Sydney: Captain Cook statue vandalised ahead of Australia Day

25 January 2018 -A statue of British explorer Captain James Cook has been vandalised in Melbourne in an apparent protest on the eve of Australia Day.

The statue was found covered in paint on Thursday. Graffiti depicted an Aboriginal flag and the words: “We remember genocide”.

Australia Day, the anniversary of British settlement, causes annual debate over indigenous sensitivities.

The Australian government said the vandalism was “disgraceful”.

“These vandals are trashing our national heritage and should be prosecuted,” tweeted Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge.

Police said they were investigating the incident but no suspects had been identified.

The national celebration falls on 26 January, the day in 1788 when Britain’s First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove. Captain Cook had made it to Australia’s east coast in 1770.

Many indigenous Australians have said that the Australia Day celebration is hurtful.

Several protests are planned for around the nation on Friday after similar events in recent years.

However, the government has consistently defended the celebration.

Last year, a statue of Captain Cook in central Sydney was also vandalised with messages including “change the date” and “no pride in genocide”.

It followed a high-profile public debate about whether it was appropriate for the statue to carry a plaque saying “discovered this territory”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the vandalism at the time, drawing a comparison with Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

“When [Stalin] fell out with his henchmen he didn’t just execute them, they were removed from all official photographs – they became non-persons, banished not just from life’s mortal coil but from memory and history itself,” he said.

“Tearing down or defacing statues of our colonial era explorers and governors is not much better than that.”

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Sydney: Vandalism of Liberal & Labor Offices in Solidarity with Manus Refugees

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– In the early hours of the 29th of November the electoral offices of Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Anthony Albanese were decorated with stencils that said:

Evacuate Manus. Your Inaction Is Blood On Your Hands. Refugees Welcome.

These actions were undertaken in solidarity with the refugee men on Manus, who for years now have fought against the brutal ‘refugee policy’ of the Australian and PNG States.

Wulagi: Seven teens in custody after Primary School vandalised

The Wulagi Primary School in Darwin

11 Jan – Seven teenagers are in police custody after allegedly breaking into Wulagi Primary School in an attack that saw computers damaged, shelves overturned and fire extinguishers let off.

Most of the destruction was in a shared library and technology hub.

Sensors in the library were activated about 11:30pm, which notified a security officer who called police after he went to the school and could hear the group inside.

Police used specialist units and dogs to catch the alleged vandals.

“We sent all of our available units who cordoned off the school with dogs and eventually we located and arrested the seven youths,” Duty Superintendent Rob Burgoyne said.

It is understood six of the seven children arrested have collectively had more than 300 involvements with police in the past.

Teachers and staff from the Northern Territory Education Department were on site today to assess the damage and assured the school community that they would make sure the area was ready before school returned on January 30.

“It’s an absolute disappointment for the students and staff who work hard in this school community,” chief executive of the NT Education Department Vicki Baylis said.

She said it would be frustrating for staff to again have to prepare the school for the start of the academic year.

“We’ve got a lot of paint everywhere, tagging, a lot of broken glass with clear intent of just breaking things,” she said.

“All of the fire extinguishers have been let off and pushed throughout the rooms, attempts to break into cabinets and secure areas, broken TV screens, computer screens that we will have to work to clean up now,” Ms Baylis said.

She said the Wulagi school community wanted the alleged offenders to come back to the school for community service.