The settler state is vested in the incarceration of non-white bodies. Yet, the coincidence of settler states and liberal polities also means a consistent concealment of this carceral system within forms of governmentality that represent it as a system of protection or rehabilitation. Forms of settler governmentality silence subjects of colour within and beyond the borders of the settler state even as they enclose, incarcerate and eliminate the very bodies that would enunciate an objection to the transnational networks of dispossession in which the settler state is imbricated. This article addresses how speech is managed and circumscribed within the operations of settler colonial liberalism, by focusing on such forms of speech as protest and government inquiries. It does so through an analysis of recent practices of incarceration – particularly of refugees in off-shore detention and of Aboriginal people in Australian prisons and youth detention centres – and of the modes of speech that resist them in Australia.