Aborigines call for UN peacekeepers to protect them

Melbourne, 16 May 12 - - An Aboriginal sovereignty movement has asked the United Nations to send peacekeepers to this country to protect them against “increasing aggression by the Australian authorities”.

“We have already put the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, on notice that we are in need of UN peacekeepers as the Australian authorities are increasing their aggression against our sovereignty movement,” writes Michael Anderson in a media release approved by the main players resisting the construction of a huge natural gas industry at James Price Point, near Broome in Western Australia.

Anderson is the last survivor of the four men who set up the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra in 1972 and interim spokesperson for the 'Sovereign Union' formed at its 40th anniversary corroboree in January. Several more such embassies have been set up across the country since then, including one at Walmandany (James Price Point), north of Broome. All are being harassed by local authorities.

The protesters accuse Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, in conjunction with WA police, of executing a dictatorship of force towards Aboriginal people, local families and protestors at James Price Point by sending in around 250 police with riot gear to secure clear access for the Woodside company’s staff and equipment to the proposed gas hub site on the West Kimberley coast. On the 14th May 50 riot squad police escorted the Woodside convoy of workers and equipment past a handful of locals protesting the destruction of the land, ocean and cultural landscape.

“The next move will presumably be the destruction of the Walmandany Aboriginal Embassy and another camp on Cape Leveque Road. These camps were established to make a vocal statement about the atrocity of the nature of the proposed Woodside gas hub on the pristine land and sea ecology, and defend the rights of Aboriginal people and locals to have a say in the future of the state of the environment in the Kimberley,” the release says.

“Police have been intimidating and harassing local families and their supporters by deregistering cars suspected of having involvement with the Walmandany Embassy, and have been performing additional drug and alcohol testing on them. The ‘protestors’ are generally concerned local residents, mothers, fathers and families who believe that the proposed gas hub will have a tragic impact on the Kimberley environment.”

The media release in full:

We have already put the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, on notice that we are in need of UN peacekeepers as the Australian authorities are increasing their aggression against our sovereignty movement.

Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, in conjunction with WA police, is executing a dictatorship of force towards Aboriginal people, local families and protestors at James Price Point near Broome, WA. The Premier has reportedly ordered around 250 police with riot gear to secure a clear access for Woodside’s staff and equipment to access the proposed gas hub site in on the West Kimberley coast. Over 600 members of Broome’s rich and diverse multicultural community presented flowers at Broome Police Station on Mother’s Day as a peaceful protest against the heavy police presence, police were later seen dumping the bouquets in a bin, rather than taking them to a hospital or an aged care facility. This sums up the nature of the police stance against the people standing up for the fragile coastal environment that Woodside proposes to destroy in their aim to develop the world’s largest industrial precinct.

On the 14th May 50 riot squad police escorted the Woodside convoy of workers and equipment past a handful of locals protesting the destruction of the land, ocean and cultural landscape. The next move will presumably be the destruction of the Walmandany Aboriginal Embassy and another camp on Cape Leveque Road. These camps were established to make a vocal statement about the atrocity of the nature of the proposed Woodside gas hub on the pristine land and sea ecology, and defend the rights of Aboriginal people and locals to have a say in the future of the state of the environment in the Kimberley. The proposed development site would have significant negative impacts on the Aboriginal heritage values, environmental values and the value of the National Heritage Listed dinosaur footprint trackways. The two camps currently number only around 12 people, so why has Colin Barnett allegedly demanded such a massive police presence? Broome Shire Council has placed a ‘move on’ order for Embassy residents to leave by this Wednesday.

The WA Police Force is clearly being used for Barnett’s business dealings and for political attack; while they should be doing their regular duties in their home areas. The sheer financial cost of flying around 250 police to remote Broome and accommodating them in the town is unjustifiable. The Police Commissioner acknowledged that the first 10 days of the Woodside escort operation costs the taxpayers of Western Australia $1,000,000. More concerning is the Police commitment is to stay indefinitely.

Police have been intimidating and harassing local families and their supporters by deregistering cars suspected of having involvement with the Walmandany Embassy, and have been performing additional drug and alcohol testing on them. The ‘protestors’ are generally concerned local residents, mothers, fathers and families who believe that the proposed gas hub will have a tragic impact on the Kimberley environment.

We call for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to immediately commence an investigation and call a halt to Premier Colin Barnett using the WA police force as a private army for the purposes of unethical land grabs. Prime Minister Gillard has already shown at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s 40th Anniversary in Canberra on 26 January 2012, that she condones the use and abuse of police force and violence against Aboriginal people, by failing to condemn the violent actions of the police on that day and after the event. Further use of police violence has occurred at other Aboriginal Embassies throughout Australia since January, particularly at the Nyoongar Tent Embassy in Perth.

We again state that the Australian government has no sovereignty over Australia and no jurisdiction over Aboriginal people, who have never signed a treaty nor ceded their sovereignty to a colonial force. The Australian government continues to fail to provide any protection against gross misuse of police powers towards Aboriginal people. We call for the immediate scrutiny and involvement of the United Nations in the many human rights violations perpetrated by the so-called ‘Australian Nation’ towards Aboriginal people in Australia.

Contact: Michael Anderson 0427 292 492 ghillar29@gmail.com Sovereign Union

More reporting of Aboriginal activism at http://treatyrepublic.net/

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