‘Invasion’ broadcast for Oz Day

ABORIGINAL activist Marianne Mackay is planning to boycott Australia Day with an open-air screening of Utopia at the Perth foreshore.

The John Pilger documentary focuses on the plight of indigenous Australians, focusing on the Northern Territory “intervention” by the Howard government in 2007.

It includes interviews with Aboriginal leaders, human-rights campaigners, academics and former PM John Howard.

Ms Mackay was one of about 200 Aborigines in the crowd outside the Lobby restaurant in Canberra in January 2012, when the Australian flag was burnt in protest.

Their actions led to prime minister Julia Gillard being unceremoniously bundled into a car by nervous security personnel.

Ms Mackay says will not seek council permission to hold a public screening at the foreshore.

“No, this is our sovereign land and we don’t have to ask permission to protest Invasion Day,” she says.

“Pilger is an award-winning film-maker and has been making documentaries about our people for the past 30 years.

“It’s important people get to see this.”

Ms Mackay adds she is also planning a cultural march through the city on Australia Day, which will include music, performance and arts.

The march will start in Supreme Court Gardens, where NAIDOC will hold its annual Survival Perth concert.

But Ms MacKay says there has been a schism between herself and NAIDOC, as its annual awards ceremony is sponsored by mining companies.

“NAIDOC have accused me of trying to divide our people and not bring them together,” she says.

“But if it wasn’t for me and my supporters, we would have been shafted on the native title deal—we got the word out there.

“I have no time for some NAIDOC members, they made disrespectful comments about me at a national forum.”

Ms Mackay, a former chairperson of Deaths in Custody WA, is hoping to get around 100 people for her cultural day march.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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