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Australian senator calls the Queen a coloniser while being sworn in to parliament

Australian senator calls the Queen a coloniser while being sworn in to parliament

A

n Australian politician was forced to retake her oath of office after she changed it to label The Queen a coloniser.

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe told parliament’s upper house with her right fist raised that she would “bear allegiance to the colonising” monarch.

Queen Elizabeth, now 96, is also Australia’s head of state and has been depicted, alongside the state, as a colonising force on the indigenous population.

“I sovereign, Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and I bear true allegiance to the colonising her majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” she said.

The word “colonising” is not in the formal oath.

Senate President Sue Lines told Thorpe, an indigenous DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman, that she was required to recite the affirmation as written.

After a pause, Thorpe – who retained her seat at a Federal election in May – recited the affirmation correctly.

Buckingham Palace had no immediate response to a request for comment on Thorpe’s remark.

Australia’s Indigenous leaders have toiled for generations to win recognition for injustices suffered by their peoples since European colonisation began in the 1700s.

Thorpe last month described Australia as a “colonial project” and said the national flag did not represent her.

“It represents the colonisation of these lands, and it has no permission to be here, there’s been no consent, there’s been no treaty, so that flag does not represent me,” she told Channel 10’s The Project.

Thorpe said she stood for parliament “to question the illegitimate occupation of the colonial system in this country”.

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