Press Release: Stolen Land, Invaded Children and Rugby Union
Tēnā koutou katoa.
Today, Saturday July 21st, at 7.30pm the All Blacks are playing Australia at Eden Park in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). ImagineNative Action spokesperson Te Kanikani Tangata Hara says "we believe the moral and political background to Aotearoa's national Rugby team playing Australia now is similar to the All Blacks playing South Africa in the 1960 to 1990s. Colonial Australia has a history of perpetrating cultural and ethnic genocide against Aboriginal peoples, a history often more brutal and repugnant than that of South African Apartheid."
Te Kanikani Tangata Hara continued, "However, rather than advocating the disruption of this evening's Rugby match, ImagineNative Action will use it as a platform to raise awareness regarding the true nature of John Howard's invasion of Aboriginal communities. ImagineNative Action recognises Howard's plan as an attempt to alienate the people from their land for the purposes of economic (i.e. mining) exploitation, and as an electoral strategy."
Te Kanikani Tangata Hara calls on all Rugby fans of intelligence and compassion to "show their support for the aboriginal people who are having their land and their children attacked by John Howard's racist government. It should be unacceptable to any fair minded human-being that Aboriginal communities and children be brutalised by military occupation and the threat of 'invasive medical testing'".
"Members of ImagineNative Action will be in place outside Eden Park from 5.30pm this evening, handing out educational leaflets and placards that communicate support for Aboriginal Self-determination to the crowd attending the match. We will encourage match-goers, in a friendly and engaging manner, to take a placard into Eden Park with them and display it to the global audience that comes with such major sporting events."
Te Kanikani Tangata Hara said "Our aims are to raise awareness and to send a message to the colonial government of Occupied Australia that the invasion is unacceptable. Most importantly, ImagineNative Action recognises the Howard colonial government desire to break the spirit and will of Aboriginal people to resist the colonisation and exploitation of their lands. Every display of solidarity with Aboriginal people, such as the one planned for All Blacks vs. Australia this evening, will lift the wairua of the people and help strengthen their resolve."
In response to the question of fairness and good sportspersonship to members of the Australian team Te Kanikani Tangata Hara replied, "Our intention is not to shame or distract the Australian players. We realise that the Australian Rugby team is in no way responsible for the horrific actions of their colonial government. Shame should be reserved for John Howard and Helen Clark - a supposedly great Humanitarian - who has thus far refused to condemn Howard's violation of the basic human right of Aboriginal peoples."
"ImagineNative Action is also confident the Australian team consists of highly trained professionals; therefore our action will have no effect on their performance. We in fact call on members of both teams, as morally upstanding sporting leaders in our communities, to show their support of justice and basic human rights for Aboriginal people by wearing black, yellow and red armbands during the match."
ImagineNative Action kaikōrero (spokesperson), Te Kanikani Tangata Hara is available for further comment on 02 11 55 11 54 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
"Building solidarity between Indigenous and Peoples of Colour communities. Defending our whenua & peoples against racism and exploitation since 2007"