Since 1972, the James Cook statue on Sheridan Street has stood as a symbol of colonialism and genocide. It’s a slap in the face to all Indigenous people.
For us it represents dispossession, forced removal, slavery, genocide, stolen land, and loss of culture - among many other things.
I am calling on Cairns Regional Council and Cairns Mayor Mr Bob Manning to take action today and remove this statue. This would be a huge step forward in uniting the community and honouring our First Nation’s people.
I also call on non-Indigenous Australians to stand with us. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is as urgent here on your own doorsteps as it is on the streets of Minneapolis. For you to demand the removal of this offensive and outdated statue shows your willingness to look Australia’s ugly history right in the eye, and say no more.
I urge Cairns Regional Council to listen to the people, acknowledge the current times we are in and think about what this represents. Make history and remove this reminder of this country’s horrible wrong doings to their own Original Custodians.
My name is Emma Hollingsworth. I am a First Nations person and I want to see this statue removed for my people.
Will you stand with me?