Amy McQuire

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White Australians Celebrate, Aboriginal People Mourn

Every year on Jan. 26, at the height of summer, Australians pull out their flags and barbecues, and raise a glass for Australia Day. But as the nationalism rises with the temperature, so does the anger and alienation felt by Aboriginal people, and increasingly, many other Australians.

The date commemorates the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788. Around 1,400 people arrived, half of them convicts, transported from England to establish a penal colony. In the aftermath of the American War of Independence, the British needed a new place to send criminals. The colonizers and their courts considered Australia “terra nullius” or “land belonging to nobody,” a legal fiction used to justify the theft of Aboriginal land over the next two centuries.…  Seguir leyendo »