Earlier today, we reported that Sunrise had taken the unprecedented step of using a fake backdrop to hide the fact that right outside, a number of Indigenous people had gathered to protest the program.
Since they went to all that trouble to hide it, here’s what went down on the other side of the window.
Dozens of protesters – some estimate 100 – gathered outside the studio today, in protest of the segment earlier this week which gathered an all-white panel to discuss whether we needed another Stolen Generation.
Protesters carried signs that read “Stop Forced Removals, Bring Them Home”, “SunLies” and “Stop Stealing Out Kids” as they gathered outside Channel 7‘s studios in Sydney.
Indigenous activist Padraic Gibson reminded people not to forget that Sunrise were responding to Nationals Minister David Gillespie‘s comment, before schooling the crowd on the Turnbull government’s policies in removing Indigenous children.
“This racist from the National party, calling for the adoption of Aboriginal kids by white families… this is an agenda that the Turnbull government have been pushing for a number of years now,” he said, while the crowd chanted “shame” at Sunrise‘s sound-proof windows.
“And it’s important to be aware of it. About five or six years ago, when they were removing black kids it was bad enough. They were putting all this to the court to remove those kids first for two years, then if the parents couldn’t get their act so-called together in the eyes of the racist court, then they’d go until they’re 18 into the system. They’re taking away the first step, it’s gone now, because of the changes that they’ve made. Now they’re taking babies – newborn babies – and putting them into care until they’re 18 years of age. That’s what’s going on.”
— Katie C (@fleafeet) March 15, 2018
Another woman spoke about the deep hurt Sunrise‘s segment had caused Aboriginal families around Australia.
“What Sunrise said the other day has hurt my family deeply,” she said. “Not only has it affected my family personally, but many, many other black families all around Australia. They’ve disrespected the Stolen Generation, they’ve disrespected the children that are still being removed from family. This has to stop.
“Now [host] Samantha Armytage said the other day, she talked about how white families should “save” abused, Aboriginal children from rape, assault, neglect. Those words are extremely powerful, you listen to the words that she chose to say. ‘White families should save.’ White saviours. And then when they talk about Aboriginal people, we get the words ‘abuse’, ‘rape’, ‘neglect’, ‘assault’. I am an Aboriginal woman, and I’m a carer. I work so hard to make sure these children are safe, healthy, and in a happy environment. We all do. That’s the way our people work.”
Earlier this week, Sam Armytage led an uncritical discussion with commentators Prue MacSween (who last year said she was tempted to “run over” Yassmin Abdel-Magied) and Brisbane radio host Ben Davis, wondering whether “white” Australia should “save” Indigenous kids.
It got basic facts about the current policies around and practices of removing Indigenous children from their families wrong, and failed to bring a single Indigenous voice into the discussion.
Neither Sunrise, Channel 7 or anyone involved in the segment have yet to apologise.