New calls to change Australia's name just days after Queen's death

‘Australia is not the name of this continent’: New calls to change the country’s name is made just days after the Queen’s death

  • Climate activist group Blockade Australia demanded Australia be renamed 
  • Name of country represented oppression and exploitation, according to group
  • Group is known for its protests including Sydney Harbour Tunnel blockade
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

A radical climate activist group has called for Australia to be renamed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, claiming it is linked to ‘political and economic oppression’.

Blockade Australia, known for causing commuter chaos for thousands of workers, has demanded the change, arguing that the name represents a corrupt system designed to oppress and exploit.

The activist group is known for its anti-climate change protests, which included a blockade at the Sydney Harbour Tunnel that caused major traffic delays on June 27.

Now the group has made four blistering Facebook posts turning their attention to the name following the death of The Queen on Thursday.

A radical climate activist group has called for Australia to be renamed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The activist group is known for its anti-climate change protests which have often ended in clashes with police

 ‘Australia is not the name of this continent,’ one read.

The second added: ‘Australia doesn’t refer to this land, these waters, or the many communities that call this place home’.

The climate group argued the name of the country was rooted in oppression.

‘Australia is the name of the economic and political systems which work to oppress and exploit this continent and its peoples,’ a third post read.

The final post read: ‘These systems are complex, corrupt and have been designed to maximise extraction and maintain hierarchies of power.

Now the group has made four blistering Facebook posts turning their attention to the name of the country following the death of The Queen on Thursday

Blockade Australia argued the name of the country is rooted in oppression and exploitation

‘They have been in place since invasion’.

Invasion is the term used by activists to describe the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788.

The posts have sparked a mixed response from social media users, with some criticising the climate activist group – particularly for using the name themselves.

‘Blockade Australia is part of that system…hence the title of this group…. ironic that!!!’, one wrote.

Another made a tongue-in-cheek dig at the group: ‘You’re so stunning, so brave Blockade Australia d-heads’.

The protests staged by Blockade Australia often end in clashes with police (pictured, demonstration in Sydney on June 28)

In June, the blockade caused major disruption on the road leading into Sydney Harbour Tunnel

Blockade Australia is not the only group using Her Majesty’s death to push their own agendas, or make cheap jokes as her health failed in the last hours of her life.

The Australian Republican Movement, and its chairman Peter FitzSimons, waited just 17 minutes after her death was announced at 3.30am AEST. 

After brief condolences, the organisation noted Her Majesty ‘respected the self-determination of the Australian people’ in a thinly veiled reference to the republic. 

‘The Queen backed the right of Australians to become a fully independent nation during the referendum on an Australian republic in 1999, saying that she has “always made it clear that the future of the Monarchy in Australia is an issue for the Australian people and them alone to decide, by democratic and constitutional means”,’ it said.

The statement was release even before Prime Minister Anthony Albanese issued his own, lengthy, one at 4.47am. 

Despite his organisation alluding to the need for a republic, FitzSimons himself said now was not the time to start the conversation.

Journalist and author Peter FitzSimons (pictured with his wife Lisa Wilkinson) is the chair of the Australian Republic Movement

‘For the moment, what happens now is keeping respectful silence,’ he wrote on Twitter in response to a question from a republic supporter.

‘Apart from quotes provided in case of her death, our only statement was the one acknowledging Her Majesty’s contribution to Australia for over 70 years.

‘There will be much to say, but now not time to say it.’

Greens leader Adam Bandt had no such tact, waiting just five hours to call for Australia to ‘move forward’ and become a republic.

The staunch republican, who refuses to put the Australian flag with its Union Jack corner behind him at press conferences, posted a brief tweet at 8.27am. 

‘Rest In Peace Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with her family and all who loved her,’ he began – his entire condolence statement.

‘Now Australia must move forward. We need Treaty with First Nations people, and we need to become a Republic.’

 The Queen’s death was announced about 3.30am and Adam Bandt posted his tweet at 8.27am

The Queen’s death was announced about 3.30am and Australian morning TV shows announced the news an hour later, followed by a statement by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at 4.47am.

Mr Bandt frequently calls for an Australian republic, believing the country needs its own head of state and the royals are too closely tied to colonialism.

His deputy, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, was even less respectful in her own tweet, and also took the opportunity to demand reparations for indigenous people.

‘I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples,’ she wrote.

‘We are reminded of the urgency of treaty with First Nations, justice and reparations for British colonies and becoming a republic.’

She said last year: ‘The royals preside over an empire that has enslaved millions of black and brown people around the world. Their racism and colonialism continues.

‘If we’re truly interested in the tackling racism in our country, we need to break ties with the royals.’

Mr Bandt also backed up controversial indigenous Greens senator Lidia Thorpe who called The Queen a ‘coloniser’ when swearing her oath of office.

‘I sovereign, Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and I bear allegiance to the colonising Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,’ she said.

Mr Albanese is also a republican and appointed a minister for the republic to eventually explore breaking Australia with the monarchy – but not the Commonwealth.

However, he made no mention of this aspiration in his statement or address to the nation, which had nothing but praise for The Queen.

In 1999, Australians narrowly voted against removing the queen, amid a row over whether her replacement would be chosen by members of parliament, not the public.

Polls show most Australians are in favour of being a republic, but there is little agreement on how a head of state should be chosen

Abbie Chatfield used The Queen’s death as an excuse to remind her fans of Britain’s colonial history, and said the idea of Charles becoming king made her physically ill.

Without even getting out of bed on Friday morning, she began by saying The Queen’s death was ‘obviously sad’ for the Royal Family, but swiftly moved on to criticising colonialism and the monarchy.

‘[It’s] obviously sad that someone has died, sad for her family. The colonialism, not great; the monarchy, not my favourite thing in the world,’ she said.

‘He isn’t very kind or competent. I don’t really know, and I haven’t good things about Charles.’

‘Also, it isn’t [the] 1700s. “The King”? Ew! Ew! Oh, my God. I knew this day was coming, but I don’t like it. “King Charles…”‘ she added, retching as if about to vomit. 

Source: Read Full Article