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Aborigine Stakes a Claim to England

January 27, 1988|From Reuters

DOVER, England — Beneath the white cliffs of Dover, an aborigine claimed England for his people Tuesday in a belated protest against the arrival 200 years ago of the first English convicts in Australia.

"I, Burnham Burnham, a noble man of ancient Australia, do hereby take possession of England on behalf of the aboriginal people of Australia," he said, planting an aborigine flag in the sand.

The white-bearded aborigine said he staged the event in retaliation for the so-called transportation of the English convicts, who became the founders of modern Australia.

"In claiming this colonial outpost, we wish you natives no harm," Burnham told reporters at this southeastern English port.

The symbolic protest was timed to coincide with Australia's 200th anniversary celebrations, which indigenous aborigines view as an attempt to glorify the invasion of their homeland.

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