So-called Australia. We are speaking about Djab Wurrung country, women’s country.
At this time we need to listen to women’s voices.
Voices which have gone unheard, disregarded and dismissed.
At this time we need to amplify women’s voices.
Voices which hold the most power and authority yet have been consistently overlooked.
Staunch First Nations women who have and will continue to lead the way even if no one is watching.
Submitted to Enough 14.
It is with this in mind that we must inform you that the Djab Wurrung Festival of Resistance cannot take place.
We cannot continue to enable a culture where people who try to address this are seen as troublemakers, deceitful, manipulators. A culture that has at it’s worse been described as one of fear, abuse and intimidation.
Many people will unfortunately be able to attest to the lengths that have been gone to in trying to communicate the need for behaviour change, and the cancellation is due to the failings of these discussions, not on the part of those who speak but those who refuse to listen.
In order to facilitate the longevity of the Djab Wurrung Embassy we must address this now and highlight the way forward.
Whilst there is much that is unknown, we ask that folx continue to support the Embassy in whatever way feels right to you.
A number of threats of violence, intimidation, and abuse have been made. This culminated in a number of men who traveled to have talks about the need to change being greeted with weapons drawn, being physically confronted and assaulted without having the chance to speak.
We could never assure your safety at camp from external threats, but this threat to safety is coming from within.
Because of this, at this point in time, we are obliged to inform you and discourage you from coming to camp.
This does not mean we discourage you from defending country, because this is bigger than 12km and this is bigger than the actions of any one man, or group.
This is about listening to the land and fighting for future generations, for sovereignty everywhere.
The bravery of women on the front line who have stood their ground against the violence of men who refuse to talk about their actions speak louder than anything else.
We are committed to addressing violence from the illegitimate settler state. Addressing violence in our communities is where that work needs to start.
This is not the end.
Mens violence, is a mens problem.
Get well soon.
Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy, November 12, 2020.
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