Support for WA Remote Communities is Going Global
Newsletter date: 28 March 2015
* Video: NITV News: Support for WA Remote Communities is Going Global
* Open Letter: Sovereign Union Letter to United Nations - SOS Forced closure of Aboriginal homeland communities in WA
* Photo: Sovereign Union facebook: "Here is Sovereign Union founder and convenor Ghillar Michael Anderson speaking on a Russian TV program on Thursday night by Skype."
* News Analysis: Charlotte Chabas, Le Monde: En Australie, la colère des Aborigènes face au « mépris » de leur culture: "The World: In Australia Aboriginal People's anger faces the 'contempt' of their culture"
* News Analysis: teleSUR: Australians Rally against Closure of Aboriginal Communities
* Media Release: Sisters of Saint Joseph: Josephites express profound concern at proposed Government plans to withdraw basic services to Aboriginal communities
* Media Statement: Bishops Commission for Relations with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders: What Choice? Aboriginal peoples have the right to decent services where they live
* Joint Urgent Appeal: Franciscans International & Edmund Rice International: Forced Displacement of Aborigines in West Australia
* Background: Franciscans International - a voice at the United Nations: Indigenous Peoples
* News Analysis & Video: Heeni Brown, Maori Television: NZ MP's support Aboriginal protest over proposed closure of indigenous communities
* Analysis / Opinion: Royce Kurmelovs, Al Jazeera: Shutting down Australia's Aboriginal areas
* News Analysis: Alan Austin in France, Independent Australia: Abbott trashes Australia's reputation abroad - again
* Analysis / Opinion: Marie McInerney, BBC News: Australia's remote indigenous communities fear closure
* Facebook: Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities in Australia
* Background: Diet Simon, sourced from WGAR, Linksunten Indymedia: Aboriginal Australian communities send a powerful message to government
* 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)
NITV News: Support for WA Remote Communities is Going Global
23 Mar 15: "What started as a simple tweet ten days ago has evolved into an online campaign opposing the removal of Aboriginal people from their homelands. Thousands of supporters are still using the campaigns official hash tag 'SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA' to help those remote communities under threat in WA. NITV News journalist Tara Callinan has more."
- Open Letter
Sovereign Union Letter to United Nations - SOS Forced closure of Aboriginal homeland communities in WA
20 Mar 15: "H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of UN General Assembly, New York
Re: SOS - Forced closure of Aboriginal homeland communities in Western Australia
I write this letter as a matter of urgency. Despite a national day of protest across the whole of the Australian continent on 19 March 2015 against the forced closures of Aboriginal homeland communities in Western Australia and South Australia, the governments have arrogantly ignored our protests and continue unabated. The mainstream media in Australia are blacking out any attention as if the forced closures are not happening.
We draw your attention to our website www.sovereignunion.mobi and in particular our Facebook page which records the Global Day of Action against the forced closure of homeland communities in Western and South Australia:
[ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sovereign-Union/340478969357448?ref=hl ]
This is a cry for help as our communities do not have the resources to stave off the Australian assault on Aboriginal Peoples and their lands. We humbly make this plea to you as the Secretary-General of the United Nations to make a formal diplomatic approach to the Australian government to remind them of their international obligations in respect to the Human Rights covenants Australia has ratified. ...
We understand the international protocols associated with international diplomacy, however, the current extenuating circumstances that have now arisen in Australia, with respect to government assaults against Aboriginal Peoples and their communities, can no longer be overlooked by the international community as an internal domestic matter. ...
Sincerely, Ghillar Michael Anderson, Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic"
Sovereign Union facebook
19 Mar 15: "The 'G' word is spreading around the globe - Many people want to support the First Nations and Peoples on this continent and others what to know more about the treacherous actions of Australian governments. Here is Sovereign Union founder and convenor Ghillar Michael Anderson speaking on a Russian TV program on Thursday night by Skype."
- News Analysis
Le Monde: En Australie, la colère des Aborigènes face au « mépris » de leur culture: "The World: In Australia Aboriginal People's anger faces the 'contempt' of their culture"
Le Monde: http://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/article/2015/03/19/en-australie-la-...
19 Mar 15: "FRENCH MEDIA - Some of the content of this article never or rarely makes the mainstream media in Australia.
Headline translates: "In Australia Aboriginal People's anger faces the 'contempt' of their culture" - the quotation marks on contempt implies annihilation/devastation of culture. (SU will have this properly translated and placed on the website) but in the meantime you may be interested in the GOOGLE TRANSLATION here ...
By Charlotte Chabas 19/03/2015
"First, they stole our children, now it is our homes. "The banner that opened the procession of the city of Perth, Thursday, March 19, 2015 in Australia, summed up decades of mistrust of the Aboriginal community vis-à-vis the authorities of the country at the" Close the Gap Day " ("The day to close the gap"), an annual event initiated by associations fighting for equal rights. Mobilizing all the more bitter it comes just days after a speech by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who said he was in favor of closing, in the west of the country, aboriginal villages because of their cost to the Australian society.? ... "
- News Analysis
teleSUR: Australians Rally against Closure of Aboriginal Communities
19 Mar 15: "People have protested in state capitals and towns around Australia against plans to close 150 remote Aboriginal communities. Thousands rallied Western Australia Wednesday, following similar actions last week in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide, to protest against plans to close 150 of Western Australia’s 274 remote Indigenous communities. ... In Melbourne, protest organier Meriki Onus, a member of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, told Green Left Weekly that Abbott’s comments saying living in remote communities was a "lifestyle choice" were "blatantly racist." ... "
- Media Release
Sisters of Saint Joseph: Josephites express profound concern at proposed Government plans to withdraw basic services to Aboriginal communities
17 Mar 15: "At their bi-annual meeting this week, Josephite leaders from around Australia expressed their dismay at the Commonwealth Government’s plan to cease funding Municipal and Essential Services (MUNS) to remote Aboriginal communities.
From July 2015, the Commonwealth will hand over these major areas of responsibility - power, water, sewerage and municipal services - to the States.
‘This is a decision that we fear will cause significant hardship to some of Australia’s most disadvantaged communities’, said Josephite leader, Sr Monica Cavanagh. ‘We believe that it will exacerbate further the health, educational, and social privation being suffered by Aboriginal Australians, and further undermine the progress being made to close the gap.’
Every Australian citizen has the right to the delivery of essential services, including the supply of power and water. This determination by the Commonwealth Government could mean that remote areas, already severely deficient in these services, will be forced to close down as amenities are cut. ... "
- Media Statement
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference: Bishops Commission for Relations with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders:
What Choice? Aboriginal peoples have the right to decent services where they live
Sisters of Saint Joseph: http://www.sosj.org.au/_uploads/_cknw/files/150311%20ACBC%20Aboriginal%2...
11 Mar 15: "Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Bishop Christopher Saunders, has posed the question ‘what choice?’ to Prime Minister Tony Abbott after his comment that Aboriginal peoples are living in remote communities as a ‘lifestyle choice’.
"Where is the lifestyle choice?" Bishop Saunders asked. "Communities are under serviced and patently there is insufficient listening to the voices of people in Aboriginal communities. We are forcing Aboriginal people out of their ancestral lands to live in regional towns. The reality is that when a community is closed down people and their families have nowhere to go, so they end up on the streets, separated from their land, heritage, family, culture and spirituality. ... "
- Joint Urgent Appeal
Franciscans International & Edmund Rice International: Forced Displacement of Aborigines in West Australia
12 Dec 14: "This request for an urgent appeal is submitted by Franciscans International and Edmund Rice International, relating to the current situation in Australia, especially the policy of the West Australian Government to strip public services and necessities for living from Aboriginal families and groups, and to forcibly displace them. ...
The implementation of the Government of West Australia’s plans to close between 100 and 150 Aboriginal communities in West Australia will violate the human rights of the indigenous peoples. The rights enshrined in article 8.2 of the UNDRIP [UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples], which stipulates that "States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for (...) any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources." ...
as stipulated by the UNDRIP, the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) should be respected in any government policy affecting indigenous aboriginal communities in Australia. ... "
Franciscans International - a voice at the United Nations: Indigenous Peoples
"An important focus for Franciscans International is defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), particularly the right to their ancestral lands. This issue is closely linked to issues on extreme poverty and the environment. ...
What are the issues?: Despite their diversity, IPs are facing the same problems. ... Indigenous communities are threatened by destruction of the subtle fabric of their culture. ... Many IPs experience forced assimilation by being forced to give up their mother tongue, religion and cultural ways. ... "
- News Analysis & Video
Maori Television: NZ MP's support Aboriginal protest over proposed closure of indigenous communities
12 Mar 15: " ... Here in New Zealand, Tamaki Makaurau MP says he's not surprised with the Australian government's motives. Peeni Henare says, "If aboriginal communities are ripped from their communities, and look at us Maori, we're the example of people being ripped from their communities, they'll be lost. That's what'll happen to those in Australia if the Prime Minister there goes through with it." Here in New Zealand, the Maori Party says Maori politicians need to stand together on this issue and support the Aboriginal communities affected. ... " Heeni Brown, a graduate of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rangi Aniwaniwa and spent her first tertiary years at Auckland and Waikato universities studying Bachelors in Science and Maori. She also loves covering treaty settlements as she is fascinated by the details and stories in historical accounts.
- Analysis / Opinion
Al Jazeera: Shutting down Australia's Aboriginal areas
7 Dec 14: "New funding laws threaten the existence of remote indigenous communities already facing profound social issues. ... Perth, Australia - The West Australian state government may bulldoze 150 remote indigenous communities that it says are too expensive to keep open under a new funding arrangement between federal and state authorities. Canberra has offered each state a one-time, lump-sum payment to take over the responsibility of financing remote Aboriginal communities indefinitely. ... " Royce Kurmelovs
- News Analysis
Independent Australia: Abbott trashes Australia’s reputation abroad - again
14 Mar 15: "There is no place on the globe to escape the opprobrium and embarrassment generated by Australia's uniquely hamfisted prime minister, writes IA's French correspondent Alan Austin. Mon dieu! SHAMELESS, insensitive, outrageous, incredibly racist, intransigent, shameful, disrespectful, lacking humanity and completely disconnected from reality. These are just some of the loathsome labels attached to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as the world’s media again shakes its head in collective disbelief and mild abhorrence. ... " Alan Austin, Freelance journo in France
- Analysis / Opinion
BBC News: Australia's remote indigenous communities fear closure
12 Mar 15: "Derby Aboriginal elder Lorna Hudson was a child when government authorities in the 1960s moved her people from tiny Sunday Island off the remote north-west coast of Western Australia to the mainland. ... Comments earlier this week by Prime Minister Tony Abbott that people had made a "lifestyle choice" to live in these communities have intensified local fears people will be forced out of their homes, many of which are on ancestral land. ... Indigenous leaders say there has been no formal evaluation by the government of the costs and no consultation with the people who live there about what they need or expect. ... " By Marie McInerney, Melbourne, Victoria
Facebook: Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities in Australia
Linksunten Indymedia: Aboriginal Australian communities send a powerful message to government
24 Mar 15: "Red Flag - Thousands of people in more than 30 locations rallied on 19 March to protest against 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!"" Created by: Diet Simon, sourced from Working Group for Aboriginal Rights
WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
(last updated: 24 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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