Re-Invasion Land Grabs

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Mal_Who

Renegade Economists Podcast 97

As broadcast on the almighty 3CR on 8 July, 2009
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Show Notes:
Re-Invasion Land Grabs: Elder Michael Anderson from Euahlayi Nation discusses the intervention into indigenous lands, discussing how this blatant land grab relates to genocidal actions. Some new developments on the intervention virus are spreading.

Related reading from the National Indigenous Times:
Leaked Advice on NT Intervention re Racial Discrimination Act
Helping them ‘live like other Australians’
Making out a special measure, Macklin-style

Michael Anderson, representing the Elders of the Euhalyi Nation, has sent an open letter to the White House and two major newspapers, The Washington Post and the New York Times, asking the US President to help.

Here is the letter:

Dear President Barack Obama,

Like so many in the world we congratulate you on your election to the US Presidency. We acknowledge the inspiration you have given people around the world in terms of being able to look forward to real, significant change.

Here in Australia we believed that the Labor government might have pursued radical changes for Aboriginal people after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made his apology over 12 months ago. Twelve months on we find ourselves in a worse situation than we were in the 1950s and 1960s. More Aboriginal children are currently being removed from their families than in the 30 years between 1937 and 1967. These children are generally being placed in overcrowded institutions or with non-Aboriginal foster parents.

In our view this is tantamount to a continuation of the former policies that were genocidal in their form and nature to forcefully remove of children of Aboriginal parentage into the dominant societal norms, where they have no access or influence of their own culture, language and traditions. We thought the apology of Kevin Rudd 12 months ago would be a warning for all concerned that this would never happen again.

On the issue of land, culture and religion, Kevin Rudd and his government have now seen fit to wield the big rod of the military by imposing what is martial law against the Aboriginal Peoples in the Northern Territory, in the guise of an intervention to protect children from abuse. It appears as though the child assault issue statistically is, in fact, a non-issue compared to the other agendas that are being rolled out under the cover of the intervention.

The forced acquisition of land under this intervention creates total control of all Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory, more than one third of the landmass. These traditional homelands of the Aboriginal people are now under the control of the military. Moreover, these powers include signing to multinational corporations mineral explorations and mining rights to any of these lands.

It should be noted also that the acquisition of these lands under this Act has, thus far, been without any formal payment of cash compensation to those affected, as is required under the Australian Constitution.

The effectiveness of the Australian media by supporting the government’s agendas without a balanced thorough investigative scrutiny in favour of Aboriginal people permits a major racist abuse of human rights against Aboriginal Peoples.

More recently the Australian government under Prime Minister Rudd’s leadership shocked a gathering of 300 hundred Aboriginal people in NSW, representing all Aboriginal Land Councils throughout NSW, when his Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Jenny Macklin, (a non-Aboriginal person) informed the delegates that the federal government’s policy for expending public funds for social and welfare housing and other infrastructural requirements in those communities, is now dependent upon the Aboriginal people’s willingness to sign over 40-year leases of their lands to the Commonwealth government. This type of governance is not part of the democratic process. This, for us, is dictatorship and the language of this policy smacks of absolute tyranny, knowing that Aboriginal people have no defensive mechanisms or other alternatives in the event of them saying no.

We would find it absolutely disturbing if you would tolerate this type of political leadership anywhere in the world. As Aboriginal people we would expect that the mode of change that was being promoted during the US electoral campaigns with its theme “Change can happen” could spread throughout the world and that you would take a leading role in calling for that change to occur. In our case in Australia we desperately need change.

This open letter is our diplomatic appeal to you as President of the United States to inform the Australian Prime Minister during his visit later this month that if America can do it, so too can Australia. Racism in legislation or in practice against defenceless peoples is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.

Michael Anderson

Leader of Euahlayi Nation.

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