Tuesday 2 August 2022 02:09 AM Outspoken Greens senator and Indigenous activist Lidia Thorpe slams the Queen ... trends now

Tuesday 2 August 2022 02:09 AM Outspoken Greens senator and Indigenous activist Lidia Thorpe slams the Queen ... trends now
Tuesday 2 August 2022 02:09 AM Outspoken Greens senator and Indigenous activist Lidia Thorpe slams the Queen ... trends now

Tuesday 2 August 2022 02:09 AM Outspoken Greens senator and Indigenous activist Lidia Thorpe slams the Queen ... trends now

An Aboriginal activist yesterday called the Queen a ‘coloniser’ as she was sworn in as an Australian senator.

Dressed in black, 48-year-old Lidia Thorpe marched across the floor of the Senate in Canberra and mockingly recited her version of the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty.

With her right fist in the air in a Black Power salute, she recited: ‘I sovereign, Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and I bear true allegiance to the colonising Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.’

As other senators voiced criticism, Labor’s Senate president Sue Lines told the Greens senator: ‘You are required to recite the oath as printed on the card. Please recite the oath.’

Miss Thorpe, who has Aboriginal and European ancestors, reluctantly repeated the oath as printed. Amid the commotion another senator was heard to say: ‘None of us like it.’

She was immediately condemned by other politicians and received widespread criticism from Australians.

One described her as an ‘Angela Davis wannabe’ – a reference to the US Black Power leader – and admonished for her ‘unthinking and infantile approach to closing the gap’ between caucasian and indigenous people. Social media critics described Miss Thorpe as an embarrassment.

But Miss Thorpe tweeted that indigenous people – who lived in Australia before the British arrived – never surrendered to colonialists. ‘Sovereignty never ceded,’ she wrote.

There is growing support for the nation to sever ties with the monarchy, particularly now that a new Labor prime minister, Anthony Albanese, believes the time is ripe for a move towards becoming a republic.

He has even appointed a minister of the republic, but a referendum would have to be held before anything could move forward.

Lidia Thorpe strode into the Senate with her fist in the air and then mockingly called the Queen a 'coloniser'

Lidia Thorpe strode into the Senate with her fist in the air and then mockingly called the Queen a 'coloniser'

Her conduct received support from Greens Leader Adam Bandt, who tweeted: 'Always was. Always will be.' 

Australia was a British colony for more than 100 years, a period during which thousands of Aboriginal Australians were killed and communities were displaced wholesale.

The country gained de facto independence in 1901, but has never become a fully fledged republic.

In 1999, Australians narrowly voted against removing the queen, amid a row over whether her replacement would be chosen by members of parliament, not the public.

Polls show most Australians are in favour of being a republic, but there is little agreement on how a head of state should be chosen.

However, scores of social media users criticised Senator Thorpe's behaviour on Twitter.

'What an absolute idiot is Lidia Thorpe,' wrote one.

'A total embarrassment to parliament and those she claims she represents.'

Another commented: 'Racist, anti-Australian, hate speech spewing trolls like you have no place in government and should be behind bars.'

'How childish Lidia... Another look at me moment for you. Can you please tell me one good thing you've done for indigenous Australians?' a third said.

The Greens senator was forced to recite the oath of allegiance again after she marched into Federal Parliament and sarcastically recited it. Her conduct received support from party leader Adam Bandt

The Greens senator was forced to recite the oath of allegiance again after she marched into Federal Parliament and sarcastically recited it. Her conduct received support from party leader Adam Bandt

It comes as the Greens senator claimed that Australia's parliament had no permission to exist - and that she was only a member so she could 'infiltrate' the institution, while still accepting the salary and benefits of a parliamentarian.

Ms Thorpe, who has both European and Aboriginal ancestors, said in June that her entry into the 'colonial project' of parliament was due to her aspirations to 'renew the nation' and be a voice and spokesperson for First Nations people.

The senator is part of a family succession of women who have had careers in Aboriginal activism: her grandmother Alma Thorpe established Victoria's Aboriginal health service while her mother Marjorie Thorpe was part of the national inquiry into what became known as the stolen generations.

Appearing on Channel 10's The Project, the senator said she also removed the Australian national flag during press conferences after Greens leader Adam Bandt was criticised for the same move.

'The Australian flag does not represent me or my people,' she told the panel.

'It represents the colonisation of these lands, and it has no permission to be here, there's been no consent, there's been no treaty, so that flag does not represent me.'

Panellist Waleed Aly asked the senator if her argument could also apply to the Australian parliament, in which she serves.

'Absolutely, I'm here to infiltrate,' she replied emphatically.

Senator Thorpe (pictured on Tuesday night) said her decision to enter the 'colonial project' was due to her aspirations to 'renew the nation' and be a voice that questioned

Senator Thorpe (pictured on Tuesday night) said her decision to enter the 'colonial project' was due to her aspirations to 'renew the nation' and be a voice that questioned

'I signed up to become a senator in the colonial project, and that wasn't an easy decision for me personally, and it wasn't an easy decision for my family either to support me in this,' she continued.

'However, we need voices like this to question the illegitimate occupation of the colonial system in this country.'

The panellist asked Senator Thorpe if she had given up her First Nations sovereignty by pledging allegiance to the Queen when she entered parliament.

The line of questioning enraged some viewers, who took to social media to brand him 'offensive' with others calling the interview a 'train wreck'.

'We have never ceded our sovereignty as First Nations people in this nation ever, ever, ever,' senator Thorpe said of her dismissal of the national flag.

What exactly IS the 'Voice to Parliament' they want Australians to vote for? Aboriginal ABC editor calls for payments to First Nations people for past injustices - and she wants it to have real power 

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