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Senator Lidia Thorpe lodges ‘racist’ Greens Human Rights Commission complaint and slams the Voice


Lidia Thorpe to file human rights complaint for accusing Greens of racism

  • Lidia Thorpe claims Greens ‘were racist’
  • She claims she was a victim of racism at a party
  • Thorpe can abstain from the voting vote

Lidia Thorpe will file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission about the racism she allegedly experienced when she was a member of the Greens.

The DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman and independent senator said her lawyer advised her that there were “enough grounds for a case.”

Senator Thorpe left the Greens to represent the “Blak Sovereign Movement” in February.

Speaking to ABC’s Insiders on Sunday, Senator Thorpe said she had “experienced racism in every workplace my whole life, and the Greens were no different.”

Senator Lidia Thorpe has filed a human rights complaint against her former party the Greens

“I want racism to be eradicated … It’s called institutional racism,” she said.

“It is the basis of these institutions that are racist, that allow racism. I think we should all look at ourselves, eliminate that and make our workplaces safer.”

Earlier this week, Senator Thorpe accused her former colleague Sarah Hanson-Young of racism in a tense conversation during Senate estimates.

She made the allegation while Senator Hanson-Young was grilling ABC’s general manager David Anderson and news director Justin Stevens about the national broadcaster’s handling of Stan Grant’s departure from Q+A over racial abuse.

“She needs to look at herself,” Senator Thorpe was heard to ask.

Senator Thorpe also confirmed on The Voice that she is “seriously considering” abstaining from both parliament and the public poll.

Concerned about a lack of detail and not enough practical action to improve the lives of indigenous people, she said she would “absolutely not” vote no in the referendum.

But she also said she couldn’t support the Voice in its current form because “an impotent Voice could take up the Constitution.”

“I’m not in the no camp and I’ve never been in the no camp. I’m not going to sit on the no side with racists and white supremacists,” she told ABC’s Insiders.

She said when the constitutional amendment bill comes before the Senate – which paves the way for the referendum because it will spell out the question Australians will be asked – she will consider abstaining.

Senator Thorpe says Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (pictured right with party leader Adam Bandt) 'should look at herself'

Senator Thorpe says Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (pictured right with party leader Adam Bandt) ‘should look at herself’

Senator Thorpe said the government should consider its amendment that would “recognize the sovereign status of First Nations people” and cited concerns about the composition of the Voice.

“We don’t know what this looks like. It can be one person. It’s up to parliament to decide what the Voice looks like,” she said.

So I can’t support anything that doesn’t give us power. And I certainly can’t support a no campaign that looks more like a white supremacist campaign that does a lot of damage.”

Senator Thorpe also criticized the government’s process for developing the referendum, arguing that the working group’s members were “hand-picked” and excluded “constituency, sovereign black dudes across the country.”

Senator Thorpe said she still urged the government to take practical action, saying she would consider voting “yes” when ready.

“We have incarceration numbers that are spiraling out of control, and we have over 22,000 Aboriginal children in out-of-home care today,” she said.

“That is the priority this country should be talking about. The government has the option of acting in good faith and implementing those recommendations.

“Maybe they’ll get my vote if they do.”

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