Clinton Pryor, Noongar – walking to Canberra, the long way.
“My first ever protest was Herrisson Island… And I was real scared. At first, I just took photos there. I got all the likes – people thought I was a real warrior. But I felt like a bullshit artist. There was a quote that stuck with me, by Ghandi’s granddaughter, “there are two kinds of people: those who do the hard work, and those who take the credit.” I wanted to be in the first group. I ended up camping there for 16 months.
It was a real well-controlled community, you know, real diverse, real safe. We had Asians, French, Germans, Africans, whitefullas, families with kids, single men, single women, all homeless. There were actually plenty of single women – they used to sleep in the city streets, but they were vulnerable there. They were easy targets for predators, and lots got sexually assaulted. But here, they were safe. We had no drugs, no alcohol, no fighting. It was safe for them.
And now I’m protesting a different way – I’m going to walk across Australia. I was inspired by Ghandi and his Salt March. He marched 240 miles in protest, all the way to the Indian coast, and thousands of people marched with him. He’s the man who invented non-violence, the weapon of the strong. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, they all looked up to him – even Martin Luther King did a 54 mile march for voting rights for African Americans.
But, I’m not marching to be a hero myself. I just want to give our people hope – because a lot of our people have given up. We’re getting closer to a treaty every day, remote communities are being shut down, sacred sites are being demolished – now is the right time to walk for justice.”
“What message do you want to send people?”
“Everyone’s welcome to join me anywhere. I’d love some company along the way… It’s a long way to walk. That’s basically it. Oh and also, people can donate… I’m gonna need a lot of shoes.”
Clinton will be walking from Perth to Canberra, via Kalgoorlie, Uluru, Adelaide and Melbourne. He begins his walk this Thursday (8 September) – leaving Herrisson Island at 10.30am.
Epic feat ahead – good luck Clinton.