WGAR News: Keeping them Home - What have we learnt from Bringing them Home?: ACM Sydney

Newsletter date: 23 May 2013

Contents:

* Australian Times: NT Indigenous leaders challenge Chief Minister's adoption claims
* 'concerned Australians' & Respect and Listen: Keeping Them Home
* 'concerned Australians' & Respect and Listen: Letter from Djiniyini Gondarra to Adam Giles
* 'concerned Australians' & Respect and Listen: What Did We Learn from "Bringing Them Home"?
* ACM Sydney: Keeping them Home - What have we learnt from Bringing them Home?
* 'concerned Australians' Media Release: Keeping Them Home
* ACM Sydney Media Statement: What have we learnt from Bringing them home?
* SNAICC Media Release: Chief Minister's solution on Aboriginal child protection short sighted, paternalistic - and wrong
* Northern Territory (NT) Forced Aboriginal Adoption Media Coverage
* Background to the Stolen Generations and the Bringing Them Home report

* Shepparton (Victoria) Launch of the Book: 'A Decision to Discriminate - Aboriginal Disempowerment in the Northern Territory'
* Ryde (Sydney) Launch of the Book: 'A Decision to Discriminate' & Film Screening of 'Our Generation'
* Videos of speakers Graeme Mundine and Jeff McMullen at 'What’s really going on?' An update on NT Intervention
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Background to 'Stronger Futures' new NT Intervention laws

* AUSTRALIAN TIMES: NT INDIGENOUS LEADERS CHALLENGE CHIEF MINISTER'S ADOPTION CLAIMS

- News

Australian Times: NT Indigenous leaders challenge Chief Minister's adoption claims
http://www.australiantimes.co.uk/news/in-australia/nt-indigenous-leaders...
22 May 13: "Indigenous leaders in the Northern Territory have hit back at comments made by Chief Minister Adam Giles that children that are neglected should be adopted out, ... The Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni (Yolŋuw Nations Assembly) wrote an open letter to Mr Giles earlier this week saying that they "vehemently oppose(d)" the proposed adoption policy and called on the Chief Minister to work in collaboration with Indigenous communities to resolve issues of abuse. The Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni represents several Indigenous clans and over 8 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples in the Northern Territory." By Paul Bleakley, a journalist and academic raised on Queensland's Gold Coast

* 'CONCERNED AUSTRALIANS' & RESPECT AND LISTEN: KEEPING THEM HOME

- News

Keeping Them Home
'concerned Australians': http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/
Respect and Listen: http://www.respectandlisten.org/
"The most recent data shows that the number of children being moved into out-of-home care in the Northern Territory has just about doubled since 2007. Two-thirds of these children are being placed with non-Indigenous families away from their communities. Elder Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, as spokesperson for Yolngu Makarr Dhuni calls for this trend to be reversed by increasing family support services in communities. He has written to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Adam Giles, asking him for his support."

"If you would like to support Djiniyini’s request click on the campaign document"
Campaign Document: http://concernedaustralians.com.au/media/keep_them_home/Child-removals-c...
Campaign Document: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/Keeping%20Them%20Ho...

* 'CONCERNED AUSTRALIANS' & RESPECT AND LISTEN: LETTER FROM DJINIYINI GONDARRA TO ADAM GILES

- Letter

Letter from Djiniyini Gondarra to Adam Giles
'concerned Australians': http://concernedaustralians.com.au/media/keep_them_home/13-05-16-Child-r...
Respect and Listen: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/Keeping%20Them%20Ho...
16 May 13: "Dear Honourable Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Adam Giles,
As Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory, we vehemently oppose your proposed policy to take away our children and give them up for adoption.
The majority of our people live in Third World conditions, with poverty, unemployment and disadvantage a part of everyday life. The struggle of families to raise their children properly comes from this lack of stability, not from a lack of responsibility. Like everyone else in the world, we love our children deeply and want the best for them. We need support to do this. Not for our children to be taken away from us. ...
Yours respectfully,
Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Goṉḏarra OAM
Yolŋu Makarr Dhuni Djawarrkmirr - Spokesperson"

* 'CONCERNED AUSTRALIANS' & RESPECT AND LISTEN: WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM "BRINGING THEM HOME"?

- Background document

What Did We Learn from "Bringing Them Home"?
'concerned Australians': http://concernedaustralians.com.au/media/keep_them_home/Child-Removals-M...
Respect and Listen: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/Keeping%20Them%20Ho...
"The most recent data shows that children being moved into out-of-home-care in the Northern Territory is increasing at an alarming rate and that two-thirds of these children are placed with non-Indigenous families away from their communities. This shows just how little we have learnt through the agonising stories of others documented in the Bringing Them Home report of 1997. We appear to again be prepared to deny children the right to their home lands, their extended families, their language and their culture, rather than investing in their communities. This needs an immediate re-think."

* ACM SYDNEY: KEEPING THEM HOME - WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT FROM BRINGING THEM HOME?

- Background document

ACM Sydney: Keeping them Home - What have we learnt from Bringing them Home?
https://acmsydney.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/keeping-them-home-what-have-w...
20 May 13: "Dr Gondarra reminds us that, A Yolŋu child has a spirituality, his own 'skin', his culture, language, and place in his community. He belongs to that country and its people. You are committing a deep wrong by taking that away from him.
And,
The experience of the Stolen Generations clearly shows how forced separation from their families has caused deep psychological trauma that has led more of our people to substance abuse, contact with the criminal courts and family breakdown."

* 'CONCERNED AUSTRALIANS' MEDIA RELEASE: KEEPING THEM HOME

- Media Release

'concerned Australians': Keeping Them Home
Respect and Listen: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/Keeping%20Them%20Ho...
20 May 13: "The most recent data shows that children being moved into out-of-home care in the Northern Territory is increasing at an alarming rate and that two-thirds of these children are placed with non-Indigenous families away from their communities
'concerned Australians' invites the Chief Minister to join the campaign to keep Aboriginal children safely in their communities.
We know Adam Giles cares very greatly about the safety of children and we call on him and his Ministers, and all those in the Northern Territory who have the capacity to influence policy, to throw
their support behind:
* An increase in Aboriginal-managed Family Support services in all Aboriginal communities including the establishment of Family Group Conferencing processes when there are concerns regarding child safety
* A reversal of the decision that cut funds to the Community Sector ... "

* ACM SYDNEY MEDIA STATEMENT: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT FROM BRINGING THEM HOME?

- Media Statement

Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Sydney Archdiocese: What have we learnt from Bringing them home?
Respect and Listen: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/Keeping%20Them%20Ho...
20 May 13: "Last week, comments by the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Adam Giles that children who are not cared for properly by their families will be adopted provoked a strong response from Northern Territory leaders. ...
Graeme Mundine, Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, said "In 2013, we are still dealing with the consequences of the Stolen Generations. Because of that tragic chapter in our history we have the benefit of knowing exactly what the effect of removals such as these will have on Aboriginal people and the legacy that will continue for generations.
"No one wants a child to be harmed in any way, and as a community we have a responsibility to protect children. But we know from past experiences that removing children causes long term harm to the child, their family and their community".
Mr Mundine said, "There are other alternatives, other culturally appropriate alternatives, such as family support programs and family group conferences. ... "

* SNAICC MEDIA RELEASE: CHIEF MINISTER'S SOLUTION ON ABORIGINAL CHILD PROTECTION SHORT-SIGHTED, PATERNALISTIC - AND WRONG

- Media Release

SNAICC: Chief Minister's solution on Aboriginal child protection short sighted, paternalistic - and wrong
http://www.snaicc.org.au/_uploads/rsfil/02952.pdf
http://www.snaicc.org.au/news-events/fx-view-article.cfm?loadref=32&id=1077
15 May 13: "SNAICC - Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care
Statement by SNAICC Chairperson Sharron Williams
SNAICC is disappointed and concerned with NT Chief Minister Adam Giles’s remarks that his Government would encourage the adoption of Aboriginal children to non-Aboriginal families.
These comments are short sighted and echo paternalistic attitudes of bygone times.
The NT Government is proposing an ill-conceived 'solution' that runs counter to accepted practices of what is required to best enable children to grow up safe and cared for, and to develop to their fullest potential.
And it ignores the lessons of Australian history and the devastating experiences of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children forcibly removed from their families.
No-one would disagree that it is imperative that authorities act in the best interests of the child at all times when making decisions on child protection and placements in alternative care.
However, taking children away for adoption should be seen as a "last resort" option. ... "

* NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) FORCED ABORIGINAL ADOPTION MEDIA COVERAGE

Ed Note: Some of this section of the newsletter is compliments of Respect and Listen website: http://www.respectandlisten.org/

- Video

NITV newsclip 20 May 13 - about 6 mins into the video: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/30812739731/NITV-News-20-May-part-1

- Analysis / Opinion

SMH: Elder slams NT forced adoption plan
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/elder-slams-nt-forced-adop...
20 May 13: "An indigenous elder is pleading with Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles to scrap plans to address Aboriginal child neglect via forced adoptions. ... in a letter obtained by AAP, elder Djiniyini Gondarra, who represents 8000 Yolngu people of east Arnhem Land, urges Mr Giles to have a rethink. "We vehemently oppose your proposed policy to take away our children and give them up for adoption," Dr Gondarra writes. "We already live under such heavy control, with no respect. This will paralyse our people."" Lisa Martin

The Stringer: Adopting, or Stealing Children?
http://thestringer.com.au/adopting-or-stealing-children/
20 May 13: " ... on Monday 13 May 2013 we witnessed 'Adoption an option for neglected Indigenous children' making international headlines… it would seem the community is urging the Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles to listen, listen to the communities, listen to your people, listen to your elders, support sovereignty and self-determination, and assert the solutions rather than following the assimilationist bureaucratic status quo into repeating history, to further a debilitating demise for our First Nations peoples." By Nicola Butler
"Nicola’s family descends from the Eastern Aranda and Luritja peoples of the central desert regions on her Father’s side and Scottish, English, German and Swedish on her Mother’s side."

SMH: Can NT's first indigenous chief minister turn back the tide?
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/can-nts-first-indigenous-chief-mi...
15 May 13: "The removal of Aboriginal children from their families is also climbing (according to the peak bodies for child protection and the Australian Bureau of Statistics) - to about 13,000 across the nation, or about one-third of the total number of Australian children in out-of-home care. This is disturbing for Aboriginal communities, when waves of cross-generational trauma are still flowing from the original removal of up to 100,000 children during the stolen generations. The madness of the past is still the cruelty of today. With the same misguided logic of assimilation, these Aboriginal children are supposedly removed for their well-being." Jeff McMullen

Australian: Adoption does not create a stolen generation
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/adoption-does-not-cre...
21 May 13: "THREE cheers for Adam Giles, the Northern Territory Chief Minister, who last week vowed that, if necessary, he would remove neglected Aboriginal children from their parents and place them in adoptive homes. Of course there will be a chorus keen to do the Whiteman in the eye over the so-called Stolen Generations. But they can't do Giles in the eye. He is Aboriginal. And he won't play the Aboriginal leader's "moral superiority" game." Gary Johns

- News

Australian: Territory in U-turn on forced adoptions
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/territory-in...
21 May 13: "THE Northern Territory is not considering forced adoptions of Aborigines as part of its review of child protection legislation, despite comments to the contrary by Chief Minister Adam Giles. Territory Minister for Children and Families Alison Anderson confirmed yesterday that forced adoptions were not part of that review. "It's not going to include forced adoptions," she said." Amos Aikman, Northern correspondent

ABC: Campaign for Aboriginal foster carers goes bush
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-17/anderson-campaigns-for-more-aborig...
17 May 13: "Children and Families Minister Alison Anderson says she is travelling to remote Northern Territory communities to recruit more Aboriginal foster carers. Most of the children in care in the Territory are Indigenous but there is a lack of Aboriginal foster and kinship carers. The Territory Government says it wants to place Indigenous children with other Aboriginal families where possible."

ABC: Giles defends call for Aboriginal child adoptions
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/giles-defends-adoptions-of-neglect...
16 May 13: "Chief Minister Adam Giles has hit back at critics of his view that adoption could be the right solution for neglected Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory. There has been some support for the proposal but criticism has centred on the possible creation of another Stolen Generation and the loss of culture in Indigenous communities. Mr Giles says children deserve to be with loving families and arrangements don't preclude placement with extended family members."

- Compilation

WGAR News: Indigenous adoption push prompts Stolen Generation fears: ABC Radio Australia Video (18 May 13)
http://indymedia.org.au/2013/05/17/wgar-news-indigenous-adoption-push-pr...

* BACKGROUND TO THE STOLEN GENERATIONS AND THE BRINGING THEM HOME REPORT

- Compilation

Respect and Listen: Keeping Them Home: Background Information
[scroll down page] http://www.respectandlisten.org/

- Analysis / Opinion

Brisbane Blacks Monthly: The New Stolen Generations
http://brisbaneblacksmonthly.weebly.com/the-new-stolen-generations.html
October 2012: "Tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their families between 1869 and the 1970s, with the 1997 Bringing Them Home report estimating that "between one in three and one in ten" were stolen and made wards of the state. In 2008, then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a formal apology to the Stolen Generations "for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss" on the nation’s Indigenous people." By Callum Clayton-Dixon, Anaywan Nation

* SHEPPARTON (VICTORIA) LAUNCH OF THE BOOK: 'A DECISION TO DISCRIMINATE - ABORIGINAL DISEMPOWERMENT IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY'

- Upcoming Event

Event: Fri 31 May 2013: Shepparton, Vic
Book Launch: 'A Decision to Discriminate
- Aboriginal Disempowerment in the Northern Territory'
Speakers:
* Michele Harris, 'concerned Australians'
* Neville Atkinson, Yorta Yorta Nation
The presentation includes video clips and opportunities for questions
"Find out more about the situation of the Aboriginal people
of the Northern Territory under the continuation of the Intervention,
now called Stronger Futures."
"This new book is an important historical record
that focuses on the Senate Committee Inquiry
into the Stronger Futures legislation. It shows
how the Government decision-making process
chose to ignore the views and ideas expressed
by many Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory
communities in much the same way as has
happened since colonisation."
Flyer: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/ADTD-launch-Sheppar...
Event details: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/ADTD_booklaunches.html#Shepparton
'A Decision to Discriminate' is a 'concerned Australians' publication
'A Decision to Discriminate' Order Form: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/ADTD_Order_Form.pdf
'concerned Australians' Homepage: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/#ADTD
'A Decision to Discriminate' Book reviews:
http://www.southsydneyherald.com.au/a-decision-to-discriminate-book-review/
http://crosslight.org.au/2013/03/31/stronger-futures-or-just-stronger-me...
http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/ADTD-book-review-20...
http://acmsydney.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/review-of-a-decision-to-discri...
http://www.sydneycatholic.org/news/latest_news/2012/2012115_91.shtml
http://overland.org.au/blogs/loudspeaker/2012/10/stronger-futures-and-ab...
'A Decision to Discriminate' Audio Interviews:
[scroll down page] http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/#ADTD
http://www.thewire.org.au/storyDetail.aspx?ID=9818
WGAR Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-northern-territory-...
WGAR Background to 'Stronger Futures' new NT Intervention laws: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-stronger-futures-new-nt...

* RYDE (SYDNEY) LAUNCH OF THE BOOK: 'A DECISION TO DISCRIMINATE' & FILM SCREENING OF 'OUR GENERATION'

- Upcoming Event

Event: Tue 11 June 2013: Ryde, Sydney, NSW
Book launch 'A Decision to Discriminate'
& Film Screening 'Our Generation'
Special Speaker: Graeme Mundine
This event is part of the Guringai Festival 2013: http://www.guringaifestival.com.au/GuringaiBooklet2013_9April%20LR.pdf
"This new book 'A Decision to Discriminate' is an
important historical record that focuses on the
Senate Committee Inquiry into the Stronger Futures
legislation. It shows how the Government
decision-making process chose to ignore the views
and ideas expressed by many Aboriginal people
of the Northern Territory communities in much the
same way as has happened since colonisation."
"'Our Generation' is an independent documentary film,
made over 3 years, that looks at the current state of
Indigenous relations in Australia, home to the oldest
living culture in the world. Driven by the remote Yolngu
peoples of Northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern
Territory, the film shines a light on the ongoing struggle
of Aboriginal people to their culture, lands and basic
human rights."
Flyer: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/ADTD-launch-Ryde-11...
Flyer: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/ADTD-launch-Ryde-A5...
Event details: http://nsw.greens.org.au/content/book-launch-%E2%80%98-decision-discrimi...
Event details, page 26: http://www.guringaifestival.com.au/GuringaiBooklet2013_9April%20LR.pdf
Event details: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/ADTD_booklaunches.html#Ryde
'A Decision to Discriminate' is a 'concerned Australians' publication
'A Decision to Discriminate' Order Form: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/ADTD_Order_Form.pdf
'concerned Australians' Homepage: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/#ADTD
'A Decision to Discriminate' Book Reviews:
http://www.southsydneyherald.com.au/a-decision-to-discriminate-book-review/
http://crosslight.org.au/2013/03/31/stronger-futures-or-just-stronger-me...
http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/ADTD-book-review-20...
http://acmsydney.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/review-of-a-decision-to-discri...
http://www.sydneycatholic.org/news/latest_news/2012/2012115_91.shtml
http://overland.org.au/blogs/loudspeaker/2012/10/stronger-futures-and-ab...
'A Decision to Discriminate' Audio Interviews:
[scroll down page] http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/#ADTD
http://www.thewire.org.au/storyDetail.aspx?ID=9818
About 'Our Generation' Film: http://www.ourgeneration.org.au/about
'Our Generation' Film Reviews: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/09/24/our-generation-film-reviews
WGAR Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-northern-territory-...
WGAR Background to 'Stronger Futures' new NT Intervention laws: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-stronger-futures-new-nt...

* VIDEOS OF SPEAKERS GRAEME MUNDINE AND JEFF MCMULLEN AT 'WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON?' AN UPDATE ON NT INTERVENTION

- Past Event

Respect and Listen: A Decision to Discriminate: Mona Vale
http://www.respectandlisten.org/nt-intervention/concerned-australians/a-...
"What’s really going on? An update on NT Intervention with Jeff McMullen and Graeme Mundine
Monday May 13th at 7.30pm ...
Our guest speakers will give an update on the NT Intervention, as it is still going on via Stronger Futures, and will do so for at least another nine and a half years. ...
Videos from the launch:
* Graeme Mundine
* Jeff McMullen"

Event: Mon 13 May 2013: Mona Vale, Northern Sydney, NSW
What’s really going on?
An update on NT Intervention
with Jeff McMullen and Graeme Mundine
"Our guest speakers will give an update on the
NT Intervention, as it is still going on via
Stronger Futures, and will do so for at
least another nine and a half years."
"Special presentation of the book,
"A Decision to Discriminate:
Aboriginal Disempowerment in the Northern Territory",
which will be on sale. The message in this
book is highly important and vital."
"This new book is an important historical record
that focuses on the Senate Committee Inquiry
into the Stronger Futures legislation. It shows
how the Government decision-making process
chose to ignore the views and ideas expressed
by many Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory
communities in much the same way as has
happened since colonisation."
The event is part of the Guringai Festival 2013
Hosted by ASG-MWP: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/NT_Intervention/Guring...
Flyer: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/NT_Intervention/Update...
Event details: http://www.asgmwp.net/May2013.pdf
Event details: http://www.asgmwp.net/Calendar.htm
Event summary, page 12: http://www.asgmwp.net/ElimattaAutumn2013.pdf
Event summary: http://www.koorimail.com/ai1ec_event/whats-really-going-on-an-update-on-...
Event details: http://indymedia.org.au/what%E2%80%99s-really-going-on-an-update-on-nt-i...
Event details: http://nsw.greens.org.au/content/whats-reall-going
Event details: [scroll down page] http://www.pittwateronlinenews.com/events-in-sydney.php
Event details: [scroll down page] http://www.respectandlisten.org/
Event details: http://www.facebook.com/events/605210496175336/
Event details: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/ADTD_booklaunches.html#Mona_Vale
'A Decision to Discriminate' is a 'concerned Australians' publication
'A Decision to Discriminate' Order Form: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/ADTD_Order_Form.pdf
'concerned Australians' Homepage: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/#ADTD
'A Decision to Discriminate' Book reviews:
http://www.southsydneyherald.com.au/a-decision-to-discriminate-book-review/
http://crosslight.org.au/2013/03/31/stronger-futures-or-just-stronger-me...
http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/ADTD-book-review-20...
http://acmsydney.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/review-of-a-decision-to-discri...
http://www.sydneycatholic.org/news/latest_news/2012/2012115_91.shtml
http://overland.org.au/blogs/loudspeaker/2012/10/stronger-futures-and-ab...
'A Decision to Discriminate' Audio Interviews:
[scroll down page] http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/#ADTD
http://www.thewire.org.au/storyDetail.aspx?ID=9818
WGAR Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-northern-territory-...
WGAR Background to 'Stronger Futures' new NT Intervention laws: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-stronger-futures-new-nt...

* BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:

Last updated: 20 February 2013

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-northern-territory-...

* BACKGROUND TO 'STRONGER FUTURES' NEW NT INTERVENTION LAWS:

Last updated: 8 May 2013

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-stronger-futures-new-nt...

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http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/30/about-wgar-news-working-group-for-abo...

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http://indymedia.org.au/2013/01/03/about-wgar-news-wgar-events-postings

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http://indymedia.org.au/2013/01/03/about-wgar-news-wgar-background-info-...

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