JUNE 21: Stop the NT intervention

Rallies will be held in Melbourne, Sydney, Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth,
Brisbane, Wollongong and Adelaide.

Please forward widely...


Aboriginal Control of Aboriginal Affairs

National Day of Action - 12pm Saturday June 21st @ State Library

- Repeal all "NT intervention" legislation
- Restore the Racial Discrimination Act
- Fund infrastructure and community controlled services
- Sign and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

June 21 will mark one year since the Howard Government announced the NT
intervention. Far from improving child welfare, the intervention has
created a new wave of dispossession and is compounding social problems.

The Racial Discrimination Act has been suspended, land taken over and
business managers imposed on communities.

The universal quarantining of welfare payments, the closure of many
Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP) and the compulsory
acquisition of Aboriginal property has forced thousands of people from
their communities into urban centres.

Bagot town camp in Darwin, for example, has increased in population from
500-1200 people since the intervention. People are facing extreme hardship
without jobs, services or stable accommodation.

While the Rudd Labor government made a symbolic apology for the Stolen
Generations, in practice, it has retained and expanded Howard's explicitly
racist intervention laws. The government refuses to acknowledge the social
break down taking place. They continue to deny protection under the Racial
Discrimination Act.

Aboriginal people are suffering stark discrimination as they are forced to
stand in segregated queues in Centrelink, in supermarkets and in schools.
The practice of traditional culture is becoming impossible for many,
unable to travel due to welfare restrictions. As Lyle Cooper, Vice
President Bagot Community has said, "I thank you Prime Minister Rudd for
your apology.(but) it's an invasion all over again. We are being told
where to shop, what to eat, how to act and how to live".

Communities continue to stand up against the intervention. Scores of
representatives from "prescribed areas" traveled to join the 2000 strong
Canberra Convergence at the opening of the new Parliament. Many more will
come from communities around the Northern Territory to protest in Alice
Springs and Darwin as part of the national protests on 21 June.

One of the strongest examples is Yuendumu, where a strategy of
non-cooperation has held off repeated attempts by the government to take
over local programs and implement "income management". Jeannie Nungarrayi
Egan from the community council has said, "No body likes it, we have to
control our own community, we're going to push out the quarantine".

Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma recently released a report which
demonstrates how NT intervention legislation contravenes numerous UN
charters to which Australia is signatory, including International
Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR); and the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

In July Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs will begin a
review of the Intervention. We need to bring thousands of people out onto
the streets around the country to ensure grass-roots voices are no longer
ignored. The new Government must break with the assimilationist policies
of the Howard era. They must act on the UN

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A massive injection of
funds and resources into communities is badly needed, but cannot come at
the expense of basic human rights. Only an approach which respects
self-determination will lead to improvements in community life.

Stop the intervention, Stop the Racism - Human Rights for all!

Rallies will be held in Melbourne, Sydney, Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth,
Brisbane, Wollongong and Adelaide.


Rally endorsed by the national conference called by the Aboriginal Rights
Coalition on Sunday May 25 in Sydney attended by over 200 people. Support
from Aboriginal leaders and activists includes: Barbara Shaw (Mt Nancy
town camp, Alice Springs), Lyall Cooper (President of Bagot community,
Darwin), Harry Nelson (President, Yuendumu community council), June Mills
(Long-grass association, Darwin), Pat Eatock, Brian Butler, Shireen
Malamoo, Millie Ingram, Pastor Ray Minniecon, Mitch, Peta Ridgeway, Heidi
Norman, Shane Phillips

Supportive organisations include: Maritime Union of Australia (MUA NSW &
NT), Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Railway Tram
and Bus Union (RBTU NT), Australian Services Union (ASU NT), Top End
Aboriginal Conservation Alliance, Australians for Native Title and
Reconciliation (ANTaR NSW & NT), Indigenous Social Justice Association,
Alliance for Indigenous Self Determination Melbourne, Intervention
Rollback Action Group (Alice Springs), Aboriginal Rights Coalition
(Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth), Australian Young Labor Left,
Friends of the Earth, LASNET, ASEAN, University of Melbourne Student
Union, Swinburne Student Union, Latrobe SRC, Socialist Alternative,
Socialist Alliance, Union Solidarity.

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