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Invasion or Immigration?


old man emu
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Members here, through much discussion of contemporary politics, are aware of the emotional content of words. Words are aspirational, and words are disparaging. Words express unity, and words express disunity. It is the context in which the words are used that creates the dividing line between parties to a debate.

 

INVASION:  "an assault, attack, act of entering a country or territory as an enemy"

IMMIGRATION: "to move to a country where one is not a native, for the purpose of settling permanently there"

 

As 26th January, Australia Day, approaches expect to see an explosion of coverage in the media of the debate over European settlement in Australia and its destruction of the indigenous population. Supporters of the Indigenous will cry, "INVASION!!!!", but was it not really "immigration"?

 

What comes to mind when you hear the word, "invasion"? Images of the German military crossing into Russia, or of British Commonwealth and American troops storming the beaches of Normandy. At the very heart of those images is the goal to take and hold land by the use of deadly force.

 

Now think of "immigration". The Statue of Liberty at the base of which is a plague bearing the words "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." Think of the arrival of European Displaced Persons after WWII, and, of course, the Ten Pound Poms. These people came, not with gun in hand, but with their meagre possessions in a cardboard suitcase.

 

The first European immigrants arrived in Australia in 1788. A thousand souls, many in chains, but only a few carrying arms, and those arms were for the control of the other unarmed immigrants. By 1800, the population of Australia was approximately 350,000 people, and the majority of these were Indigenous Australians. The 1788 immigrants were sent here with somewhat of a military purpose, but that purpose was not to apply force against the indigenous inhabitants. It was part of the European power struggle; to prevent other countries establishing trading bases and supply depots to exploit the South Pacific islands.

 

Things were going well enough in Britain that it was not possible to encourage free people to go to the unknown on the other side of the world, so the Government sent those whom the Courts had already removed liberty and imposed the requirement to labour as directed. This was a penal colony which became home in various locations to approximately 164,000 British and Irish convicts who were transported to Australia between 1788 and 1868. It wasn't until these colonies had established European infrastructure by 1850 that the immigrant numbers had reached 750,000. Hardly what one would expect as the result of a military invasion.

 

Most of the results of European activity up to 1850 could be seen in small pockets around seaports and their hinterlands. The immigrants arrived and sort of sat down. Unfortunately, as we now know only too well, immigrants bring with them things that the indigenous had never encountered, especially when those indigenous had been isolated from the rest of Mankind for millennia. Having never been exposed to the myriad of diseases that thrived in European populations, the indigenous fell to those diseases. Was that part of a military action? Hardly, when the immigrants were affected by the same diseases.

 

Did the arrival in 1788 involve military action and necessitate retaliation? Hardly. The newcomers were treated with curiosity and eventually apathy. Did certain events occur involving attacks on one group by the other? Certainly. Did those attacks result in wholesale genocide? No. Was there assimilation of the two groups? Yes. Did that assimilation have positive outcomes - yes and no. Assimilation always has its plusses and minuses. 

 

So, it it correct to cry "INVASION!!!" or should we call it just another one of Mankind's many migrations that have been happening since the first people walked out of Africa?

 

 

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An interesitng slant on our collective recent history.

 

Following on from that, are you awaiting a forumite to take the next step?

Since our indigenous brothers ( acknowledging a 50,000 year head start on the rest of us) were initially 'immigrants' to this continent, why should there be a problem for them to accept a second wave of immigrants?

 

 

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One thing that is getting up my nose somewhat is the indigenes ability to take Native Title rights to extremes. We now have indigenes in the East Kimberly of W.A. claiming they have total and absolute right to net the Fitzroy River for fish with illegal "haul" netting. This is total and utter BS, and the fact their claim is going to be resolved by "negotiation" is an even greater level of BS. Let them be charged with illegal netting, the same as any other Australian.

 

If they truly want to claim they're only following tribal culture, make them wear animal skins, make them walk to the river and back, and make them only use fishing tools that their ancestors used. I haven't ever seen any high-quality, machine-made fishing nets, made from high-strength synthetic fibres, and containing synthetic-material floats and ropes, in any indigenous museum. And they should return all the "white mans money". Some of these people are the ultimate imposition merchants.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-26/kimberley-fishers-prosecuted-to-bring-native-title-defence/100650382

 

Edited by onetrack
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17 minutes ago, nomadpete said:

Since our indigenous brothers ( acknowledging a 50,000 year head start on the rest of us) were initially 'immigrants' to this continent, why should there be a problem for them to accept a second wave of immigrants?

They did. The first white fellas reported many examples of the natives providing life-saving assistance.

This acceptance of newcomers is still common today.

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11 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

They did. The first white fellas reported many examples of the natives providing life-saving assistance.

This acceptance of newcomers is still common today.

Back then, yes. There are many examples of indigenous, first nation, whatever, assisting the folly of many a arrogant needy white immigrant.

 

But not any more. Nowadays the current generation of descendants of more recent immigrants (such as me) get the blame for all the lifestyle problems of descendants of those egalaterian generous indigenous that history speaks of.

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5 hours ago, nomadpete said:

are you awaiting a forumite to take the next step?

I'm seeking an answer to 

8 hours ago, old man emu said:

Is it correct to cry "INVASION!!!" or should we call it just another one of Mankind's many migrations that have been happening since the first people walked out of Africa?

My question is aimed at rebutting the zealots from the inner city terraces for whom any alteration to the status quo is an abomination brought on by extremists from the far, far Right. Create a snappy slogan and plagiarise an old protest chant, but don't bother to study the reports, diaries, letters and media that is contemporary with the happenings the zealot is bemoaning. It seems nowadays that the Past is no longer the begetter of the Present.

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It's quite clear the place was occupied and that "Terra Nullius" was a faked condition ignoring obvious facts . Sticking the Union Jack flag into the ground was not  enough to change that. but it was taken to be when you write the texts. Didn't Cook shoot an aboriginal? There's a bark shield with a hole in it somewhere . Allocating a lot of land made many people their fortunes.  Mac Arthur is a good example. The Aboriginals were dispossessed of their land and way of living on it.  which the Europeans could not comprehend and tended to dismiss as primitive and the people of inferior capabilities who were just "in the way" and were listed as Fauna until quite recently.  It would be in my lifetime. . Killing livestock was regarded as enough to be shot for. . Nev

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3 hours ago, nomadpete said:

But how do you propose to put this concept into the awareness of.....

By yelling as loudly as they do. Not yelling that things didn't happen, but yelling that Europeans didn't come here with the direct intention of wiping out all those already here. Strewth, the British had just been fighting a land war against revolting subjects in the 13 Colonies of America. Plus they had had about 50 years' of conflict with the French and Native Americans in Canada and on the borderlands with the American colonies.

 

How biased is this https://www.commonground.org.au/learn/the-frontier-wars in telling the story of migrant/indigenous interactions. I'd call it "picking the eyes out of history".  Arthur Phillip's official orders with regard to Aboriginal people were to 'conciliate their affections', to 'live in amity and kindness with them', and to punish anyone who should 'wantonly destroy them, or give them any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations'. Hardly the Orders of the Day for a hostile invasion.

 

As for the well-known Aboriginal resistance fighter, Pemulwuy, following his  death , Governor King  was given his head by the Aboriginal people as Pemulwuy "had been the cause of all that had happened". The Governor issued orders with immediate effect to not "molest or ill-treat any native", and to re-admit them to the areas of Parramatta and Prospect from which they had been forcibly excluded. The actions of Pemulwuy's own people were not those of a people towards one of their respected leaders.

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OME, I agree with your attempt to initiate some degree of balance. Humans have always had a tendency to migrate. As you point out, that is how Australia's indigenous aboriginals came here in the first place. Every country has a history of population change, whether by invasion (war) or by more peaceful migration.

But with all due respect, pointing out that no war was declared here in 1788 is unlikely to gain much traction when you are shouting in an echo chamber. And mainstream media is unlikely to be interested in your thesis.

Edited by nomadpete
Am I moderating our moderator?
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The Invasion of the Eoroa Nation (Sydney) 1788

Approximately 775 convicts were disembarked at Sydney Cove along with 645 free persons including officials, members of the ships crews and marines with their families and children. The total number of  Marines landing was 245, from a total initial population of 1373, of which there were 22 children of convicts, 9 new-borns of the Marine's families plus other Marines' children. Hardly and "invasion force"

 

In my local area around Camden, known as the Cowpastures in the past but now the Macarthur Region, there was a well known incident near the village of Appin in which 14 Aborigines of all ages and both sexes died in a midnight raid by Europeans. The incident is called the Appin Massacre. Pro-invasionists tout it as an example of attempted genocide, but the background is much more complicated and it was the result of a large number of attacks by both sides. Here is a resume of the history leading up to those deaths. https://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/appin_massacre

 

It is important to note the dates that history covers - 1809 to 1816 are some twenty to twenty-five years after the supposed 1788 "invasion". It is also worth noting that it wasn't the local clan, the Muringong, but a clan from the mountains to the west, the Gandangara, who were thought of by white settlers as the 'myall' or wild strangers, while the local tribes were considered 'friendly' and helpful. Early explorers of the region had quickly learned of the deep enmity between the Gandangara and the Muringong.

 

3 hours ago, nomadpete said:

And mainstream media is unlikely to be interested in your thesis.

Of course not. The mainstream media only serves to amplify the squeak of the ignorant into a roar.

 

Even if you don't read the article I've linked to, just go to the end and note the many papers and articles written by people who have researched the contemporary documents. These people have published facts from which informed  conclusions can be drawn. Of note is the fact that around 1814, drought affected the country and food was scarce. The Europeans were getting some grain to grow, and it appears that the Gandangara came into the farms to take advantage of the food supply. In a society where stealing a loaf of bread got you seven years on the other side of the world, is it any wonder that a lot of those bread stealers would not take kindly to having their grain taken?

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Those of you who live in communities, either suburban or rural, where the population has been generally static for most of your life don't understand the effects of "immigration" at the local level. I have lived  where I do for just on 30 years, but my association with it goes back over 50 years. back in the day, it was old dairying country. That died out, but the land remained unaltered. It was open paddocks with trees scattered about. You would classify it as open grasslands.

 

Since 1990 these grasslands have been sold off for residential development. Until about 2010, that development only involved a relatively small proportion of available land. However, since 2010, the amount of land turned over for residential, and indeed light industrial/warehousing has exploded. The countryside is first deforested. Then what topsoil exists is denuded by mechanical monsters, which, with their similarly mechanical brethren cut and fill roads and watercourses in order to have the land divided into postage stamp sized plots onto which brick and tile Macmansions  are quickly thrown up.

 

Into these Macmansions move people firstly with no prior attachment to the area, and secondly, come from cultures which have completely different standards to the original inhabitants. The very nature of the local society has changed from the stereotypical Australia of the late 20th Century to a "me, first; last and every other time" scramble. If I take time to consider what I have experienced in my lifetime, I can sympathise with the Dharawal Nation who experienced this in the 19th Century.

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OME, I'm not disagreeing with you. My grandmother was raised by a aboriginal nanny (up Mareeba way). I learnt quite a bit from her about the tribes  And the nanny was no slave. She simply found that raising a couple of white fella's children in return for board and lodging was a better deal than her tribal life, which she returned to when the white family moved. Further, many years later there was a tearful reunion when my grandmother revisited that tribe. There were occassional clashes on both sides, and the europeans had an unfair advantage with weapons. But also, remember that the tribes had their own harsh rules, too. They too had the death penalty for troublemakers.

 

I lament that the average person now is so apathetic that they rarely bother researching facts, and would rather just go with the squeaking hysteria that media pedals.

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I consider the suburbs to be unfit for human habitation. For ME anyhow. . You are so close and the walls don't insulate noise. Cutting down trees is sacrilege You get erosion, salinity, higher temps and stronger ground level winds.. Crap in waterways, the marine life changes for the worst straight away. You can't safely drink from any waterway here unless you are near the source. Nev

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2 hours ago, old man emu said:

Those of you who live in communities, either suburban or rural, where the population has been generally static for most of your life don't understand the effects of "immigration" at the local level. I have lived  where I do for just on 30 years, but my association with it goes back over 50 years. back in the day, it was old dairying country…

OME you have a point about early white fellas having their own love of the land; My mum’s great grandparents pioneered your area and one Auntie owned a dairy farm there until recently. Most of the clan long ago moved away to cheaper farmland.

Their nostalgia for Burrawang and the Cow Pastures was strong, but easily overcome by financial pressures; it was nothing like the black fella’s affinity for country.

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The more I think about and read about the early clashes between Aborigines and Europeans, the more I start to wonder if a lot might be placed at the foot of Aboriginal spirituality.

 

Consider the experience that the Europeans brought with them. Places of worship were easily identifiable where they came from. Chapels, churches, and cathedrals are obvious, as are cemeteries where the ancestors are remembered. The Europeans came to a land where a lot of places of spiritual significance are not obvious. How many Europeans blundered unknowingly into a sacred site, thus raising the ire of the Aborigines? The Aborigines had a legal system to deal with "sacrileges" such as the entry into sacred sites by the uninitiated. Perhaps sometimes that was the cause of conflict. It still goes on. in 2013, Rio Tinto destroyed a 46,000 year-old site for a few million in iron ore.

 

How many attacks on individuals were due to either retaliation for murders, or due to Europeans doing the age-old thing of stealing another bloke's missus? Don't forget that, apart from a handful of convicts, most were illiterate labourers or had some trade skills. They lived in an age where Europeans had a sense of superiority over non-Europeans. They came to a land where the population was living in unity with the environment which provided for their wants and needs. That population had been undisturbed by external and major internal turmoil for millennia, and had probably settled most matters concerning territory and trade long before the last Roman legionary jumped on a boat at Southampton to go back to Rome.

 

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I would think tribal issues would be commonplace as they had hundreds of different languages and lot's of taboo things to keep an eye on. Payback was probably similar to PNG. Defined tracks exist. No mass extinctions though with fights to the last man standing. Spearing of a leg was common punishment  (as the Duke of Edenborough knew of)  Nev

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1 hour ago, facthunter said:

I would think tribal issues would be commonplace as they had hundreds of different languages and lot's of taboo things to keep an eye on. Payback was probably similar to PNG. Defined tracks exist. No mass extinctions though with fights to the last man standing. Spearing of a leg was common punishment  (as the Duke of Edenborough knew of)  Nev

My old Bandjulung mate said that every few years all the region’s groups would gather near what is now Lennox Head to feast on oysters etc. (White fellas later quaried their shell middens to build many local roads.) They’d have dances, ceremony and trade; marriages might be arranged.

The event always ended with a big “fight” much like a footy grand final. He reckoned it got pretty rough, with scores being settled, but always stopped if someone was seriously hurt. 

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As a kid, I once went kangaroo hunting from Yuendumu with a group of aboriginal men. They shot from the back of a ford truck with 303 rifles, and I thought even then that indigenous hunting rights should be restricted to indigenous weapons.

We sure got lots of kangaroos tho....

And in grade 5,  I sat next to a black kid from borrolula, who went home for school holidays. We never heard of any stolen generation.

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1 hour ago, facthunter said:

they had hundreds of different languages

There's another part of the European myth that wants looking into.  You can't nominate any one Aboriginal language as being the common tongue. The reason that there were many different languages is exactly the same as why there are so many languages spoken by humans. Language is a very local thing, and in ages past, people did not travel vast distances as we do now. Even within a language there are variations in sound and words. Just look at the differences between British, American  and Australian English. Even within Great Britain and the USA there are dialectic differences is the pronunciation and names of the same things. 

 

 

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