Newsletter date: 21 May 2012
* Statement: Australia challenged at United Nations over NT laws
* Background to UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
* UnitingJustice: Stronger Futures Call to Action
* Congress: Stop & Listen on New NT Laws Campaign update
* Solidarity: Yolngu nations reignite opposition to leases and Intervention
* SPC Statement of Support for the Yolngu Nations Assembly
* PHAA: Partnership approach missing in Stronger Futures legislation
* More 'Stronger Futures' Legislation related articles
* Background to 'Stronger Futures' new NT Intervention laws
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Let's Talk's Tiga Bayles interviews Kevin Buzzacott
* Background to expansion of Olympic Dam mine challenge
* Interview with Sam Watson over Brisbane tent embassy eviction
* GL: Eyewitness: Brisbane tent embassy eviction was an outrage
* ABC: Portland tent embassy stands firm after 100 days [Vic]
* Perth Now: Swan Valley Nyoongar community returns to Lockridge camp [WA]
* Background to the Aboriginal tent embassies
* Other articles
* STATEMENT: AUSTRALIA CHALLENGED AT UNITED NATIONS OVER NT LAWS
Australia challenged at United Nations over NT laws
Stand for Freedom: http://standforfreedom.org.au/2012/05/16/australia-challenged-at-united-...
16 May 12: "Statement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegations to the United Nations
The United Nations has heard significant criticisms from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegations over race-based laws currently being considered by the Australian Government.
The delegations are rejecting the argument of the Australian Government that the race laws are ‘special measures’ and are therefore not racially discriminatory.
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which is currently in session at the UN Headquarters in New York, has been told that Australia is introducing new laws which treat Aboriginal people differently from all other Australians.
The Northern Territory ‘Stronger Futures’ Bills will extend the 5 year ‘intervention’ laws, which were first enacted in 2007, for another 10 years. ...
Australia must stop the continuing 'framework of dominance' over the first peoples and honour its commitment to comply with its international human rights obligations."
"Statement issued by:
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
Secretariat of the National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agencies
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services
National Native Title Council
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations"
- Related Audio
ABC PM: Extension of NT Intervention in breach of human rights: UN
18 May 12: "The United Nations has heard that Australia is breaching its human rights obligations by moving to extend the Intervention in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. The chairman of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples says it's a major disappointment that the Government is extending laws for another 10 years, without the consent of the people concerned. Les Malezer says the laws are racist. ... "
"LES MALEZER: The major disappointment has been the decision of the Government to extend the Northern Territory Intervention laws for another 10 years without the consent of the people's concerned and without subjecting the proposed new laws to scrutiny against Australia's human rights obligations as a member of the United Nations."
- Related News
newsTracker: Stronger Futures fight taken to the UN
18 May 12: "NATIONAL: The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples has taken the fight against the federal government’s continuation of the Northern Territory intervention to the United Nations. The chairman of the National Congress of Australia’s First People, Les Malezer, spoke at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York this week, where he criticised the proposed 10-year extension of the intervention. He said a "major disappointment" was the decision to extend the laws "without the consent of the peoples concerned"."
Age: Stronger Futures laws slammed at UN
17 May 12: "An Aboriginal leader has taken the fight against the federal government's continuation of the Northern Territory intervention to the United Nations. The chairman of the National Congress of Australia's First People, Les Malezer, spoke at the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues in New York this week, where he criticised the proposed 10-year extension of the intervention. ... The legislation, which has been rebranded as Stronger Futures, is before the Senate and is expected to pass parliament in June." Lisa Martin
Australian: Indigenous leader critical of extension of intervention in UN
18 May 12: "THE chairman of the National Congress of Australia's First People, Les Malezer, has spoken at the United Nations permanent forum on indigenous issues in New York this week, where he criticised the proposed 10-year extension of the intervention. He said a "major disappointment" was the decision to extend the laws "without the consent of the peoples concerned"."
Background to National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Last updated: 5 May 2012
* BACKGROUND TO UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES:
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Joint Intervention delivered by Shane Duffy on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples Organisation Network of Australia - Stronger Futures
Statement on behalf of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
doCip Online Documentation - Indigenous organisations - Pacific
* UNITINGJUSTICE: STRONGER FUTURES CALL TO ACTION
UnitingJustice Australia: Stronger Futures Call to Action
"The Stronger Futures debate in Parliament will resume 18th June. This gives us a few more weeks to voice our opposition to the introduction of the legislation.
The Stronger Futures legislation is a series of Bills that will determine what programs the Government implements for Indigenous communities for the next 10 years. The Bills are an extension of the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act 2007 (the Intervention), and will extend the discriminatory measures by up to a decade.
If passed, some of the discriminatory measures that would be introduced through the Stronger Futures legislation include: ...
You can download the Call to Action Kit which includes: background material on the Stronger Futures legislation; advocacy strategies; information postcards to distribute; and a form letter to complete and send to politicians."
* CONGRESS: STOP & LISTEN ON NEW NT LAWS CAMPAIGN UPDATE
- Campaign update
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Stop & Listen on New NT Laws Campaign update
15 May 12: "Congress opposes the new laws to continue the Intervention in the Northern Territory (the Stronger Futures package).
These bills were introduced to the parliament without being tested against Australia’s human rights obligations (the Parliamentary Scrutiny (Human Rights) Act 2011), as is now required for all new Australian legislation.
We established an electronic letter campaign so supporters of Aboriginal people in the NT who oppose the new laws, could send a message to their Senators. The letter asks Senators to advise what they are doing to have these bills withdrawn and to ensure that Aboriginal people are consulted properly on any future legislation.
The Australian newspaper reported on our campaign – see the story below.
Congress wrote this Letter to the Editor in response to the story ... "
Background to National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Last updated: 5 May 2012
* SOLIDARITY: YOLNGU NATIONS REIGNITE OPPOSITION TO LEASES AND INTERVENTION
Solidarity Online: Yolngu nations reignite opposition to leases and Intervention
May 2012: "The Yolngu Nations Assembly meeting in Ramingining has taken an important stand against the "Stronger Futures" legislation currently before the Senate. ... Now Yolngu clan leaders, representing more than 8000 people across Arnhem Land, are giving this opposition some teeth. Their statement, issued on April 24, "calls on the Senate to discard these bills in full", and demands the reinstatement of Aboriginal controlled local government, bilingual education and an end to the policy of forcing migration into urban "hub towns". Crucially, the statement also, "call(s) on all traditional owners across the Northern Territory to refuse participation in land lease negotiations with the Australian Federal Government, and approval for any exploration licenses… until the Stronger Futures Bill (and those associated) are thrown out"."
WGAR News: Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement concerning 'Stronger Futures' laws and NT policies (4 May 12)
WGAR News: Several organisations express support for the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement (10 May 12)
WGAR News: More organisations state support for the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement (11 May 12)
Respect and Listen compilation:
"Additional Statements calling to Abandon the Stronger Futures Legislation, and to Support the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement:
* Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney [STICS]
* National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC)
* Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (WGAR)"
'concerned Australians' compilation:
Churches, Religious, Organisations and Reconciliation Groups
"Calls to Abandon the Stronger Futures Legislation, and Calls to Support the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement"
* SPC STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE YOLNGU NATIONS ASSEMBLY:
Social Policy Connections Statement of Support for the Yolngu Nations Assembly regarding the Stronger Futures Legislation
"Social Policy Connections (SPC) is an independent, ecumenical, non-profit organisation, motivated and informed by Christian social thinking. Our aim is to expand awareness in Australia of social justice issues, as well as to influence public policy-nationally and globally-for the benefit of all, especially the most disadvantaged.
Given our vision is for a fairer society where all Australians can share equitably in the prosperity of our land, we are committed to seeing disadvantaged communities raised up to enjoy greater wellbeing.
We are disappointed that the Stronger Futures legislation has not taken account of the concerns raised by the Yolngu Nations. The important principle of self-determination which underpinned much of the reconciliation work of the past two decades is eroded when the Indigenous voice is not respected and acted upon. ... "
* PHAA: PARTNERSHIP APPROACH MISSING IN STRONGER FUTURES LEGISLATION
- Media Release
Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA):
Partnership approach missing in Stronger Futures legislation
"The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) is calling on the government to listen to the concerns of the Yolnju Nations Assembly in relation to the new Stronger Futures legislation proposed for the Northern Territory. "Lack of negotiations and the tight time frame of community consultations demonstrate a lack of community ownership and a breakdown in government relationships with communities," said Vanessa Lee, Vice President of the PHAA.
"There is no evidence of community ownership in the legislation. This will make it difficult for the Australian government to achieve the Council of Australian Government’s broader objectives. There is also an underlying issue in relation to the ongoing abuse of trust by government services which continues to undermine community governance and create a sense of disempowerment amongst these people.
"The PHAA is concerned about the violations of human rights that are inherent in the proposed Stronger Futures legislation. ... ""
* MORE 'STRONGER FUTURES' LEGISLATION RELATED ARTICLES:
adelaidenow: Aboriginal Community Constable scheme 'struggling' due to Intervention backlash
18 May 12: "THE HOWARD Government's controversial Northern Territory Intervention scheme was deterring South Australians from becoming Aboriginal Community Constables in the APY Lands, a University SA academic says. Senior advisor on social justice, John Browne said the former federal government's decision in 2007 to take control of affairs at more than 70 Indigenous communities amid claims of child sexual abuse and other social problems had people on APY Lands in the far north-west of the state "wary of authority"."
* BACKGROUND TO 'STRONGER FUTURES' NEW NT INTERVENTION LAWS:
Last updated: 12 May 2012
* BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:
Last updated: 29 April 2012
* LET'S TALK'S TIGA BAYLES INTERVIEWS KEVIN BUZZACOTT:
- Audio Interview
Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane:
Let's Talk's Tiga Bayles interviews Kevin Buzzacott
14 May 12
Listen to this interview on-line:
* BACKGROUND TO EXPANSION OF OLYMPIC DAM MINE CHALLENGE:
Last updated: 21 May 2012
* INTERVIEW WITH SAM WATSON OVER BRISBANE TENT EMBASSY EVICTION:
- Audio Interview
ABC Radio Australia: Brisbane Aboriginal embassy raid continues years of friction
18 May 12: "There was standoff between the Aboriginal community in the city of Brisbane, police, the local council, and the new state government this week. The issue was the building of a tent embassy in Musgrave Park, a major focus point for Aboriginal events and affairs in the city. After complaints from the council and the local Greek community, who intend to run a cultural festival there, on Wednesday over 200 police surrounded the embassy site, made a number of arrests, and dismantled the camp site. The event has once again focussed attention on the friction between Aboriginal people and Queensland officials.
Presenter: Campbell Cooney
Speaker: Sam Watson, Brisbane Aboriginal community worker"
- Related Audio Interview
4BC News Talk: Tent Embassy protest moves online
17 May 12: "As the Aboriginal tent embassy protests continue in Brisbane, local resident Steve Skitmore has founded Change.org, a website were people can lodge a protest that is sent directly to the Lord Mayor, defending Indigenous rights. He joins Gary Hardgrave to explain why he thinks the sovereign embassy should be allowed back in Musgrave Park."
WGAR News: Change.org Petition: Mayor Graham Quirk: allow the return of the Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy to Musgrave Park (18 May 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/18/wgar-news-brisbane-police-move-on-abo...
- Related Audio
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 17-05
17 May 12: "Aborignal leaders in Brisbane have re established the Sovereign Aborignal Tent Embassy at a new site and accepted an offer to meet with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk next week to discuss the future of the Embassy."
- Related News
Perth Now: Evicted protesters call for official probe
18 May 12: "PROTESTERS evicted from an Aboriginal tent embassy have taken their fight to Queensland's corruption watchdog. The moves came after more than 200 police moved protesters out of the makeshift tent embassy in Musgrave Park in South Brisbane on Wednesday. Indigenous activist Sam Watson led a group of about 15 protesters to the Crime and Misconduct Commission's headquarters today."
QUT News: Protests continue at Aboriginal tent embassy in Brisbane
17 May 12: "Protesters at the tent embassy in Musgrave Park say they have reached a verbal agreement with the Brisbane City Council. Indigenous community members held a closed meeting this morning to discuss the future of the protest and the embassy. Traditional owner Shannon Ruska says today was the" start of negotiations with traditional owners of the land". ... Members of the embassy will meet with Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk on Tuesday."
9 News: Future of tent embassy uncertain
17 May 12: "Indigenous leaders will maintain a vigil at a new protest site while they decide on the long-term fate of a make-shift Brisbane tent embassy. ... A smaller group of protesters has set up camp at an alternate, council-approved location adjacent to the park. Local traditional owners are expected to meet Brisbane City Council next Tuesday to discuss their future presence in the park. The group has been protesting for about two months to draw attention to the sovereign rights of indigenous people."
Courier Mail: Tent Embassy members should meet at Jagera Arts Hall
17 May 12: "Tent Embassy members should be able to meet at the Jagera Arts hall on Musgrave Park cultural centre land, councillor Helen Abrahams (Gabba) said on Thursday. Cr Abrahams today called on the Brisbane City Council to open up the hall for use as a meeting place and site for local indigenous ceremonies. She said the forcible removal of the Musgrave Park Tent Embassy emphasised the fact that the indigenous community had no place to meet or hold ceremonies in Brisbane."
- Related Video
ABC: Police move against Brisbane tent embassy
16 May 12: "Indigenous protesters are fronting Queensland Parliament after their tent embassy was dismantled to make way for a Greek festival at Musgrave Park in South Brisbane."
WGAR News: "Brisbane police move on Aboriginal Tent Embassy" The Wire (18 May 12)
WGAR News: "Brisbane City Council to try to forcibly remove Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy" MR (16 May 12)
Sovereign Union: Sovereign Embassy Brisbane
[Musgrave Park, Brisbane, Qld]
Facebook: Brisbane Sovereign Embassy, Musgrave Park
[Musgrave Park, Brisbane, Qld]
* GL: EYEWITNESS: BRISBANE TENT EMBASSY EVICTION WAS AN OUTRAGE
- Eyewitness account
Green Left: Eyewitness: Brisbane tent embassy eviction was an outrage
18 May 12: "Mardi Reardon-Smith gathered at Brisbane’s Musgrave Park with other supporters early on May 16 to support the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, which was later evicted from the park by more than 200 police officers. Her account of the day is below. * * *
On May 16, I witnessed an act I would describe as utterly ignorant and devoid of reason. Having heard the call for support from our brothers and sisters at the Musgrave Park Tent Embassy late Tuesday night, I made the decision to head down in the early hours of the morning and lend assistance by showing my support in any way I could. ... "
* ABC: PORTLAND TENT EMBASSY STANDS FIRM AFTER 100 DAYS [Vic]
- Audio Interview
ABC Western Victoria: Portland tent embassy stands firm after 100 days
18 May 12: "One hundred days after setting up an Aboriginal tent embassy in Portland's main street, organisers are vowing to stay until the Native Title Act is upheld. They say Native Title decisions are being made by people who are not traditional owners of the land. ... Organisers of Portland's Market Square tent embassy say they're being denied the right to make decisions about things like development, tourism and sacred sites."
WGAR News: Tent Embassy set up in Portland’s Market Square, Vic (1 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/01/wgar-news-press-conference-on-stronge...
Sovereign Union: Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy
Facebook: Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy
* PERTH NOW: SWAN VALLEY NYOONGAR COMMUNITY RETURNS TO LOCKRIDGE CAMP [WA]
Perth Now: Swan Valley Nyoongar community returns to Lockridge camp
19 May 12: "SWAN Valley Nyoongars say that they have reclaimed the controversial Lockridge community camp by setting up a tent embassy and have vowed to fight to stay. The community has been at the campsite since Thursday, when neighbours say they scaled the fences to gain entry. The Gallop government closed the campsite in 2003 amid allegations of widespread sexual abuse. Swan Valley Nyungah Community spokesman Herbert Bropho said he would resist any police attempt to remove them from the site. "If the police come I'll stand my ground,'' he said."
Swan Valley Nyoongar community returns to Lockridge camp: History
Sovereign Union: [scroll down page] http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/swan-valley-nyoongar-communit...
Treaty Republic: [scroll down page] http://treatyrepublic.net/content/swan-valley-nyoongar-community-returns...
"History: Archaeological evidence suggests that the area has been inhabited for at least 38,000 years. From the 1830s until the 1940s the land was owned by the Hammersley family, which allowed Aboriginal people to remain on their traditional campsite. ... "
* BACKGROUND TO THE ABORIGINAL TENT EMBASSIES:
Last updated: 18 May 2012
* OTHER ARTICLES:
Perth Indymedia: Phill Moncrieff says WA Labor must commit to justice for Stolen Wages victims
16 May 12: "Yamatji singer/songwriter, rights activist and Stolen Wages campaigner Phill Moncrieff has not given up in the fight for justice for the victims of the Stolen Wages in Western Australia. In March 2012, the WA government said that the living victims only, and not any of families, will be eligible to apply for upto $2,000 from a Government Trust Scheme. The right to application to these funds has been limited to six months from late March and with the expectation that any further claims are extinguished. Long time campaigner Mr Moncrieff said this is not acceptable." By Gerry Georgatos
Perth Indymedia: Broome Shire Rangers and WA Police issue move-on notices today to local civil anti-gas hub protestors at James Price Point
17 May 12: "In the last hour Broome Shire Rangers have been issuing move on notices to camped protestors, all civil, at the Manari Road camp - so it appears all dissent needs to be crushed. Most of the campers at this time are local residents not happy with the prospect of a gas hub. On all tents where there were campers were not nearby move-on-notices were stuck to them. There are thereabouts 200 WA police, in addition to local police, in Broome at this time to put an end to any dissent from protestors to the Woodside led joint venture of a gas hub processing plant at James Price Point." By Gerry Georgatos
Perth Indymedia: $100,000 a day on police to escort Woodside workers while Aboriginal youth dies
16 May 12: "WA Police sent 140 to 200 special response police officers to Broome to escort Woodside workers and their machinery onsite at James Price Point where the gas hub precinct is being considered. ... Broome-based Nyikina rights advocate and economist, Sofia Mirniyinna slammed the police overkill and the reckless expenditure. "Our people are dying at alarming rates, young and old and Barnett and O'Callaghan spend $100,000 a day, money that does not get spent on our people."" By Gerry Georgatos
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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