14/01/09: NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION: PEACE WALK; CONVERGENCE ON CANBERRA

Contents:
Peace Walk – Sydney to Canberra
Convergence on Canberra 2009
Myths and Facts
Speech by George Newhouse
Intervention Child Health checks
Intervention News

PEACE WALK – SYDNEY TO CANBERRA:

Media Release:

Peace Walk Condemns Toxic NT Intervention
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/peace-walk-condemns-toxic-nt-intervention
9 Jan 09: “Walking to a nuclear-free sovereign beat,
17-day walk demands an end to NT Intervention.
TODAY Friday 9 January 2009, 6am, Sydney: A delegation of
community members and activists will begin a 17 day peace
walk from Sydney to the steps of Parliament House in
Canberra calling for recognition of Indigenous Sovereignty,
an end to the NT Intervention and an end to Australia’s
involvement in the dangerous nuclear-fuel cycle. An
Aboriginal Tent Embassy has been set up in Victoria Park,
Sydney to launch the walk. Itinerary attached.”

News:

9 News: Indigenous activists begin rights walk
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/716605/indigenous-activists-begin-rights-walk
9 Jan 09: “A group of Indigenous activists and community
members have begun a 17-day walk from Sydney to Canberra
seeking an end to the Northern Territory intervention. …
The activists will also converge on Parliament House on
February 3 – the first day back for federal parliament in
2009 – to protest for Aboriginal human rights. “The NT
Intervention is the most recent attack on our human rights,
our collective rights as Indigenous peoples and our
sovereign rights as the true custodians of these lands,”
activist Darren Bloomfield said in a statement.”

To support the Peace Walkers en route with drinks, food, money;
or even to walk with them for a time:
Ring Inge on the Walk on 0418 345 686.
Also, the walkers with need a support vehicle.

CONVERGENCE ON CANBERRA 2009:

Statement:

Stop the racism …
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/
[scroll down page] http://stoptheintervention.org/
“In February 2008, Prime Minister Rudd apologized to the
Stolen Generations committing the government to, “A future
where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the
past must never, never happen again”. But injustices are
being perpetuated under the NT Intervention. The paternalism
that created “the gap” between the lives of Aboriginal
people and the rest of Australia is being fostered by the
Intervention and the renewed push for assimilation. The
solution to the poverty and disadvantage of Aboriginal
communities begins with self-determination – allowing
affected communities to decide what programs are needed and
how they will be implemented. The Labor government’s own
NTER Review (13 October 2008) stated, “…addressing
specific concerns in Aboriginal communities does not
require the exclusion of fundamental human rights such as
the Racial Discrimination Act.” ”

To endorse the Convergence on Canberra 2009, please E-mail:
rollbacktheintervention@gmail.com
and
stoptheintervention@gmail.com

Media Release:

Intervention Rollback Action Group:
NT Aboriginal delegation to challenge Income Management in Canberra
http://www.sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/nt-aboriginal-delegation-challenge-income-management-canberra
12 Jan 09: “A delegation of Aboriginal people from
“prescribed areas” in the Northern Territory will challenge
the “quarantining” of their Centrelink entitlements while
in Canberra for a protest convergence. … While in
Canberra, delegates on the “Income Management” system
imposed by the Intervention will be forced to negotiate
with Centrelink to have 50% of their entitlements
distributed as storecards or deposited as credit in
Canberra shops. The delegation argues that these measures
are in breach of legislative protections against
discrimination that exist in the ACT. These include the
Human Rights Act 2004, which establishes a “bill of rights”
for the ACT.”

News:

SMH: Aborigines to converge on ACT in protest
http://news.smh.com.au/national/aborigines-to-converge-on-act-in-protest-20090113-7fyc.html
13 Jan 09: “Aboriginal protesters will converge on Canberra
for the start of the parliamentary year to demand an end to
income management (IM). A key plank of the federal
intervention to stamp out child sex abuse, IM ensures half
of people’s welfare money is spent on essentials, instead
of alcohol, drugs and gambling. But critics of the blanket
quarantining system say the policy is “racist and onerous”,
and forces Aborigines further into poverty.”

Fundraising:

Rollback the Intervention: Art Work For Sale
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/335/
“This is the start of our art sale to raise funds to take a
delegation of Northern Territory Prescribed Area people to
Canberra for the Convergence on 1-5 February 2009.”

MYTHS AND FACTS:

Stop the Intervention: Myths and Facts
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts
“Reality check on the NT intervention:
1. Myth – The intervention is improving the lives of
Aboriginal people in the NT …
2. Myth – The intervention is designed to address child
sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities …
3. Myth –  Successive governments have “thrown money” at the
remote communities, and yet conditions continue to worsen …
4. Myth – Evidence shows children are eating better since
the intervention …
5. Myth – Racial discrimination is ok because the Rudd
Government wants to “Close the Gap” …
6. Myth – Aboriginal women in the NT support the
Intervention”

SPEECH BY GEORGE NEWHOUSE:

Stop the Intervention:
Human Rights Day Speech by George Newhouse
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/speeches/hr-day-13-12-08
13 Dec 08: “Today is supposed to be a celebration. It’s 60
years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But
we can’t enjoy this momentous event when Australian
Aboriginals are being subjected to Government sanctioned
racism. I’m not speaking about individual acts of racism
but a co-ordinated legislative campaign directed at
Aboriginal Australians. No one could argue about the
importance of protecting women and children, which was the
ostensible reason for the so called “Intervention”, but in
reality there is not even a tenuous connection between many
of the measures and the disease they are alleged to cure.
For example – How does taking Aboriginal Land under 5 year
leases protect little children? It doesn’t and that makes
that law racist and a breach of Australia’s International
obligations.” George Newhouse

INTERVENTION CHILD HEALTH CHECKS:

Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin:
Progress of the Northern Territory Emergency Response child
health check initiative: preliminary results from the child
health check and follow-up data collections
http://healthbulletin.org.au/articles/progress-of-the-northern-territory-emergency-response-child-health-check-initiative-preliminary-results-from-the-child-health-check-and-follow-up-data-collections/
9 Jan 09: “Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2008)
… The report acknowledges that follow-up care was
required due to the chronic nature of the conditions
treated. It concluded that many of the conditions could be
controlled through health intervention however, prevention
required attention to the poor living conditions, poverty,
overcrowding and inadequate nutrition experienced in the
communities.”

INTERVENTION NEWS:

WA Today: NT stores ‘better run’ than in WA
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/nt-stores-better-run-than-in-wa-20090101-78dz.html
5 Jan 09: “Veteran Aboriginal activists say remote
community stores are now much better run in the Northern
Territory than those west of the border. … Peter Yu,
former chairman of the Kimberley Land Council, finished a
stint this year chairing the Federal Government’s Northern
Territory Emergency Response Review. Under the emergency
response, remote community stores had to be licensed. “For
all the negative aspects (of the NT intervention) the
licensing of stores has had a positive benefit,” he said.”

ABC: Intervention ‘a mark of the failure of self-government’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/02/2458095.htm
2 Jan 09: “The former chief minister of the Northern
Territory, Paul Everingham, says the federal government was
wrong to split responsibility for Aboriginal affairs when
it granted self-government 30 years ago. … And a former
minister in the Fraser federal government says the
mismanagement of the declaration of the Territory’s
self-government created the environment that led to last
year’s federal intervention. Fred Chaney says the Northern
Territory has never recovered from the way the Commonwealth
withdrew.”

ABC: NT Govt’s outstations policy ‘on track’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/29/2456081.htm
29 Dec 08: “The Northern Territory Government says it’s on
track to have a new policy framework for Aboriginal
outstations by June next year. … The Deputy Chief
Minister Marion Scrymgour says the consultation process has
encouraged debate about how the outstations can be used
more productively. “There are homelands that are viable,
unfortunately we have a whole lot of outstations that
aren’t viable, and we’ve gotta look at what are the
opportunities that we can take and do, to utilise that
unused infrastructure that is out there in those remote
communities.” “

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