Australia: Racial Discrimination and Apartheid

Opposition growing to racially discriminatory intervention in Northern Territory Aboriginal Communities

 

Legislation is currently before the Australian Senate to extend the Northern Territory Emergency Response (often called just The Intervention) in 73 aboriginal indigenous communities for another 10 years. The intervention was instituted in 2007 by the conservative Howard Government claiming it was to stop domestic violence and child abuse in indigenous communities. But others like John Pilger claim it was a land grab, about mining or "smashing Aboriginal organisations, demonising Aboriginal people and forcing migration". It arose from the Northern Territory Government Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse. Investigative journalist John Pilger has debunked the reason for The Intervention with statistics saying in 2010: "Out of 7433 Aboriginal children examined by doctors, 39 were referred to the authorities for suspected abuse. Of those, four possible cases have been identified. In other words, as Professor Alastair Nicholson, a former chief justice of the Family Court, has pointed out, this is no more than the rate of child abuse in white Australia."

The Intervention was continued by the Rudd and Gillard Labor Governments. Initially supported by some aboriginal spokespeople, the top down intervention included extra policing in aboriginal communities, compulsory income management, compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal land, the assertion of extensive powers by the Commonwealth Government over Aboriginal communities, and alcohol and pornography restrictions in prescribed areas. It has been widely criticised as being inefficient, ineffective, has failed to delivered jobs to aboriginal people, racially discriminatory, a denial of fundamental human rights, that won't protect children.

The initial Intervention legislation in 2007 entailed suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act and was strongly opposed by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. A 2008 action plan by HREOC to modify the intervention was effectively ignored. In 2009 a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Human Rights, James Anaya, criticised Australia finding the Intervention to be a "racially discriminatory treatment of indigenous individuals and communities" and "incompatible with Australia’s human rights obligations" (PDF report | Video News Report). In February 2012 a group of emminent Australians signed a Statement on Aboriginal Rights (PDF) for ending all discriminatory practices and opposing the extension of the Intervention.

Recent consultations with aboriginal communities for the extension have been flawed and perfunctory at best, as evidenced by the Senate Hearing at Maningrida 22 February 2012 (Video). Indigenous people and communities in the Northern Territory are fighting for their freedom. Seven leaders from aboriginal communities where the NT Intervention is in place said in January 2012 'Enough is enough' in a video Joint Submission to the Senate Committee (video).

Related: Stop the NT Intervention | Stand for Freedom | Stand for Freedom Campaign Video | Senate Report | ANTaR Background info on NT intervention
Australia Indymedia Coverage: Stronger futures will kill us: Maningrida | Stand For Freedom on Facebook | Aboriginal Catholic Ministry: Committee report ignores concerns | ANTaR concerned that community support was not obtained | National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission: Stronger Futures or stronger policing | Uniting Church disappointed by Senate report

Australian Lawyers Alliance, National President, Greg Barns said in a 14th March media release (PDF) “This legislation is racist, oppressive and the product of poorly conducted consultations,” and compared it to Apartheid in South Africa or segregation in the USA. In an opinion article in the Sydney Morning Herald he said "In Australia, policy-makers are paying lip service to human rights considerations and repeatedly developing policy that is in breach of international law." The legislation may come under challenge in Australia's High Court.

The Senate Committee charged with reviewing the Stronger Futures Bills on 14th March announced in a majority report it supported the passage of the controversial legislation despite widespread community concern about its coercive measures according to the Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTar) organisation. “Despite strong public opposition, the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee last night delivered a majority report which supported passage of the Stronger Futures bills with only minor amendments.” The Greens Senator on the committee issued a minority report urging the Senate to reject NT Intervention Expansion.

The campaign against this bill has been gathering momentum. Watch this video here on the Stand for Freedom website. Sign the petition which now has over 30,000 signatures. The Government is deliberately ignoring the consultation process in the form of the Senate Committee where communities such as Maningrida expressed their hostility to the bill. The Nygoongar Embassy in Perth has also rejected the bill instead calling for Australia to Pay the Rent.

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The Intervention is about mining

Ray Jackson 17.Mar.2012 23:21

 http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/03/the-intervention-is-about-mining

“It was fraud to include Aborigines in the 1967 census”

Nuclear Worrier 19.Mar.2012 02:46



Goodooga, northwest NSW, 19 March 12 – An Aboriginal leader has thrown open the possibility of Commonwealth government having “committed a major fraud against the Australian public” in connection with the 1967 referendum that included Aborigines in the national census for the first time.

Michael Anderson, leader of the Euahlayi nation and spokesman for a movement to form a sovereign union of Aboriginal nations, suggests in an open letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard that still valid British law excluded Aborigines from being counted “because they were independent Peoples as recognised in Pacific Islanders Protection Act 1875”.

Anderson, a lawyer by training, writes in his letter, copied to Coalition leader Tony Abbott and Greens leader, Bob Brown: “Our understanding is that Section 127 of the Australian Constitution: ‘In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted.’

“In effect the 1967 referendum was a unilateral attempt by the Commonwealth to fraudulently incorporate Aboriginal people as Australian citizens destined for assimilation, without our free prior and informed consent,” Anderson tells the Prime Minister.

“I draw your attention to the fact that the recent proposal for a referendum in 2013 to, at least, include Aboriginal people in the preamble of the Australian Constitution is yet another attempt by the Commonwealth to fraudulently acquire Aboriginal acquiescence to an illegal occupying colonial power.

“The Aboriginal individuals advocating for inclusion of Aboriginal people in the preamble of the Constitution are committing treason against Aboriginal Peoples.”

Anderson, the last survivor of the four young men who set up the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra in 1972, is visiting Aboriginal communities across the length and breadth of Australia to promote sovereignty.

About 40 nations in the Murray Darling Basin are already on board.

The letter:

Open letter to PM Julia Gillard 18 March 2012

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to seek an answer as to whether the 1967 referendum to amend section 127 of the Constitution was valid.
I call upon the Commonwealth government to provide the written evidentiary proof that the States did in fact refer this matter of Aboriginal Affairs to the Commonwealth, as required under Section 105A of the Australian Constitution; and, if so, were any conditions applied for the referral.
If due process was not followed properly the Commonwealth government has committed a major fraud against the Australian public.
In the case of NSW, it took the Commonwealth and the States until 1975 to divide the responsibility of Aboriginal Affairs between the Commonwealth and the states. Similar arrangements with other States were made at this time.
This is an important consideration because, since the Pacific Islanders Protection Act 1875, it is incumbent on the colonial states to negotiate with Aboriginal Peoples over land acquisition as the colony expanded, but Aboriginal Peoples have been defrauded by the use of superior force to remove them from their lands and waters, resulting in our people becomes displaced Peoples and refugees in this continent.
The second matter the 1967 referendum dealt with was the deceitful and fraudulent method by which they obtained patrimony. There was a legal reason why Aboriginal people were not counted in the census; because they were independent Peoples as recognised in Pacific Islanders Protection Act 1875, in which Aboriginal Peoples were legally identified as having independent sovereignty.
Our understanding is that Section 127 of the Australian Constitution:
‘In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted.’
was inserted by the Home Office in London during the drafting of the British Act of parliament which created the Australian Constitution in 1901. Presumably the Home Office was well aware of the power and implications of the Pacific Islanders Protection Act 1875.
In effect the 1967 referendum was a unilateral attempt by the Commonwealth to fraudulently incorporate Aboriginal people as Australian citizens destined for assimilation, without our free prior and informed consent.
I draw your attention to the fact that the recent proposal for a referendum in 2013 to, at least, include Aboriginal people in the preamble of the Australian Constitution is yet another attempt by the Commonwealth to fraudulently acquire Aboriginal acquiescence to an illegal occupying colonial power. The Aboriginal individuals advocating for inclusion of Aboriginal people in the preamble of the Constitution are committing treason against Aboriginal Peoples.
I look forward to receiving the information requested.
Regards
Michael Anderson
 ghillar29@gmail.com 0427 292 492
cc: Leader of the Opposition, Mr Tony Abbott
cc: Leader of the Greens, Mr Bob Brown




RobertPattinson

RobertPattinson 03.Apr.2012 09:22

The intervention was instituted in 2007 by the conservative Howard Government claiming it was to stop domestic violence and child abuse in indigenous communities. But others like John Pilger claim it was a land grab,
Thanks
Best regards
robert
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