members of the community who find it hard to feed their kids, let alone pay the myriad costs of entertaining children these days.
Up at GSAC, activist Benny Zable was arrested for staging a protest about the federal government’s promotion of the meat industry (from which this newspaper benefited in the form of a full-page ad).
To arrest someone for expressing a point of view contrary to the government makes me think we haven’t really come that far in two centuries. Although perhaps, on closer reflection, there really is an appropriateness in the parallel: it was inappropriate laws, sentencing and war that led to white colonisation of Australia in the first place.