On the 26th January every year, people from all over Australia celebrate the founding of the British colony there. But what about the indigenous people who came before the British?
In this unsettling extract from Patrick Wolfe's new book Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Racism, Wolfe focuses his attention on the process of racialisation of the indigenous people of Australia. This racialisation was a product of Britain's insatiable lust for land which would be used to cultivate the raw materials needed for the booming Industrial Revolution. In this way, settler colonialism was intrinsic to modernity. Yet, as Wolfe notes, "for Indigenous people, the concept of settler democracy can only be an oxymoron. Their attrition at the hands of that democracy reflects the core feature of settler colonialism, which is first and foremost a project of replacement. Settlers come to stay. In relation to Natives, as I have argued, settler colonialism is governed by a logic of elimination."
Adam Elliott-Cooper discusses how Britain's role as a major imperial power not only brought about mass migration, but has united an otherwise extremely heterogeneous Black population in struggle through their common experience of colonial violence. The 'diversity in unity' of such experience, and the memory od past struggles, are essential resources for the ongoing fight to tear down the structures of racial oppression which persist in Britain today.
Recently, we have seen anti-racist resistance organised against racist border controls in solidarity with refugees and migrants. Amongst other actions, Black Dissidents, Sisters Uncut, London Latinxs and other activists blocked the Eurostar departures in St Pancras Station on Friday 16th October.
Anti-colonialist thinker, writer and revolutionary Frantz Fanon was born 90 years ago today, on 20th July 1925. To mark the anniversary, Verso presents an extract from Jean-Paul Sartre's preface to The Wretched of the Earth, published in Fanon's final year.
Nearly six months after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the French government continues to push through "anti-terrorism" legislation and challenges to Islamophobia continue to be silenced, absurdly, in the name of "freedom of speech". The following statement is signed by a collective of anti-racist activists, intellectuals, academics, and association members in France, including Christine Delphy, author of Separate and Dominate. Translated by David Broder; visit Libération to read the original statement in French.