26/08/09: INTERVENTION WALK-OFF COMMUNITY SEEKS UN SUPPORT

Contents:
Intervention Walk-off Community seeks UN support
Welcome to the Ampilatwatja walk off blog site
Updated NT Intervention complaint sent to United Nations
Visit by UN Expert, James Anaya
Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps takeover
Stolen Wages Campaign – Petition of Support
Other Aboriginal articles

INTERVENTION WALK-OFF COMMUNITY SEEKS UN SUPPORT:

– Media Release

Intervention walkoff’s Blog:
We are refugees in our own country
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/media-releases/
23 Aug 09: “Formal request made to the United Nations
Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights to register us as
refugees with the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner,
under the International Refugee Convention. … Aboriginal
people had no other option but to walk off the Prescribed
Area, thereby removing them from being subject to the NTER
legislation, and which additionally accords them the status
of being internally displaced refugees. “We no longer have
any rights to exist as humans in our own country and are
outcasts in our own community”, says Richard Downs,
spokesperson for the Alyawarra elders. … ”

– Letter

Intervention walkoff’s Blog:
Dear Professor Anaya
[scroll down page] http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/statements/
20 Aug 09: “Dear Professor Anaya. Today, across the
Northern Territory, and since 2007, Indigenous people are
facing a path of destruction through the denial of our
basic human rights under the Federal government’s
intervention. The Aboriginal people of Ampilatwatja,
comprising 30 elders and members of the Alyawarra nation,
walked off their community in July in protest against, and
to remove themselves from, the Australian governments
Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) legislation,
which has subjected them to martial law, exercised by a
military junta, since its enactment in 2007. … ” Richard
Downs

– Statement

Intervention walkoff’s Blog:
Richard Downs, August 23, 2009
[scroll down page] http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/statements/
23 Aug 09: “We seek the support of the UN Special
Rapporteur, Prof. James Anaya, and other international
human rights bodies, to advise the Australian Government to
recognize that, under Article 1, Indigenous people have the
rights to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as
individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms
as recognized in the charter of the United Nations, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international
human rights law; and Article 27, … ”

– Radio

CAAMA Radio afternoon news
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-radio-afternoon-news-25th-of-august-2009/
25 Aug 09: “Aboriginal people in the N.T. claiming refugee
status”

– News

ABC: Aboriginal people seek refugee status
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/26/2667066.htm
26 Aug 09: “A group of Aboriginal people has asked the
United Nations to register them as refugees, saying the
Northern Territory intervention has made them outcasts in
their own country. Richard Downs, a spokesperson for the
Alyawarra Nation, which represents about 4000 people in
central Australia, says the request was handed to the
United Nations special rapporteur, who was visiting the
Northern Territory last week.”

Reuters [US]: Australia Aborigines ask UN for refugee status
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSSYD414720
25 Aug 09: “A group of Australian Aborigines asked the
United Nations on Wednesday for refugee status, claiming
special emergency laws to curb alcohol and sexual abuse in
the remote outback have turned them into outcasts at home.
… “We’ve got no say at all. We feel like an outcast in
our community, refugees in our own country,” Downs told
state radio.”

WELCOME TO THE AMPILATWATJA WALK OFF BLOG SITE:

– New website

Intervention walkoff’s Blog
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/
August 24, 2009: “This blog will be continually updated,
so keep checking for more news and information, including
photos and video of the walk off camp.”

– Support Alyawarr people’s walk-off at Ampilatwatja

Intervention walkoff’s Blog: Support us
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/support-us/
August 24, 2009: “We’re writing to you from our protest
camp in the desert, asking for your support in our struggle
for basic services and rights that many in the cities take
for granted. … ”

UPDATED NT INTERVENTION COMPLAINT SENT TO UNITED NATIONS:

National Indigenous Times:
NT intervention complaint sent to United Nations… again
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=18483
20 Aug 09: “A group of Aboriginal people have again taken
their fight overseas, this time condemning the federal
government for its deceit on its intervention consultations
and Alice Springs town camp takeover in an updated
complaint to the United Nations. … Written on behalf of a
group of Aboriginal people living in prescribed areas under
the intervention, it says that the promised consultations
had been limited and inadequate, that there had been
“little progress” in drafting the redesigned intervention
measures and that the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)
remains suspended. It also mentions the Rudd government’s
compulsory acquisition of the Alice Springs town camp,
saying that it is obvious the Commonwealth would have been
unable to stage the move after the RDA is reinstated.”

VISIT BY UN EXPERT, JAMES ANAYA

– Background

WGAR News:
UN Expert visits Australia to report on Aboriginal Human Rights (18 Aug 09)
http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=145907

WGAR News:
UN Expert James Anaya to examine NT Intervention (19 Aug 09)
http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=145947

WGAR News:
UN Rapporteur visits Aboriginal communities (23 Aug 09)
http://indymedia.org.au/2009/08/23/wgar-news-un-rapporteur-visits-aboriginal-communities-23-aug-09

– Statement and Press Conference coming up

[Dear All, James Anaya’s press conference is primarily for
media but we spoke with the UN organisers and its OK for
others to attend if you RSVP to Ms Francesca Wollaston
02 6270 9200. They are just a bit concerned too many will
turn up!!]

United Nations Information Centre:
Invitation – Statement and Press Conference
by UN Expert on Indigenous People
Professor James Anaya – UN Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of
indigenous people
When:  2:15 pm – 3:15 Thursday 27 August
Where: National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra
RSVP: Ms Francesca Wollaston,
United Nations Information Centre Canberra (02) 6270 9200

– Radio

CAAMA News Radio: CAAMA Radio Exclusive!
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-radio-exclusive/
26 Aug 09: “The United Nations special rapporteur on
Indigenous rights says he has heard both good and bad
reports about the treatment of Aboriginal people in central
Australia. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples
speaks exclusively to Central Australian Aboriginal Media…
Steve Gumerungi Hodder spoke with Professor James Anaya,
Apache/Putachupa decendant about similarities in the
conditions of Indigenous Peoples, as well as limitations and
aims of the United Nations. Professor Anaya visited Central
Australia as part of a fact finding mission focused on
Human Rights concerns for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islanders of Australia.”

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
24 Aug 09: “Barbara Shaw –
Tiga Bayles spoke with Barbara Shaw, Northern Territory
Intervention Rollback Action Group. They spoke about the
Northern Territory Intervention.” [includes discussion of
James Anaya’s visit to Central Australia]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-08-24-70641.mp3

CAAMA News Radio
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-news-24th-aug-2009/
24 Aug 09: “Fed.Indigenous Affairs Minister drops out of
N.T visit with U.N delegate due to “personal reasons”.”

– News

UPI.com: Australia to reinstate its anti-racist act
http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2009/08/24/Australia-to-reinstate-its-anti-racist-act/UPI-87101251127570/
24 Aug 09: “Australian government has reiterated its
intention to bring back the Racial Discrimination Act
within the Northern Territory after it was suspended two
years ago. The comments come as a U.N. special rapporteur
on indigenous human rights is touring some of the country’s
most disadvantaged aboriginal communities investigating
people’s claims of racial discrimination by the territorial
and federal governments.”

Voice [UK]: AUSTRALIA:
Aboriginal allegations against government investigated
http://www.voice-online.co.uk/content.php?show=16123
23 Aug 09: “THE UNITED Nations’ special rapporteur on
indigenous human rights is looking into claims from
Aborigines that the country’s government has breached their
human rights by suspending anti-discrimination laws to
investigate them for child abuse. James Anaya, a US
professor of human rights law, reportedly arrived in the
country on August 16.”

National Indigenous Times:
RDA bypass discriminatory: UN Indigenous expert
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=18482
20 Aug 09: “Suspending the Racial Discrimination Act to
enable the Northern Territory intervention to proceed was –
on the face of it – itself discriminatory, the United
Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Indigenous rights says.”

ALICE SPRINGS ABORIGINAL TOWN CAMPS TAKEOVER:

– Media Release

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP with Warren Snowdon MP:
Alice Springs town camps
http://www.jennymacklin.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/jennymacklin.nsf/content/jm_m__alice_camps_24august2009.htm
24 Aug 09: “The Government will extend the period for
consultations and submissions on the possible acquisition
of the Alice Springs town camps until 27 October 2009. In
the meantime, we will embark on an enhanced information
campaign aimed at providing all town camp residents with
further information on the effects of a possible compulsory
acquisition of the camps.”

– Radio

CAAMA Radio morning news
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-radio-morning-news-26th-august-2009/
25 Aug 09: “Macklin’s methods under fire.”
[includes comments by Barbara Shaw]

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
24 Aug 09: “Barbara Shaw –
Tiga Bayles spoke with Barbara Shaw, Northern Territory
Intervention Rollback Action Group. They spoke about the
Northern Territory Intervention.”
[includes discussion of Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps
takeover and the Federal Court injunction]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-08-24-70641.mp3

– News

National Indigenous Times: Alice Springs town camp
residents to receive notice of takeover: Macklin
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=18491
25 Aug 09: “The Rudd government will deliver notices about
a possible compulsory takeover of Aboriginal town camps to
every tin shed and outdoor mattress in Alice Springs, says
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin. The move comes
after a court found Labor’s previous consultation efforts
were inadequate.”

ABC Alice Springs: Forced acquisition of camps back on cards
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/25/2665911.htm?site=alicesprings
25 Aug 09: “Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, is
once again considering the compulsory acquisition of
Aboriginal town camps in Alice Springs.”

Koori Mail: More talks on town camps: Macklin
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
25 Aug 09: “THE FEDERAL Government will deliver notices
about a possible compulsory takeover of Aboriginal town
camps to every tin shed and outdoor mattress in Alice
Springs, according to Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin. The announcement comes on the eve of a Federal
Court hearing on 31 August  and 1 September which will
examine Labor’s previous consultation efforts.”

Age: More talks on camps takeover
http://www.theage.com.au/national/more-talks-on-camps-takeover-20090824-ewjl.html
25 Aug 09: “A COURT order has forced the Federal Government
to embark on an ”information campaign”, telling residents
of dilapidated town camps around Alice Springs of an
intended takeover. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin said she was disappointed by the Federal Court
injunction, which delayed the handover of control of the
camps. Yesterday she extended the period for public
feedback to October 27.”

STOLEN WAGES CAMPAIGN – PETITION OF SUPPORT:

– Petition of support

Queensland Council of Unions: Stolen Wages Campaign
http://www.qcu.asn.au/223.html
“Send a message to Premier Bligh telling her it’s time for
her government to honour the promises made on stolen wages.
… IT’S TIME TO SETTLE! The Bligh Government’s failure to
honour its promise to pay $55.4 million in reparations to
the stolen wages claimants is incomprehensible.”

– Media Release

Queensland Council of Unions:
Unions ramp up Stolen Wages campaign: it’s time to settle
http://www.qcu.asn.au/224.html
19 Aug 09: “Unions will step-up their campaign for full
recovery of the $55.4 million Stolen Wages reparations,
originally promised in 2002 by former Premier, Peter
Beattie. Litigation will commence in the District Court
today with proceedings to commence on behalf of claimant,
Uncle Conrad Yeatman from Yarrabah.”

OTHER ABORIGINAL ARTICLES:

– Coming up on Television

ABC1: National Press Club Address – Tom Calma: Aboriginal
And Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/guide/netw/200908/programs/NC0906H012D27082009T123000.htm
12:30pm Thursday, 27 Aug 2009

Koori Mail: Calma to reveal rep body model
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
25 Aug 09: “THE outcomes of year-long community
consultations on a proposed new national representative
body for Indigenous Australians will be revealed on
Thursday when Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma hands
the Federal Government a report, including details of the
preferred model for such a body.”

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
Editorial: Before you condemn…
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=18457
20 Aug 09: “Before Alison Anderson walked away from the
Labor party, the Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) was barely getting any press
writes NIT’s acting editor AMY McQUIRE*. A few media
outlets were beginning to question whether the expensive
intervention housing program was actually doing its job.
The fact that the $672 million project had not built any
homes for Indigenous Territorians was starting to do the
rounds.”

National Indigenous Times:
BLACK&WHITE: A future on country
http://www.nit.com.au/community/story.aspx?id=18449
20 Aug 09: “At Gulkula in east Arnhemland, GRAHAM RING
catches up with Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy
Research (CAEPR) Director, Professor Jon Altman, for a yarn
about the future of homelands.”

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Minister slammed over lack of consultation on dump site
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=18486
24 Aug 09: “Environmentalists are outraged federal
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will not consult before
deciding on the location of a nuclear waste dump site and
have accused him of seeking a “short-term political fix” to
the issue. A letter from about 60 traditional owners of
Aboriginal land at Muckaty Station, 120km north of Tennant
Creek, was tabled in federal parliament earlier this week.
The land was controversially nominated as a possible site
for a waste dump by the Northern Land Council last year.
But the letter, which calls for a meeting with Mr Ferguson,
details widespread opposition to a waste facility.”

Brisbane Times: Macklin ‘should quit over report delay’
http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/macklin-should-quit-over-report-delay-20090825-exch.html
25 Aug 09: “Jenny Macklin should be sacked from the federal
indigenous affairs portfolio, says a Northern Territory
senator [Liberal Senator Nigel Scullion] who is calling for
the immediate release of a report into a bungled housing
scheme.”

ABC Indigenous: DOCS accused of overzealous child removal
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/26/2667130.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
26 Aug 09: “The New South Wales Ombudsman will consider
whether the Department of Community Services (DOCS)
followed correct procedure in removing dozens of children
from their families in Lightning Ridge in the state’s west.
… [Ombudsman] Mr Barbour says he will examine whether
DOCS is making a sufficient effort to join in partnership
with Indigenous communities.”

Koori Mail: Aboriginal bust auction sparks protest
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
24 Aug 09: “A DELEGATION of Tasmanian Aboriginal people,
including Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Secretary Nala
Mansell-McKenna, is in Melbourne for a protest tonight at
Sotheby’s. The world-renown auctioneers are offering two
busts of Aboriginal people – Truganini and Woureddy – which
the delegation says depicts the myth of extermination. Full
story in our 9 September edition.”

National Indigenous Times: Sothebys defends Aboriginal
stance and withdraws Tasmanian works
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=18496
26 Aug 09: “Sothebys auction house has defended its respect
for Aboriginal Australians after withdrawing two
controversial busts from sale. Sothebys initially ignored
calls from Aboriginal activists to pull the 1836 busts of
Tasmanian Aboriginal leaders Woureddy and his wife
Truganini. The activists, led by lawyer Michael Mansell,
say the busts perpetuate the racist myth that Truganini was
the last “full-blood” Tasmanian Aboriginal person.”

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