Newsletter date: 24 March 2015
* Analysis / Opinion: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Here is part of the list of threatened Homelands - "remote communities"
* Media Release: Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities in Australia: Aboriginal Australian Communities Send a Powerful Message to Government
* News Analysis: Miranda Wood, Red Flag: Thousands join nationwide rallies against community closures
* News Analysis: Alex Bainbridge, Green Left: Resistance builds against plan to close Aboriginal communities
* News Analysis: Calla Wahlquist & Helen Davidson, The Guardian: Close the Gap day: Colin Barnett tells protesters to 'put yourselves in my shoes'
* Audio Interviews: Cassandra Tim & Warren Barnsley, National Indigenous Radio's 'Weekly News-in-Review': Proposed community closures in Western Australia [Featuring Graham Merritt, Irene Davey, Nigel Scullion & Kirstie Parker]
* Audio: Lucy Martin, ABC News: Thousands rally in protest of remote community closures
* Video: SBS News: Barnett shouted down at Indigenous rally
* Video: SBS News: SA crowd protests remote closures
* News Analysis: Brendan Foster, SMH: Aboriginal community closure: intense rally at Parliament House
* News Analysis: Nicolas Perpitch, Bonnie Christian & Andrew O'Connor, ABC News: Colin Barnett pushed as anger erupts at protest over remote communities closure
* WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: Here is part of the list of threatened Homelands - "remote communities"
22 Mar 15: "We will be damned by the future if we sit quiet on any dispossession of Homelands - 'remote communities' - just as we damn the past for similar brutal dispossessions, for the evil of the Stolen Generations, the Stolen Wages, en masse indenture, apartheid, the lot. The dispossession of hundreds of Homelands, loosely referred to as remote communities, has been in the mix for a long while. The bent of Governments for assimilation has not died, it is still their way. But assimilation is not their end all; it is a tool, a means to the end. Exploitation is the driver, and assimilation is the servant. ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
- Media Release
Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities in Australia: Aboriginal Australian Communities Send a Powerful Message to Government
22 Mar 15: "Aboriginal Communities across every state and territory of Australia send a powerful message to the Premier of Western Australia and Prime Minister of Australia.
Kimberley Aboriginal Women took the lead with support from men folk in sending a powerful message to the Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett after they instigated a call for a national day of support to the wider Australian nation. The call to action held around Australia on Thursday 19th March resulted in a massive show of support registering collectively more than 20,000 people marching in remote communities, towns and cities. The outpouring of support via social media has resulted in a reach of over 1 million people worldwide and continues to grow as awareness spreads. This outcome furthers the feeling and sentiments of the Kimberley community that they will not accept Premier Collin Barnett’s plan to shut off essential services to 150 remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia, ultimately forcing them into closure. ... "
- News Analysis
Red Flag: Thousands join nationwide rallies against community closures
22 Mar 15: "Thousands of people in more than 30 locations rallied on 19 March to protest the forced closures of remote communities by the Western Australian government. More than 2,000 people gathered in Perth, including some who travelled from affected communities. They heard from Aboriginal activist Marianne Headland Mackay, event organiser Karla Hart, Tammy Solonec of Amnesty International and others. The crowd marched to Parliament House, chanting, "Abbott, Barnett, you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide!"" Miranda Wood
- News Analysis
Green Left: Resistance builds against plan to close Aboriginal communities
21 Mar 15: "Thousands of people rallied in cities and towns around Australia on March 19 in opposition to the planned closure of around 150 remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. ... [Tammy] Solonec, who works for Amnesty International, said their research shows that "supporting Aboriginal people to live on their homelands extends their life expectancy [and] improves health outcomes". Furthermore she says it "reduces rates of domestic and other violence, allows for participation in decision making, provides connection to land and culture and reduces their exposure to the damaging influences found in larger towns''." By Alex Bainbridge, Perth. Alex Bainbridge has been a socialist activist since 1990 when he first joined Resistance and then the Democratic Socialist Party. He was a founding member of the Socialist Alliance in 2001.
- News Analysis
The Guardian: Close the Gap day: Colin Barnett tells protesters to 'put yourselves in my shoes'
19 Mar 15: "Thousands of people rally over the proposed closure of up to 150 remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia during a national day of action held alongside Close the Gap Day ... Thousands attended rallies in Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide, Bendigo, Bellingen and Lismore, as well as the regional WA towns of Port Hedland, Newman, Broome, Halls Creek, Roebourne, Geraldton and Beagle Bay. A protest in Melbourne is planned for Thursday evening. The national day of action was timed to coincide with Close the Gap day. ... " Calla Wahlquist and Helen Davidson, a reporter for Guardian Australia
- Audio Interviews
National Indigenous Radio's 'Weekly News-in-Review': Proposed community closures in Western Australia
20 Mar 15: "This week's episode is presented by Cassandra Tim.
* Proposed community closures in Western Australia:
-- Graham Merritt, an organiser of protests against the closure of communities;
-- Bardi Jawi woman Irene Davey on the Prime Minister's 'lifestyle choice' comments;
-- Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion speaks about concerns regarding the lack of information;
-- Kirstie Parker from Close the Gap gives her organisation's view.
* Mununjali academic Dr Chelsea Bond on the Indigenous Advancement Strategy:
* Emelda Davis from the Australia South Sea Islanders about the cyclone in Vanuatu.
Producers: Cassandra Tim and Warren Barnsley"
ABC News: Thousands rally in protest of remote community closures
19 Mar 15: "Thousands of people have turned out at rallies and marches across the country to mark Close the Gap Day and protest against plans to close up to 150 remote communities in Western Australia. The biggest was in Perth, where the Premier Colin Barnett came face to face with protesters during an intense and at times hostile rally." Lucy Martin, Source: PM
SBS News: Barnett shouted down at Indigenous rally
20 Mar 15: "The WA premier has faced a hostile crowd of protesters outside parliament house, telling them "people will not be forced from their traditional lands". ... An angry crowd of about 800 people have shouted down the West Australian premier during a rally at Parliament House against plans to close up to 150 remote indigenous communities. The rally was part of a national day of action, which included protests outside Parliament House in both Canberra and Adelaide, and Kirribilli House in Sydney." Source: AAP
SBS News: SA crowd protests remote closures
19 Mar 15: "More than 500 people have gathered in Adelaide to rally against the closure of indigenous communities. Protesters waved Aboriginal flags and brandished pinatas bearing the faces of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and West Australian Premier Colin Barnett on the steps of SA's Parliament House on Thursday. ... the crowd applauded speeches by South Australian Aboriginal elders, who urged protesters to fight the closures." Source: AAP
- News Analysis
SMH: Aboriginal community closure: intense rally at Parliament House
19 Mar 15: "WA Premier Colin Barnett was shoved by an angry protester as hundreds of people rallied outside Parliament House on Thursday to campaign against the state government's plans to shut down remote Aboriginal communities. More than 700 people marched on the steps of Parliament angry at the state government plans to close almost half of the 270 remote Aboriginal communities in WA. ... After the Premier finished his speech - which was continually interupted by boos and a barage of insults - a female protester gave Mr Barnett a shove. ... " Brendan Foster
- News Analysis
ABC News: Colin Barnett pushed as anger erupts at protest over remote communities closure
19 Mar 15: "West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has endured a hostile reception both inside and outside Parliament over the Government's push to close isolated Aboriginal communities in the state. Mr Barnett was pushed by a protester at a rally outside Parliament, attended by more than 1,000 people unhappy with the Government's plan to shut up to 150 of the state's more than 270 remote communities. Protesters marched through Perth's CBD and up to Parliament House where they were met by Mr Barnett and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier. Chanting "save the communities, close the gap", the protesters booed as Mr Barnett addressed them." By Nicolas Perpitch, Bonnie Christian and Andrew O'Connor
Nicolas Perpitch has worked as a broadcast and print journalist at The Australian, SBS and AAP in Perth and Sydney. He joined ABC News in Perth in 2014.
Bonnie Christian is a reporter based in Geraldton in WA's Mid West. Prior to joining the ABC she worked as a reporter for The Huffington Post in New York and at The Post Newspapers in Perth.
Andrew O'Connor has been a journalist for 30 years, most of that time with ABC News and current affairs as reporter and producer. He currently works as a reporter and video journalist covering stories for ABC News on television, radio and online.
WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
(last updated: 17 March 2015)
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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'WGAR News' monitors the media, including alternative media, focusing on:
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