Sail 4 Justice recognises and asserts the sovereignty of First Nations people. We wish to pay our respects to the First Nations peoples on whose land and seas we travel and sail. We pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging and to the strength of the Indigenous communities in ongoing struggles for self-determination.
We are asking you all to join or to support the Flotilla for Justice that launched from so-called Melbourne in May and is leaving Australia from Gimuy/Cairns in July 2019. We are taking to the seas and our destination is Manus Island.
All refugees on Manus Island, Nauru and onshore are political prisoners. The Australian government and private corporations are committing gross violations of human rights, so we are sailing to bring the world’s attention to their torture and abuse of refugees. We are sailing in spite of the borders enforced by this government, because we reject their authority. Australia’s border policing and refugee policies are premised on the notion of Australia’s jurisdiction over this land. However, this country was occupied illegally, under the legal fiction of terra nullius – empty land. To this day, Australia has no treaty with the original sovereigns of this land. As uncle Robbie Thorpe says: “Indigenous people never ceded sovereignty over Australia. The Australian government has no legitimate right to grant or refuse entry to this country.” The Freedom Flotilla will be traveling with the Kangaroo skin engraved with an important message from Arabunna Elder Kevin Buzzacott. The engraving, depicting people of all colors gathered around the sacred fire, will be accompanied by ashes from the tent embassy and water from Uncle Kevin’s traditional country surrounding Lake Eyre. These gifts are to be presented by First Nations and West Papuan Flotilla participants upon our arrival to Manus. The ceremony will include the gifting to the men on Manus of Original Nation passports sent by Uncle Kevin as well as a fire, dance and song performed as an act of resistance to overcome the walls of racism and the politics of greed that keep us divided. We will carry with us messages of solidarity as well as practical donations.
On our journey we will visit many communities who continue to struggle for social and environmental justice to stand with them, support their fight and bring attention to their causes. We recognise that the destruction of lands and oceans in the Pacific region is deeply connected to the histories of colonisation in the region. We aim to highlight issues faced by Original Nations in the areas that we will visit, including Indonesian occupation of West Papua and the ongoing genocide of the West Papuan peoples. The ongoing land theft and dispossession of Indigenous people severs the human relationships to land and oceans that are based on mutual care and sustainability. Colonialism brings with it the logic of rampant capitalism, growth and profit, enforcing ever new tactics of environmental exploitation. For centuries it has imposed artificial borders that have carved up Indigenous nations and their lands. Globally, the ongoing impacts of colonisation and imperialism create conditions such as war, global wealth disparity and environmental changes that force people to flee their lands. We are faced with climate changes, rising oceans, pollution and loss of diversity, among many issues. There are currently millions of environmental refugees. It is projected that climate change will create the world’s biggest refugee crisis in the next decade.
17/07/19 “Refugees on Manus to receive Australian First Nations ‘passports’ from activists aboard sail boat”
On the journey north, Lazy Jack and crew have passed plenty of boats, though few as big and fast-moving as the navy warships moving around near Magnetic Island. The ships are off the Queensland coast as part of the Talisman Sabre military exercises. As the press release breathlessly announces, "This will be one of the largest gatherings of military ships to visit Brisbane for a single event in more than three decades, and will include vessels from the United States, New Zealand, Canada and...read more
Have a look at the video-story of Lazy Jack, one of the flotilla ships, and meet some of its crew.read more
Early on Monday morning, Lazy Jack and crew passed Abbot Point just north of Bowen. It was still dark at first, so we saw only bright orange lights. But as we went further north and the sun rose, we saw the terminal - a huge pile of black coal by a long jetty; offshore gigantic barges waiting to be loaded. The Abbot Pt coal terminal is owned by the Indian corporation Adani, and is where the coal from Adani's controversial proposed Carmichael mine in central Queensland would be exported. As far...read more
Aboriginal people have been experiencing incarceration, prison camps and prison islands on their own land at the hands of the colonial australian government. We know what it feels like to be refugees on our own land. This is why we are extending solidarity to the refugees on Manus Island by issuing Original Nation passports as a symbol of an invitation. We are calling on all Pacific nations to recognise our sovereignty and these passports and to allow those seeking asylum to use them to travel...read more