Sun. May 19th, 2024

The first federal parliamentary sitting for the year is off to an interesting start with Victorian Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe quitting the party to lead a ‘Blak Sovereign Movement’.

“I have told Greens Leader Adam Bandt and the Senate President that I am resigning from the Greens,” Senator Thorpe said.

“This country has a strong grassroots Blak Sovereign Movement, full of staunch and committed warriors and I want to represent that movement fully in Parliament.”

“It has become clear to me that I can’t do that from within the Greens. Now I will be able to speak freely on all issues from a Sovereign perspective without being constrained by portfolios and agreed party positions.”

“Greens MPs, members and supporters have told me they want to support the Voice. This is at odds with the community of activists who are saying Treaty before Voice, this is the message delivered on the streets on Jan 26. This is the movement I was raised in – my Elders marched for Treaty. This is who I am.” 

Senator Thorpe, who was appointed to replace Richard Di Natale in 2020, was re-elected just last year and will retain her seat until 2028. There is no law or rule that requires her to give up the seat won on her party’s ticket.

While the split from The Greens has been triggered largely by differing views on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, Senator Thorpe said she was not announcing her final position on the Voice today as she wanted to continue her negotiations with the Government.

“First Nations Sovereignty is crucial but so is saving lives today. They could do that by implementing the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the recommendations from the Bringing Them Home report.

“My focus from now is to grow and amplify the Blak Sovereign Movement across the Nation.”

“I have spent my entire life fighting for justice, to defend our Sovereignty, to save Blak lives. That is my goal.” 

“My strength and conviction comes from a lifetime of activism, from my Ancestors and from my Matriarchs, who continue to say to me every day, “keep infiltrating, keep your integrity, keep the fire burning, keep our fight alive”. 

“To my mob, I say this – your strength is my strength, your fight is my fight, your struggle is my struggle. I’m ready for what comes next in the fight for a future where our kids are with their families, where our people are not killed in custody, where the chains that the system wraps around our people are lifted.” 

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