"The Right to Legacy" - review the legacies of the mass murderers Stirling, Roe and Peel

"The Right to Legacy" - review the legacies of the mass murderers Stirling, Roe and Peel

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On the morning of the 28th of October, 1834. Captain James Stirling of the British Royal Navy led 24 foreign British naval officers, police officers and immigrants through sovereign Australian land to ambush and attack an encampment of a large group of Australian people. These innocent people were camped on the banks of the Murray River, close to the town site of Pinjarra in south-western Australia. The Australian men, women and children they were planning to attack belonged to the Bindjareb people of the South West Noongar nation. Stirling is quoted that he wanted to “reduce [them] to weakness” by inflicting “such acts of decisive severity as will appall them as people.”

This attack had been demanded by Thomas Peel, also in attendance was another notable British colonial figure and famous 'Swan River Colony" surveyor, John Septimus-Roe. The foreigners flanked the Australian men, women and children forcing them into the river, where they were fired on at will for what is reported to be around two hours. Stirling himself reported 15-20 deaths, while other's from the group of foreigners reported upwards of 80 deaths. The Australians that survived reported up to 150 of their kin had been slain. What I must draw your attention to, is that there are several primary and secondary accounts from those under command of the British crown who were present at the slaughter, that describe children being shot and killed at the massacre. The murdering of children is also reported from the surviving Bindjareb Noongars.

It is all who sign this petition's belief, that anyone guilty of participating in the murder of children should face justice for their crimes, no matter their rank in society. We acknowledge the men that murdered these children have long since died. It is the continuing veneration of their legacies that are so widely celebrated on the land that they slaughtered these children on that we voice our contempt and sincere wish for correction for. The brave Australians that gave their lives in defense of their families and our beautiful country against such brutal and alien tyranny do not have an official government monument at the site of the massacre. Yet the namesakes and legacies of these three British men are displayed proudly all through the lands of the Australians they killed.

These include, but are not limited to the following:

In celebration of John Septimus-Roe we have:

- The Roe Highway
- John Septimus-Roe primary and secondary school (that’s right, we named a school after someone who killed children)
- Statue at the Intersection of Adelaide and St. George's Terrace in Perth city's CBD, and plaque listing his life’s achievements (there is no mention of his participation in genocide)

In celebration of Thomas Peel we have:

- The Peel Zoo
- The Peel Estuary/Inlet in Mandurah
- The Western Australian Football league (WAFL) team the "Peel Thunder
- The Peel health campus
- 6’500 square kilometre’s of land belonging to the people he slaughtered that we now call the peel region

In celebration of Stirling we have:

- The city of Stirling
- The suburb of Stirling
- Stirling Train Station
- Stirling Highway
- Governor Stirling Senior high school (you're reading this right, that’s two high school’s in the state of Western Australia that are named after foreign naval officers that participated in the slaughter of Australian children)
- The Stirling Ranges National Park
- Perhaps the most poignantly ironic, we also named the Australian Naval Base at Meandup (Garden Island) after James Stirling, a foreign genocidal sociopath who thought nothing of the slaughter of Australia's people.
- Statue outside the City of Perth Library (the library contains works on his murders, he stands just 200m from the District Court of Western Australia). There is a plaque at Stirling’s feet, listing many of his achievements as Governor of the ‘Swan River Colony’ (he was unlawfully appointed to this position by a foreign crown), there is no mention of his leading of the ‘Pinjarra Massacre’.

At lunchtime on the 12th of June 2020, I, Malachy O'Connor painted the national colours of the children Stirling killed on the Statue of his likeness that stands on Hay Street outside the City Of Perth Library. After I had finished my arts and crafts I waited for the police to arrive and arrest me (I did not run, or wish to evade arrest like the media has reported). I was rightfully arrested and charged with "Destruction of public property and criminal damage", on the 10th of July I plead guilty to these charges and was deservedly convicted a criminal. If you believe my arrest rightful and appropriate then it is by reasonable assumption that you must agree that we should not celebrate foreign men guilty of slaughtering children.

It is right that anyone that breaks the law should be held accountable. While my acts were criminal, my misgivings pale in comparison to someone evil enough to eviscerate the lives of so many innocent children. James Stirling, John Septimus-Roe and Thomas Peel are all guilty of such horrible crimes, yet we do not call them criminal. We celebrate them with landmarks, high schools, major highways and even an Australian naval base.

The Western Australian Government celebrates "WA day" (formerly known as: Foundation day) on the 1st of June. This is the Anniversary of the date that the two of these serial killers - James Stirling and John Septimus-Roe landed on the banks of the Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River), after sailing from the east coast of Australia aboard the ship "HMS Success".

The "Right to Legacy" petition has three objectives:

1. Raise awareness of the abhorrent genocidal slaughter of the innocent Australian children and their families; led, orchestrated and committed by the British men: James Stirling, Thomas Peel and John Septimus-Roe on the 28th of October in 1834.
2. Signal the community’s strong contempt for such crimes against innocent people by calling for the respectful re-examination/review into the legacies/namesakes born by parts of our community attributed to anyone guilty of the evisceration of human life.
3. Raise support for the Government of Western Australia to formally recognise the Australians who gave their lives in defense of their rightful land and their families in the face of tyranny on the banks of the Murray River. Any other site where Australian's have died in combat is rightfully honoured with the deepest respect and reverence. There is no government monument to the murdered Australians at the site of the "Pinjarra Massacre".
 

We (all who sign this petiton) do not wish to have to tell the generations of Australians that come after us, that we sat dormant in the knowledge of such atrocities. There is great honour to be found in the examination of ourselves and the admittance that we still have much to change before we can fully embrace our nationality.

These men's abhorrent acts have been ignored for too long. The time is right that we, the contemporary Australian public, voice our objection and contempt for the celebration of these so called 'colonial heroes', and their attempts at destroying the world's oldest living culture - that we all treasure so deeply.

It is only when the wide and strong recognition of these horrible figures' villainous cowardice, and the rightful recognition of the suffering of their victims is put right, that we as Australians may all rejoice. Only then can we proudly sing "Advance Australia fair".

I shall deliver this petition to all relevant authorities responsible for the continuing of these criminal’s legacies. Each authority/institution shall receive a hand written letter outlining the objectives of this petition. They will be given a respectful amount of time to consider the wishes of all who sign it and will have every opportunity to advertise the result of these considerations through this platform.

This Petition has been launched with the permission and blessing from Bindjareb and Whadjuk Noongar Elders and has been endorsed by traditional owner and proud Bindjareb woman, Kerrie-Anne Kearing. Mrs. Kearing runs the "Bindjareb Park" community centre, as well as tours for school groups, tourists and locals about Bindjareb culture as well as tours of the 'Pinjarra Massacre' site. The park and massacre site are a short drive from the Beautiful Pinjarra town centre. You are welcome to visit the park's website to learn more at www.bindjarebpark.com.au

Power, honour and deepest and most reverent respect to the Bindjareb and Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation, who's sovereign land this petition has been launched from. May the indomitable, righteous and resilient spirit that continues to guard and protect their culture inspire us to all to show respect to our ancient and beautiful country, and all those who walk upon it - past, present and emerging. 

Thank you dearly for your time and support,

Malachy.