Invasion Day Misfits Start The Party Early

The anti-Australia Day misfits, I’m sorry to report, have kicked off their revelry a day early this year. On Thursday morning, passersby in Melbourne CBD reported to police the vandalism of the Queen Victoria statue, which had been doused in red paint. More daringly, the criminals also took an angle grinder to Captain Cook’s statue in St Kilda and spray painted ‘The Colony Will Fall’ on its base.

Not much about this is surprising, really. January 26 and its lead-up is the favourite time of the year of radicals and Aboriginal activists, despite all their fashionable whining about the ongoing trauma and bruised feelings the date allegedly causes. Moreover, the defeat of the Voice referendum last year has provoked a desire for revenge against the broader Australian public, so the protestors were always going to be noisier and more annoying than usual this time around.

What’s also unsurprising is the reaction from academics and professional activists, who have had their hearts stirred by this act of iconoclasm. Dr Amy McQuire found it absolutely hilarious that only Cook’s boots remained on the pedestal. A photo of the remains, she declared, would be framed and put in her office, presumably at the School of Communications at the Queensland University of Technology.

Tarneen Onus Browne, an organiser for the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, was slightly more articulate than usual when she posted her own reaction on X, which appears atop this page. Onus Browne is perhaps best known for her zeal in advocating arson as a method of social change. Quadrant readers will remember her expletive-heavy call for Australia to be “burnt to the ground” at the Invasion Day rally in Melbourne in 2018. I doubt, though, that her fondness for mere vandalism is an indication of any softening of her political radicalism.

The most deranged response came from — and no prizes for guessing who — Claire G. Coleman, an award-winning Aboriginal trans novelist who identifies as a black lesbian, gushed about the toppling of Cook’s statue and expressed admiration for its topplers. Her chirpy tone vanished, though, in a follow-up message for those who might raise any objections: “Give us all our land back, which is 100% of the continent, and then you are welcome to f*** off…”

On second glance, there is an additional theme to this year’s round of Australia Day-bashing, and it ought to put us all a bit more on edge. Ever since Hamas’ pogrom on October 7, Aboriginal and Palestinian activists have been drawn ever closer, united in their loathing of ‘settler-colonial’ societies, like Australia and Israel. It’s little wonder, then, that the protests planned for January 26 this year have a few extra items on the agenda.

Gary Foley, the skilful and indefatigable demagogue, sent out the invitations at one of Melbourne’s recent pro-Hamas get-togethers, where he declared: “Let’s make it a joint Palestinian/Aboriginal Invasion Day on the 26th of January.” Community organisation Free Palestine Melbourne, which has helped promote the ubiquitous street protests and port disruptions of late, immediately RSVP-ed. The group has encouraged its tens of thousands of social media followers living in — as they insist on calling it — Naarm or so-called Melbourne to join the causes. They write: “The resistance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on these lands and seas guides us towards freedom from white supremacy and Zionism.” To all this they add the usual stuff about climate justice, the stolen land and their ultimate goal, which is to “abolish Australia”.

The vandals who scrawled ‘This Colony Will Fall’ on the Cook statue’s base are obviously motivated by this stupidly sinister worldview, which leads them and their cheerleaders to believe they really are bringing to an end Australian society and the nation as we know it. It was summed up nicely, in a way, by Randa Abdel-Fattah, an Australian-Palestinian Future Fellow at Macquarie University. She looked on the broken statue of Cook as a harbinger of more destruction, which one suspects she would like to see on a more regular basis. She wrote: “This energy everyday (sic). All colonies will fail starting here.”

If there’s one positive to take from all this, it may be a growing understanding of just how off-topic the Australia Day ‘debate’ really is. This week cricketer Pat Cummins made the headlines for calling on the government to “find a more appropriate date” for the annual celebration. As well-meaning as I think Cummins and many like him are, they’re also, to put it mildly, completely deluded. They ought to realise that there is no “appropriate date” to celebrate Australia for an activist and academic class that seeks Australia’s abolition. Changing the date, I suspect, won’t put the Invasion Day organisers and protestors in a cheerier state of mind. There’s no point in trying to accommodate and appease people who hate you and hate the country that we have to share.

If Melbourne’s vandals, in their own messy way, have brought all this to wider attention, they may have accidentally done a bit of good work. The same could also be said for the Aboriginal radicals who ally with the local Palestinian Hamasniks and do a pretty good job of discrediting their own cause.

Still, it might be wise to cultivate a bit more annoyance with these activist and academic types, on Australia Day, yes, but also every day. After all, as they go on and on about the need for Australia and Israel to be decolonised, by which they mean the end of those countries’ existences, it’s worth recalling that the destruction of statues is just an example of the more moderate plans they have in mind.

Timothy Cootes lives in Sydney. He wrote most recently on the lies, character and career of the odious John Pilger

38 thoughts on “Invasion Day Misfits Start The Party Early

  • NarelleG says:

    Thank you – well presented.

    Peter Dutton is going to legislate Australia Day for 26 January.

    Hopefully it passes and the perpetually aggrieved can ease off and move to something else.

    The ‘no’ vote certainly sorted the sheeples from the goats.

    Right to the grass roots.
    I live in a small village on the mid north coast NSW and the ‘no’ vote has given us a voice.

    The virtue signallers have revealed themselves on social media on community notice boards .lols

  • call it out says:

    Narm was a scrappy bit of bushland occupied by tribes of a few hundred violent and warring hunters and gatherers. Their life was not easy.
    Melbourne is a sophisticated western city of many millions, boasting commerce, technology, arts, culture , a diverse population from around the world, modern health, great science and technology, and AFL football.
    In Melbourne, all are welcome, and have the chance for a free and fruitful life.

  • Pterodactyl says:

    Change the date. How about 25/1 and call it”Welcome to Country Day”.

  • GG says:

    I’m curious to know what part of “We had your referendum and you LOST” don’t these cretins understand? They lost. When they look in the mirror, they see a loser. A monumental, all-time loser – who lost. The topic is done with, over, finished, forever. Let them be warned: don’t make us come there. You won’t like it when we do.

  • Blair says:

    “The resistance of … Torres Strait Islander people on these lands and seas guides us towards freedom from white supremacy..”
    What resistance?
    “Coming of the Light is a holiday celebrated by Torres Strait islanders on July 1 every year. It recognises the adoption of Christianity through the Torres Strait Islands in the nineteenth century..
    On the 1 July 1971, Reverend Samuel MacFarlane, a member of the London Missionary Socity, Reverend Archibald W Murray, along with South Sea Islander evangelists and teachers .. arrived at Erub an island in the eastern Torres Strait. It was on a beach near Kemus, a small cove on the island, that they came ashore. They were met by Dabad, an Erubian warrior chief who in welcoming the London Missionary Society clergy and teachers went against his own laws and Islander custom.
    With Christianity embraced by people of Erub, the missionaries continued to spread Christianity across the Torres Strait Islands, yet this first meeting and the arrival of the Gospel was described as the Coming of the Light.”
    Subsequently the Islanders were annexed by the colonial government of Queensland.

  • cbattle1 says:

    I surely hope that the responsible authorities will restore the statue and bring the culprits to justice in a timely manner, unlike in Britain and the USA, where the mobs rule the streets, apparently with the blessings of the Wokish governments.
    As I write this, on Australia Day, January 26 2024, I have the ABC NEWS RADIO squawking in the background, proudly announcing they are broadcasting from Gadigal Land, and reporting on the Invasion Day Rally and March commencing at Belmore Park, and marching through the CBD (the Gadigalians have a highly developed urban culture) on its way to the Yabun Festival at Victoria Park. Coverage includes interviews with “Mob”. So far I’ve heard nothing about celebrations of Australia Day.


    Spiteful snotbag cowards. They think that sneaking around in the dead of night and vandalising a statue of Captain Cook will somehow have the magical power to diminish his greatness,change history and make him disappear. Captain Cook’s greatness and his legacy to us lives on undiminished.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    Ladders and battery-powered angle-grinders were completely unknown to the pre-1788 people who were all over this continent then. But both were necessary in order for them to vandalise the staue of Captain Cook. Even today, it would take forever to do that job using stone axes, or to go through the civilisational steps necessary for development of their own models and versions.
    So we have a lot of history unwittingly ecapsualted in this.

    • pmprociv says:

      It’s symbolic, Ian MacD — as with all “revolutionaries”, they’re hell-bent on destruction, but supremely incapable of creating anything useful. They also seethe with envy.

  • Paul W says:

    Since Israel was occupied by Arabs since the 7th Century, you would think the ‘Indigenous’ in Australia would celebrate the liberation of the Indigenous Palestinians, in other words Israel.
    Unfortunately the Indigenous people of Palestine are pro-Western civilised Jewish people with conservative family values. That is why the Progressives hate them.
    And that is proof that this is a political alliance based on tearing down civilisation. It is an opportunistic one that is devoid of reason.

  • brandee says:

    Well done Timothy Cootes for an insightful analysis of ignorant activists.
    Have the $billions for the NIAA empowered some of the aboriginal activists to try and cut off our civilisation a the ankles? The Morrison government’s NIAA has meant more jobs for jam in Canberra and money for oiling any indigenous squeaky hinge. Such a good idea!

  • Ceres says:

    As for the virtue signalling Pat Cummins, as Jacinta Price said “If I wanted advice from a ball chaser, I’d consult my dog”.

  • padraic says:

    Excellent article summarising the garbage that is happening. I have not yet heard one of these “activists”, irrespective of their pronouns etc or their social status suggest what would be a good alternative date. How can they, when they want a country devoid of “settlers”? Any date would be demonised for some reason or other – perhaps when an abattoir was built on that date, or an oilwell was spudded somewhere. Let’s face it – they are always talking of taking “their country” back which means the rest of us all have to go somewhere else or else they take over and rule us a la Apartheid. In that regard they have support of those running the sporting codes (vide NRL and AFL) and now Cricket and Tennis plus the captains of industry some of whom may have imported it to teach us a lesson. What I find concerning is the constant threat of violence which we have seen in the past is more than just a threat as we saw in the various incidents around Old Parliament House in recent years and elsewhere. In the past illegal actions had legal consequences, but not now. cbattle 1 mentions that there is a rally in Belmore Park. That is appropriate. Belmore Park used to be the home of metho drinkers who used to spend their days there drinking metho out of bottles in brown paper bags. At the end of the day they would stagger into the traffic and cross Eddy Avenue and spend the night at the Salvation Army hostel at the back of the brewery. Because in those days metho contained methyl alcohol they used to suffer permanent brain damage and their lives were ruined. In more recent times Belmore Park hosted drug addicts in tents. Their brains were also damaged through the use of another “meth” – methamphetamine, and were prone to violent outbursts and irrational behaviour. They too have passed on from the park, only to be replaced by the activists.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    They can call 26/01/1788 what they like but a rose is still a rose by any other name. A couple of a great many suggestions follow, call the 26th Salvation day for a bunch of naked stone aged savages hadn’t done anything much in 1788 since their “dream time” (insert how many thousands of years, your choice) they hadn’t invented anything as outlandish as the wheel or anything else much including reading and writing to name just a couple, or perhaps “dole day” when courtesy of the taxpayers they get a handout each fortnight to waste on booze etc. I feel ashamed to be an Australian but think of the shame decent people of aboriginal extraction as in Jacinta, her Mum Bess, Warren Mundine, et al must feel.

  • geoff_brown1 says:

    “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance?” Wouldn’t the resistance mounted have been one of the least effectual ever mounted?

  • Katzenjammer says:

    They have control over 55% of the land. Why can’t they move there and return it to its pristine native state. Ask Bruce Pascoe to re-educate them in their old ways.

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    I think that I am seeing some influence from people of South African origin or sentiment out of proportion to their numbers. Is there a faction that thinks Australia would benefit from a Mandela figure to help Australians believe that there can be sweetness and light from organised criminal action? Are we heading towards necklacing?
    Geoff S

  • Petronius says:

    It is quite plain that the Invasion Day demonstrators hold to a manifesto that the governments and people of Australia (apart from themselves) are illegitimate. It follows in their thinking that the sovereignty of the Australian continent should be passed over to those of Aboriginal descent and the remaining populations be declared as aliens, perhaps to be expelled. This is a seditious movement and should be called out as such. The destruction of iconic national symbols is also seditious in intent and is designed to unsettle citizens and threaten national solidarity.

    Reference the definition of sedition (Wordnik)

    “A factious commotion in a state; the stirring up of such a commotion; incitement of discontent against government and disturbance of public tranquillity, as by inflammatory speeches or writings, or acts or language tending to breach of public order: as, to stir up a sedition; a speech or pamphlet, abounding in sedition.”

  • geoff_brown1 says:

    “Give us all our land back, which is 100% of the continent, and then you are welcome to f*** off…”

    So much for “Welcome to Country?”

  • Helmond says:

    I’m rooting for calling January 26 “Uplft Day” to celebrate the first day of the opportunty for Aborigines to drag themselves out of the Stone Age.
    Many have, but few seem grateful.
    The ones that have done the best appear to have acquired a lot of occidental genes along the way. Maybe that’s the biggest contribution of the invaders, spreading their seed around.

  • STD says:

    The photo atop matches quite well the literal idea that the Palestinian reprobates – being the purveyors of damnation for infidels, also willingly want to destroy and not be part of team Australia, and likewise want to see the destruction of another civilised (successful) state such as Israel. No wonder Egypt and Jordan and other Islamic countries don’t want the Palestinian entrenched problem of inter generational hatred.
    This also aligns with the lefts entrenched hatred of all tall poppies and is brought about by the same barbarian trojan (Fabian) syndrome, that pervades Islamic thinking in general, in that Independence – (thinking or standing alone or on one’s own two feet will not be tolerated).
    Another point, the Palestinian supporters obviously don’t think Australia was really stolen otherwise they would have removed one of Cook’s hands.
    There is an Islamic foot dream explanation, if that Islamic dream ( Palestinian in this case) involves the loss of both feet this signifies the total loss of one’s wealth (red lettering!) and in this left wing neo Marxist Aboriginal/Palestinian way of thinking -politically compromised legitimacy- or disregard for democratic authority and rules.
    I will say that amputation is what Islam specialises in, and Islam like Marxist Aboriginal Labor Activists do not recognise the sovereign democratic right of Australia to exist and no doubt would like to see the status quo get the chop.
    And to wrap up on a phonetic note Hahahaha…Ha..ha..ha..ha- (H……..A) pronounced Hate-ya which is derisive, and can only presume in this case full of Palestinian and Islamic mirthless glee!
    Maybe we should change Australia Day to October 7 so it won’t offend the Labor party, the Islamic council of Australia, and the Aboriginal Activist class and Palestinian sensibilities
    Political multiculturalism what an absolute disaster for a once peaceful Australia.

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    The Victorian Police, the widely acknowledged Australian experts in selective policing, should carefully consider the consequences of their negligence in allowing this easily predictable vandalism to occur and go unpunished. At some point the black balaclava mob will decide that what’s good enough for McQuire, Browne, Coleman and Foley is also good enough for them. At that point it will be realised that public art in Melbourne is more easily protected that sacred sites out bush, and that bronze statues in a city park are more easily repaired than thousand year old rock art in a National Park. Both are Australian heritage, and both should be protected equally.

  • Dazz says:

    I am continually bemused by the activists identifying as aboriginal. I can’t name an activist from the pro-Voice campaign or Change the Date crowd who is 100% aboriginal. They all have at least 50% non-aboriginal ancestry and for most, much, much more. Yet, they claim to hate the English colonists of 1788 (including the convicts who had no say in the matter) and anyone white and Western. This is the sort of cognitive dissonance that only the left fail to acknowledge. These activists, with 50% or more, non aboriginal heritage, claim to hate the part of their ancestry that is English, Irish, Scottish, Afghan, Italian, Chinese etc. These poor deluded souls ostensibly hate themselves! They insist on clinging to the fantasy that they are “aboriginal” but clearly have abundant white heritage, which they ignore and “pretended” away. But to what end? Is it really just a money grab? A lust for undeserved power? Or is there some deep seated pathological desire to wallow in self-pity and victimhood? How can perpetual victimhood give anyone purpose in life?

  • pmprociv says:

    Thanks, Timothy, for bringing my attention to Tarneen Onus Browne. For a long time now, I’ve thought a great lark would be for a bloke to declare himself a trans-sexual woman, albeit a lesbian. And here we have a living example, the first one I’ve come across, although there must be plenty more. His chutzpah is breathtaking, as is the credulity of any of his followers. It says so much about the proponents of their crazy ideas.

  • F. Cooper says:

    And a great read is… Romancing the Primitive.

  • David Spong says:

    Good to see the Minister for Aborigines, yes, that’s the one, the proposed G-G, standing firm against vandalism and affirming that Australia is for ALL Australians, nit only for those that identify as Aborigines.

  • Bronwyn n John Melville says:

    Just imagine for a moment that the statue in question was of an esteemed Australian indigenous elder. You may want to let that sink in.
    Australia as we knew it, has well and truly gone. At least in our cities.
    Out in the country regions of Australia, where farmers are too busy worrying about finding workers to shear their sheep, or whether they will get their crops in, there wasn’t a murmur of all this nonsense.
    I am, you are, we are all Australian.

  • Lawriewal says:

    “There’s no point in trying to accommodate and appease people who hate you and hate the country that we have to share.”

    So true and this really does worry me – some day one of these nutters will have a gun!
    WHAT THEN???

  • Watchman Williams says:

    It’s hard to believe that the vandalism of Cook’s statue could have taken place without the police being aware of it.

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    I see that Yarra Council may not repair the Captain Cook monument vandalised before Australia Day. Apparently the council will discuss the matter after an email sent to councillors said the monument has “little or no significance” to Edinburgh Gardens. It also said the money required to repair it could be better used elsewhere.
    I think that we can reasonably conclude that many on the council, dominated by the Greens, would be quite happy to get rid of a statue of Cook. Moreover it is likely that those councillors would be comfortable that a decision not to repair the statue would encourage more leftwing vandals to damage more Australian heritage. Unfortunately for them, this will in turn make it more likely that heritage sites that they cherish will be destroyed in retaliation. And so the cultural wars go on.

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