Other Group

Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR)

Website:

en-gb.facebook.com/WARcollective/

Type:

Anti-Monarchy, Anti-British Activist Group

Founded:

2014

The Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) is an Australian left-wing activist group that advocates for “land back” reparations for Aboriginal Australians. It claims that through its advocacy it will “resist the invasion of our lands and the colonization of our lives,” “encourage a culture of resistance,” and “revive the warrior spirit” in the indigenous population. [1]

The group has been criticized for its protests during Australia Day in 2018 when one of its members told a crowd of thousands of people that she hoped Australia would burn to the ground, and during the Australian National Day of Mourning for the death of the Queen Elizabeth II, when the group held “Abolish the Monarchy” rallies across the country. [2] [3]

Background

Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) is an Australian left-wing, anti-monarchy activist group that was founded at the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance Young Peoples Forum in Brisbane on November 12th, 2014. [4]

According to the WAR manifesto, which was released shortly after the group was established, members of WAR will continue to “resist the invasion of our lands and the colonization of our lives,” “encourage a culture of resistance,” and “revive the warrior spirit” in the indigenous population of Australia. [5]

The manifesto also lists the group’s “charter of principles” which notes that WAR is attempting a “revolution” and it must “be organic.” The “charter of principles” notes that the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance fights to “destroy the colonial Australian state,” and will “restore tribal sovereignty” while pushing for “political and economical [sic] independence” and rights to land. [6]

The manifesto also states the group has exclusively Aboriginal membership, and anyone who is not Aboriginal cannot join. [7]

Membership is split into two categories; general membership, and members of the WAR Council, which is responsible for determining actions and the direction of the group. The WAR Council is also responsible for admitting new members. [8]

All members of WAR “subscribe to the philosophy of Aboriginal Nationalism,” which according to the group is founded on the principles of “resistance and reconstruction,” against the “ongoing colonization” in Australia. [9]

Funding

WAR claims in its manifesto that it will remain “completely independent” of the Australian government and corporations and will instead be fully funded by personal contributions by members, and fundraising. [10]

Political Activities

Anti-Monarchy Protests

The Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, which often protests the British monarchy that constitutes the Monarchy of Australia and British colonization, held “Abolish the Monarchy” rallies in Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney, on September 22, 2022, the Australian National Day of Mourning for the death of Queen Elizabeth II. [11]

Before the rallies, WAR released a statement that contained a list of demands of the group. The demands included receiving land from the state, a “return of all stolen wealth,” and reparations for “everyone colonized by Britain.” [12]

During the “Abolish the Monarchy” rallies, protesters burned the national flag of the United Kingdom. [13]

Australia Day Protests

Australia Day, the official National Day of Australia that is observed annually on January 26, is known to members of WAR as “Invasion Day.” During a protest of Australia Day in 2018, a member of WAR told a crowd of thousands of people that she hoped Australia would burn to the ground and that people who sport the Australian flag should be “ashamed.” [14]

WAR was criticized after the members’ remarks, however; the group released a statement in response to the criticism. WAR stated that it would not “rest until we burn this entire rotten settler colony called Australia” to the ground. The statement also noted that the group would continue until it had destroyed “every corrupt and illegal institution of white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist settler colonial power.” [15]

References

  1. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  2. Herald, South Sydney. “Anti-monarchy protest expresses anger and sadness.” South Sydney Herald. October 4, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://southsydneyherald.com.au/anti-monarchy-protest-expresses-anger-and-sadness/. ^
  3. Graham, Ben. “Invasion Day activist criticised after controversial remarks.” News. January 28, 2018. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/news/invasion-day-activist-criticised-after-controversial-remarks/news-story/870aa39f9fc5cf9a42472017a1324de5. ^
  4. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  5. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  6. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  7. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  8. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  9. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  10. “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance MANIFESTO.” Issuu. November 24, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://issuu.com/brisbaneblacks/docs/war_manifesto_d91595ceee8754. ^
  11. Herald, South Sydney. “Anti-monarchy protest expresses anger and sadness.” South Sydney Herald. October 4, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://southsydneyherald.com.au/anti-monarchy-protest-expresses-anger-and-sadness/. ^
  12. “Media Release – Melbourne Rally: Abolish the Monarchy 2022.” Twitter. September 21, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://twitter.com/Meriiki/status/1572534775986130945/photo/1. ^
  13. “Union flag set on fire while Australia marks national day of mourning for Queen.” Express & Star. March 24, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2022/09/22/union-jack-set-on-fire-while-australia-marks-national-day-of-mourning-for-queen/ ^
  14. Graham, Ben. “Invasion Day activist criticised after controversial remarks.” News. January 28, 2018. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/news/invasion-day-activist-criticised-after-controversial-remarks/news-story/870aa39f9fc5cf9a42472017a1324de5. ^
  15. Graham, Ben. “Invasion Day activist criticised after controversial remarks.” News. January 28, 2018. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/news/invasion-day-activist-criticised-after-controversial-remarks/news-story/870aa39f9fc5cf9a42472017a1324de5. ^
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