Indigenous Greens senator Lidia Thorpe has accused the British Royal Family of genocide in the wake of the Queen’s death.
Queen Elizabeth II was under medical supervision due to her deteriorating health before she passed away on September 8.
The death of the longest reigning monarch has seen many instances of the traditional “minute of silence” observed in Australia and around the world – at sporting events, in Parliament and in many other settings.
However, Ms Thorpe said that she refused to give a minute’s silence to the late Queen, who she says is part of the family who “declared a war on these shores”.
The Djab Wurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara senator wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian and shared it to Facebook with the caption: “They buried our kids in the sand and kicked off their heads, and you want me to pay my respects? This isn’t about an individual, it’s about the institution she represents and the genocide that they’re responsible for”.
She first revealed that the news of the Queen’s death broke at the same time of her cousin’s funeral who had died in custody.
“The institutions that British colonisation brought here, from the education that erases us to the prisons that kill us, are designed to destroy the oldest living culture in the world,” she wrote in the opinion piece.
“That’s the legacy of the crown in this country.
“The ‘British empire’ declared a war on these shores, against this country’s First Nations peoples. This led to massacres. And you want a minute’s silence from me?
“Their war continues and is still felt today – on our children, our men, our land, our water, the air we breathe. Yet we’re meant to kneel to the colonising force with our hands on our hearts?”
She went on to call Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s decision to mark September 22 as a “National Day of Mourning for Her Majesty The Queen” as insulting.
Ms Thorpe slammed the announcement saying that First Nations people have called for January 26 to be acknowledged as a Day of Mourning since 1938.
“We called for a Day of Mourning so that this country could understand how we’re still affected by colonisation today,” she continued.
“We’re not grieving a singular human life, we’re reeling from the violence that is the legacy of the monarchy.
“Who gave permission for our flag to be lowered to half-mast? That power has been taken away from us, again.”
She went on to say that Australia doesn’t need a king but instead needed a “head of state” elected by the people.
“The Queen is dead. I’ve had some days to reflect, and know that people wanted me to come out ranting and raving to confirm their views of me as a crazy Blak woman. In the days since, I’ve seen anger and disbelief from First Nations people at the glorification of our oppressor,’’ she said on Monday night.
“This Country has a new King. The parliament and the Prime Minister are subjugated to someone we didn’t elect. We don’t need a new King, we need a head of state chosen by the people.
“The process towards being able to pick our own head of state would bring us all together – it would force us to tell the truth about our history and move us towards real action to right the wrongs that started with colonisation.
“We could use this moment and momentum to empower people to democratically elect our own leader. Someone who represents all of us, uniting a country that has owned up to its past and chosen its own future. That unity would be more powerful than any King.”
The comment section of Ms Thorpe’s post showed a lot of support for the Indigenous senator with many praising her stance.
“This is a shameful country. Shameful leaders who choose to ignore the atrocities from the past and present. Thank you Senator for your strength in standing up!!” someone wrote.
“You are amazing. I’d rather look to you as a queen than that archaic system that traumatised first nations people all over the world,” another commented.
“It’s so great hearing your voice and indigenous voices loudly in parliament. You’re doing an amazing job. You are making a massive difference. Full respect,” another read.
This article first appeared on OverSixty.