Australian indigenous senator Lidia Thorpe has had to repeat her oath of office as a congresswoman because she referred to Queen Elizabeth II, who is formally Australia’s head of state, as a “colonizer.”
“You won’t be a senator until you get it right!” one of the senators has shouted at her after Thorpe’s swearing-in, who was warned by the Senate president to repeat the swearing-in formula, reports the Australian press.
The environmentalist senator did not attend the official swearing-in last week, so she took office solo on Monday morning. She addressed the podium fist in the air and recited the phrase: “I, Lidia Thorpe, as Sovereign, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Colonizing Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.”
The Senate president, Labor’s Sue Lines, intervened to head off angry criticism from other senators. “You have to recite the oath on the card. Please recite it,” she challenged. Thorpe then confronted another Labor senator about his criticism, although he eventually read the sentence as written. “None of us like it,” said another senator after the oath.
Later, Thorpe herself has tweeted that “I have never ceded sovereignty.” Thorpe has recently criticized the Australian flag because it “represents the colonization of this land.” “There is no consent and there is no treaty, so that flag does not represent me,” she explained in statements to Channel 10.
His intention thus is to go to Parliament to “question the illegitimate occupation of the colonial system in this country.” “I am here for my people and I will sacrifice myself by swearing allegiance to the colonizer so that I can be in the media as I am right now, to go into Parliament as I am,” he said.