Homeowners in Australia are being encouraged by activists, celebrities, and a senator from the Australian Greens party to pay a weekly rent to native groups for living on the land, according to the Daily Mail.
An indigenous rights activist named Robbie Thorpe is spearheading the decades-old campaign called “Pay the Rent,” which asks homeowners to pay 1% of their weekly wages to those who claim to have ancestral ownership of parts of Australia. The money is allegedly intended for an unspecified group of Aboriginal elders.
Based on the median income in Australia from 2022, each homeowner would pay a weekly fee of approximately $8.83, which equals $459 per year.
Thorpe said the payment plan is “a rational, reasonable, responsible means of reconciling 200 years of unchecked genocide, as far as I’m concerned.”
According to the “Pay the Rent” website, a group called the “Sovereign Body” is responsible for ensuring payments are “centered around First Nations people.”
The group currently consists of just three people: a doctor, a writer, and another native activist. However, the group does not yet have a plan for specific allocations of any money collected.
“The Sovereign Body is currently working through how to honour the legacy of the Elders and their role in the movement; and how money allocations can be fair and transparent to First Nation communities.”
The activist website displays the phrase “Saying Sorry Isn’t Enough – Pay The Rent” on its homepage, followed by a donation form. Below the donation form the website lists reasons to contribute, which include the idea of “stolen land,” a declaration that there is “no treaty” between Aboriginal people and the country of Australia, and that “colonisation continues.”
An Australian senator named Lidia Thorpe, who is the niece of the aforementioned activist, supports the agenda of the land tax.
“Pay the rent from grassroots for grassroots. No strings attached to government agenda,” the Greens party member stated. “It assists sovereign grassroots fight the many campaigns and struggles we face everyday [sic],” she added.
The campaign also asks for a percentage of any events on the allegedly stolen land, such as weddings or music festivals, the latter of which would require paying 1% of the event’s net income to the campaign.
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