“The Greens are the Pied Piper and you’re the rats.”
This is the angry accusation that’s been levelled at supporters of the #ChangeTheDate movement.
And it’s a part of the debate you may not have heard.
It may surprise you to learn the words are from an Indigenous woman, and they are part of a statement posted by Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price. The Indigenous leader has shared on Facebook the story of a woman she regards as her “sister…[who] is a true survivor and the kind of Aboriginal woman our leaders need to listen to.”
The statement takes direct aim at The Greens Party, whom Price’s friend feels have caused “a huge division between us, Indigenous pitted against Indigenous, Black against whites in… some of the most vile and racist hate speech.”
The Greens reignited the debate earlier this month, when party leader Richard Di Natale reinforced the group’s opposition to celebrating the national day on January 26.
The Senator described changing the date as one of the party’s priorities this year, committing to backing any Greens councillor who campaigns to move the date.
But whilst the announcement was popular, it frustrated some Indigenous leaders, who argue we should abandon the divisive debate and leave the date alone. Price is one such voice who has criticised them for their agenda, which she feels has little to do with constructive action for her community.
The post on Price’s page observes:
“You have never spoken out about stopping the violence, stopping the alcoholism, stopping the child abuse and sexual assault…Shame on you!”
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The impassioned words are brutally honest about the author’s experience.
“You cry and you scream about changing the date while there are children like me, little boys and girls living the same life I did as a child, living in constant fear of violence and sexual abuse,” says the writer, who also points out she also has many positive memories about Australia Day.