This morning, over 100 protesters gathered outside Channel 7’s television studio in Martin Place in response to a Sunrise program that aired on Tuesday.
Sunrise presenter Samantha Armytage and her two guests, commentator Prue Macsween and radio host Ben Davis, took part in a ‘debate’ over whether white families should be allowed to adopt Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Today, a range of Indigenous speakers challenged the racism espoused on Sunrise and stressed the importance of self-determination and keeping Indigenous children with their families.
One speaker, Lisa, pointed out the disastrous consequences of forced removals.
“We won’t have it as mothers… when they come home, the lucky ones who come home, how traumatised are they?”
Greens MP David Shoebridge said, “Two hundred and thirty years is long enough for genocide… sorry means you don’t do it again.”
After a handful of speeches had taken place, Channel 7 closed the curtains to block out the protesters and projected old footage of Martin Place onto the screen behind the Sunrise hosts.
In response, the crowd chanted “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land” while pounding on the soundproof glass of the studio.
During their ‘debate’ Macsween argued for the idea of taking Indigenous children from their families, stating that “Just like the first Stolen Generation where a lot of people were taken because it was for their wellbeing…we need to do it again.”
Davis agreed with her, adding that doubts over the proposal were “Politically correct nonsense”. Armytage then ended segment by saying, “Let’s hope some sense prevails there.”
Toward the end of the protest, young Indigenous attendants were given an open mic to speak.
Lilly Madden thanked the organisers of the event, stating, “After all we’ve suffered and all that we’ve gone through… this makes me feel strong.”
Key speaker, Lynda Coe, concluded, “White Australia, you have been put on notice!”
On top of a record turnout for this year’s Invasion Day protest on January 26, today’s events are evidence of mounting pressure to see justice afforded to First Nations Peoples, who have experienced colonial violence and oppression since 1788.
Image supplied by author.