Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologizes for saying there was no "slavery" in Australia

Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologizes for saying there was no “slavery” in Australia

Speaking of press conference in Canberra On Friday, Morrison said he was referring specifically to the fact that the first Australian colony in New South Wales was founded without the widespread use of labor.

“My comments were not intended to offend, and if they did, I deeply regret it and apologize for that,” he said, adding that he was passionate about the rights of Indigenous Australians.

“I was just trying to point out that Australia, yes, we had problems in our history, we recognized them, I recognized them and we have to deal with them.”

Morrison initially made the remarks during radio interview on Thursday, in which he discussed the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and around the world, and calls for the removal of statues of British explorer James Cook, whose arrival in Australia paved the way for the first European colony.

“My ancestors were in the First and Second Fleets (convicted settlers). It was a pretty brutal place, but there was no slavery in Australia,” Morrison said in an interview on Thursday.

While Australia never depends heavily on slave labor, like the American South, slavery has been practiced in the country for decades in the 19th and 20th centuries, in places such as sugar plantations in Queensland.
Others have pointed out the practice of “blackbirding” a process by which the Pacific islanders were evacuated from their homes, sometimes by force, to work in harsh conditions for little or no pay in Australia.
Morrison’s comments came after thousands of people took to the streets of Australian cities last weekend in a show of solidarity with the black protests in the United States and called for better treatment of Indigenous Australians.

With more protests planned in the coming weeks, Morrison warned the public on Friday that he would not attend upcoming rallies in support of racial equality, saying participation was contrary to health advice due to the corona pandemic.

“It’s not about the issue, it’s about the health and well-being of the people, and I will ask the Australians to respect that without attending these events,” Morrison said. “I don’t think there has to be a double standard. Australians have made great sacrifices to get us where we are today.”

Because the US protests sparked a debate about the fight in Australia

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of New South Wales issued a restraining order against Sydney, which was scheduled for Saturday for health reasons and due to locking measures.

Another protest is scheduled for Sydney on Friday, entitled “Stop Black Deaths in Custody: Solidarity with Long Bay Prisoners”. The organization’s event page shows that more than a thousand people have already announced their intention to attend.

There is no anti-Friday protest order, but the state’s social distance rules limit the number of people allowed to gather outdoors at 10. The limit is expected to rise to 20 people from Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *