Invasion Day, 26 January: Statement from the Watch Committee

The Deaths in Custody Watch Committee celebrates the continuing sovereignty of all Aboriginal peoples of Australia. We honour Aboriginal survival against an invasion in which England's dispossessed and criminalised poor became an invading colonial force, dispossessing and impoverishing others in the process. We celebrate resistance and persistence in the face of racial capitalism, sexism and the struggle against ongoing logics of genocide, cultural assimilation and cultural destruction. We celebrate the movements against land theft, which is at the core of Australia's foundation. We challenge the impoverished imagination that treats people as an impediment to profit, and land and country not as the source of all life, but as a commodity to mine and exploit with no thought of the future. We celebrate a history and a future where Australia's First People thrive beyond the ravages of neoliberal capitalism, colonial patriarchy and the ongoing nightmare of its criminal justice system. We cheer the movement that welcomes people fleeing from oppressive regimes, and we oppose racist, Islamophobic, immigrant prisons. We join our sisters and brothers in the international movement for decarceration and decolonisation. We seek a radical social change to eliminate prisons, institutions that manifestly fail those whom they purport to protect and correct, while worsening social ills. We celebrate Aboriginal leadership and vision in a global movement for justice for the Earth and all its peoples.