National Day of Action for Aboriginal Rights!

image” Revolutionary movement and opposition to state power, in the defence of truth is at the heart of anti-imperial struggle.

Frantz Fanon wrote:

“You do not show proof of your nation from its culture….you substantiate its existence in the fight which the people wage against the forces of occupation.

No colonial system draws its justification from the fact that the territories it dominates are culturally non-extant.

Struggle then is the signal of an oppressed peoples still beating heart in a colonial situation.

Action is the life sign of peoples who existence is officially denied……we must fight for what is precious to us, or it will be stolen away and used for someone else’s enjoyment,

Fight, not Talk.”

Sorry means ending the Intervention Repeal the Northern Territory Emergency Response Legislation

Restore the Racial Discrimination Act

Quarantine Racism not Welfare

Stop Black Deaths in Custody


Rally 11am, Saturday 21 June 2008

Parliament House, George Street City.

    Organised by:

    Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC), Brisbane
    For more info contact: 0424 265 730.

59 thoughts on “National Day of Action for Aboriginal Rights!

  1. The Hon Kevin Rudd MP,
    Prime Minister of Australia. 653 Wynnum Rd, Morningside 4170

    Dear Prime Minister,

    The Intervention into the Northern Territory has caused many concerns among the Aboriginal community of Brisbane, as well as those directly affected in the Northern Territory. As you would know, the Intervention was initiated by the Howard government without prior consultation with representatives of the Aboriginal communities affected.

    This in itself would be reason enough to declare a moratorium on the Intervention and begin genuine consultation with the Aboriginal communities. In Darwin and Alice Springs there were protest marches against the Intervention led by representatives of the prescribed communities.

    Having created the emergency in the Northern Territory by years of neglect, the proposition that the only way to remedy those years of deprivation is by suspending the Racial Discrimination Act, imposing business managers, and quarantining welfare, is reminiscent of that infamous statement about destroying that Vietnamese village in order to save it.

    The recent report of the Intervention Task Force recommending that so-called ‘unviable communities’ in the Northern Territory be deprived of funds and support has only added to our alarm at the impact of the Intervention. We also note that statements from Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin indicate that the government may not re-instate the CDEP scheme to ensure the funding of many programs and services in the prescribed communities.

    We note that Tom Calma, HREOC’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, has expressed a number of concerns in a recent report on the Intervention and recommended in particular that the Racial Discrimination Act be re-instated as a priority to ensuring that the fundamental rights of Aboriginal people are being upheld.

    We can only re-iterate that the injection of funds and services into communities in the NT is badly needed but should not come at the cost of the basic rights of Aboriginal people.

    The announced review of the Intervention is an opportunity for the government to establish a process of consultation that was dismissed by the previous government.

    As concerned members of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition in Brisbane, and as your constituents, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss these and other matters with you before the review is finalised in September. Would it be possible to arrange a meeting at a mutually convenient time, so we can directly discuss our concerns with you? I can be contacted at ….

    Yours faithfully,
    Sam Watson
    (Aboriginal Rights Coalition, Brisbane)

  2. Dear Readers,

    Some bona fide comments have been caught on the WordPress Spam list.

    I have just restored all those caught including the ones from John Tracey above.

    I hope that I have not missed any as there were hundreds of spam messages that I had to go through to find the legitimate comments.

    John,

    Everything I said above was from my own experience, with the limitations that implies.

    in solidarity,
    Ian

  3. posted this before, I’ll try again

    Ian,

    You are so wrong.

    Brisbane was protesting before the Tent Embassy and provided much of the leadership for the embassy.

    Prior to 82 Brisbane had seen many Aboriginal protests, the formation of the Brisbane chapter of the Black Panthers, the development of the legal, health, medical and childcare services.

    Just because the white left did not notice this movement until 1982 does not mean it was immature before then.

    http://www.nla.gov.au/pub/nlanews/2004/jul04/article4.html

    “At around midday on Tuesday, 23 November 1971, approximately 200 Aboriginal people took to the streets of Brisbane in protest against the Queensland Government’s proposed Aborigines Bill.”

  4. Ian,

    it was not until 1982 that white people noticed there was an Aboriginal protest movement.

    “At around midday on Tuesday, 23 November 1971, approximately 200 Aboriginal people took to the streets of Brisbane in protest against the Queensland Government’s proposed Aborigines Bill.”
    http://www.nla.gov.au/pub/nlanews/2004/jul04/article4.html

    The period between 1967 -1982 saw some of the most militant Aboriginal protests in Brisbane, the formation of the Brisbane chapter of the Black Panthers and the formation of the health, legal, housing and childcare services.

    82 represented a quantum leap into a national protest movement that was lead by the Brisbane mob who were both the most radical and most “mature” urban Aboriginal community in Australia, at a time when Redfern was just beginning to build its momentum.

    You may not have noticed the maturity of the movement before 82 but this does not mean it was immature.

  5. Date: 10 Jul 2008 18:38
    Subject: [stoptheintervention] Picket on Monday 14th
    To: stoptheintervention@yahoogroups.com

    Picket Kevin Rudd’s Office
    Demand Rudd’s NT review
    Repeal all NT intervention Legislation


    12pm
    Monday July 14th,
    630 Wynnum Road
    Morningside

    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

    We will be calling on Kevin Rudd to meet with Brisbane Elders to address their opposition to the continued intervention policies.

    Join the campaign to demand an end to the intervention – in the NT, QLD and WA!

    Our next meeting is Wednesday July 23rd, 6:30pm, Trades and Labour Council Building, 16 Peel St, South Brisbane – call 0424 265 730 for more info

    Aboriginal Rights Coalition

  6. John,

    You say your questions in Comment #48 are rhetorical.

    Nevertheless I have attempted to give some answers from my own experience (sic).

    My answers are indented and in quotes.

    Ian

  7. Thanks Ian,

    My guess is there would be over one hundred Aboriginal organisations in South East Queensland, at least half of them in Brisbane. While it is true most people identify themselves by kinship this does not dismiss the importance of Aboriginal controlled organisations or the fact that they were not represented while many white groups were.

    Murri Watch was one of the aboriginal organisations represented at the rally

    You are old enough to remember Aboriginal rallies when leaders of the legal service, medical centre and housing service routinely spoke at all Aboriginal rallies. Large numbers of Murris attended the rallies. There would be an invited white speaker but beyond that the platform was black. It is not hard to suggest that what is occurring with ARC is something altogether different from the historic Aboriginal struggle.

    John,
    As you know, protest rallies are only one small part of Aboriginal Resistance to colonialism.

    However, from my experience of such rallies, it was not until the 1982 Commonwealth Games that Aboriginal people organised and dominated protest rallies for aboriginal rights in the manner you describe above.

    The protest against the Commonwealth Games took the aboriginal movement in Queensland to another level of maturity and organisation that I had not previously witnessed.

    For example, in 1971, I went on strike with 3,000 other students and staff at UQ in support of protests against the Springbok Rugby Union tour. Like others, my protest was motivated by opposition to the racist policies of Qld governments against Aboriginal people. However the Murris who participated in the protests at the Tower Mill Motel and the Exhibition ground did not have nearly the same level of organisation they had later in 1982 and 1988 in Brisbane.

    One reason was a lot of the protests came from the university in those days and there were only a few Murris who were students at Uni back then. I remember talking with Len Watson at UQ about that time or earlier, I think Cheryl Buchanan was around then, I may be wrong but I think others like Marcia Langton and Sam and Lilla Watson were at Uni later. Of course, Murris (including Sam) were arrested at the Tower Mill. That was when the country police charged the demonstration and put some protestors in hospital. My personal experience and therefore observations are limited. For example, I can’t speak about the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in the 1975 because I did not go there (not then, anyhow) — Ian Curr.

    I have put similar questions about Cape York to Mark above, and he passes the buck to Sam. Sam’s public statements stand for themselves, as do the statements from Cape York leaders.

    But my challenge is not to seek information but to encourage people to consider for themselves what is going on from their own experience. Is this an Aboriginal movement or just another socialist popular front? Why are the three authorities you refer me to all in socialist organisations? Is there no other leadership to this movement?

    John, You asked me about the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, so I gave the names of people who I understand are involved in that particular group — Ian.

    (These are rhetorical questions)

  8. Hello John,

    My answers to your questions are above.

    I have made you questions bold and my answers are plain text.

    Ian

  9. Ian,

    Did any Aboriginal organisation (meaning an organisation controlled by Aboriginal people) endorse the rally or provide a spokesperson at the rally?
    The Murris who spoke identified themselves by their kinship, not by membership of any group. Do you know Barry Melissa (sp?) the Gubbi Gubbi man?

    Were there any banners or posters or stalls or leaflets promoting any Aboriginal organisation?
    I don’t know. A number of the banners had no group name attached. One read ‘Sorry means stopping the intervention’ (see main article above for the photo). I did not see all the banners and I took only 3 or 4 photos. Also I was pretty busy doing the PA, listening to the speeches, answering questions, talking to people etc. I did not see what was carried on the march as I had to take the PA from Parliament house to Queens Park (without help). Sam Watson’s aboriginal flag was held by murris present.
    You say…” I have heard criticism of how difficult it is to get information unless you are closely tied to particular groups.” Are there any Aboriginal groups amongst this informed elite?

    The criticism I got on the day was directed at all groups. Cilla and Sam had attended the launch of ‘Gone for a Song’ by Jeff Waters but some people had not heard about it (including me).

    As for FOE, I have no problem at all with them criticising the NLC. However, do they have any connection at all with the traditional owners dispossessed by the NLC executive? Do they have any connection to the CLC which opposes uranium mining and the dump? What engagement with Aboriginal people did FOE refer to as the basis of their support? Or did they just speak of their own white perspective?

    See Robyn Taubenfeld’s argument above where she said ‘the NLC had not supported traditional owner’s opposition to uranium mining’ at Jabiluka. You would have to ask Robyn what connection FOE has with murri groups.

    Did ANTAR represent any Aboriginal perspective? if so whose?

    Monique Bond’s main point was that there was a need for respect by white people for aboriginal people.

    Cherbourg is presently resisting the state grog laws. Did this get a mention at the rally?
    I don’t know, I did not record the speeches at Queens Park. I have a technical problem with the recording device and can’t review all the speeches even at Parliament House. Organisation is what is lacking here not purity of purpose. I think that you should attend such rallies, find out for yourself and help out if you can.

    What was said of Cape York? and by who? Sam does not seem to have mentioned it in your report.

    Sam mentioned Cape York as did other speakers. That is about the best i can do to answer your questions at the moment. Sorry

    Tomorrow (Mon July 14) ARC is picketing Kevin Rudd’s electorate office, also calling for an end to the QLD intervention. Except for the centrelink legislation enabling the Family responsibilities commission in Cape York, what has Rudd got to do with any interventionary policy or program in QLD? Was this discussed at the rally? Is ARC still protesting against the Cape York trial?

    I don’t think so, I don’t really know. Why not put these questions to the people concerned in ARC? Mark Gillespie, Paul Bennedek or Sam Watson.

  10. ANTAR on the Cape York trial
    http://www.antar.org.au/content/view/492/1/

    Why does ARC oppose it?

    “Quarantining welfare payments of all Aboriginal people from the communities who are long term social security recipients. Although the Minister says this is inspired by the Cape York Welfare Reform Project, the two approaches differ markedly. While the Northern Territory proposal is a blanket one, the Cape York program only targets those communities that have agreed to participate and those parents who have neglected children. The Cape York program depends on the involvement of respected Aboriginal community representatives to determine whether welfare payments should be quarantined. This Aboriginal leadership is missing from the NT approach.”

  11. It seems to me this is all a matter of the relationship of consciousness to the material conditions of history.

    Most leftists have not experienced Aboriginal australia as a historical phenomenon – both the positive culture and the negative oppression, and only perceive it in terms of their own ideational frameworks and experience of a very different history to Aboriginal Australia.

    The historical experience of the migrant working class is dimensionally different from the Aboriginal experience of Guerilla war, mass internment and total disposession. The political organisation that sustained this movement to today, the oldest and biggest resistance movement in Australia’s history, remains largely invisible to non-Aboriginal activists and in many cases is villified as authoritarian or identity politics.

    Until non-Aboriginal leftists have some historical experience of Aboriginal Australia outside of their comfortable modus operandi for all issues ( rallies, newspapers and endless logistical meetings), then they are irrelevant to the Aboriginal struggle, they cannot even identify what it really is.

  12. Ian,

    Yes it seems the split is in Sydney with the new organisation STICS. I am curious to see how it unfolds in Brisbane over time.

    Oodgeroo left the CPA because “They wanted to write my speeches for me”. At least that is what she told me.

    The white left including ANTAR and FOE might like to feel it is closely connected to the Aboriginal struggle but this is just a white illusion. ANTAR, and FOE are white organisations, directed by white people to fulfill white fantasies about Aboriginal people. They do not in any way manifest Aboriginal self determination, only white sympathy.

    Can anyone point to a single person from the 4 Cape York communities who volunteered for the trial who is resisting the reform trial? I am sure there are some, nothing is ever unanimous. But until these people are directly involved then the ARC line is just another outside imposition onto Cape York self determination.

    And I am tiring of leftists defending themselves with Sam Warson did or said something. If Sam, a member of Socialist Alliance, is the only connection with Aboriginal Australia in Queensland then how can this in any way be construed to be a real engagement with Aboriginal Australia?

    If the left can welcome murris ( or a murri) into their own turf but do not get involved in Aboriginal reality, how can this in any way be considered Aboriginal control or self determination?

    Other than Sam, how broadly has this movement even consulted, let alone engaged with Aboriginal organisations and movements beyond bumping into them (in ever decreasing numbers) at the occaisional rally?

    Sam ran as S.A. senate candidate after 3 years of campaigning about the Palm Island watch house death, yet he only got one single vote on Palm Island.

    If Sam is the mechanism by which the left talks about Palm Island or Cape York without any real engagement with the real people of those communities then it is just white self perception and tokenism, not the Aboriginal struggle.

    It seems to me that a basic starting point for Aboriginal self determination would be to assist Aboriginal people get organised to accumulate power to achieve their own objectives – basic community welfare or guerilla insurrection principles. But instead the ARC has just mobilised white people to talk about Aboriginal people and engage on their own white terms.

    Meanwhile the Aboriginal leaderships and movements continue to decline without any support from white Australia beyond a slogan or two.

  13. Power and Ignorance — remarks on the Struggle for Aboriginal Rights
    Aboriginal struggle has gone on for over 200 years in Australia. It is a slow burning war, a resistance, a conflict, a learning, a meeting of many cultures, of black and white.

    This is a response to the concerns expressed by John Tracey about the role of non-indigenous groups in the aboriginal struggle as typified by his ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty and ideological commentary’ on LeftWrites.

    I think it important that everyone involved in the aboriginal struggle consider the facts on the ground, specifically how the struggle is organised, who speaks for what, how both people and groups operate and what is actually done.

    National Day of Action for Aboriginal Rights!’ in Brisbane

    As many did not attend the June 08 rally organised by Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC) in Brisbane, I wish to outline below what happened at that rally to shed some light on the role of both aboriginal and non-indigenous groups.

    I attended the rally on Saturday 21 June 2008 at Parliament House and later at Queens Park in Brisbane organised by the aboriginal rights coalition. From a small group initially the rally and later march built up to about 200 people.

    Concerning the organisation of events generally, I have heard criticism of how difficult it is to get information unless you are closely tied to particular groups.

    A number of groups do not attend organising meetings whether they be called by Sam Watson at Jagera or whether they be those recently called by the ARC at the Trades & Labour Council (TLC). [For what reasons people do not attend I do not know].

    To attach much significance to such groups in the ARC and any differences that may exist between the few people that attend their organising meetings is to overstate the importance of such groups. Especially given the long history of aboriginal organisation and resistance and the ties that have built up between people over a very long period of time.

    Left Groups
    There were a number of Left groups represented at the rally in June; or, should I say, various individuals who are members of very small organisations including Solidarity, Socialist Alternative, and Socialist Alliance. Sometimes people speak on behalf of one group (say the ARC) but are also members of other groups. For example, at the June rally, Paul Bennedek was introduced by Sam Watson as speaker for the Aboriginal Rights Coalition. As some who attended the rally in Brisbane may be aware, Paul is also a member of the Democratic Socialist Perspective, the Socialist Alliance, the Green Left Weekly, Resistance and, no doubt several other groups.

    There were others groups present at the rally that are not political organisations per se. For example, Robyn Taubenfeld spoke for Friends of the Earth and Monique Bond spoke for ANTAR.

    Speeches
    I made a recording of the speeches given at Parliament House and later at Queens Park.

    The supporters at the rally were welcomed by a local elder Teddy Nolan, a Goreng Goreng and Wakka Wakka man and a wide range of views were put to the rally by indigenous speakers who took priority over the non-indigenous supporters.

    The character of the rally was little different to many others with Sam Watson acting as chairperson and encouraging a number of Murris to address the rally. He called on young Murris to come forward, for aboriginal women to speak, as the last speaker outside Parliament house, he introduced Adrian Burragubba. Adrian accused non-indigenous people of not knowing who they are and where they come from, he said ‘they do not know their heritage, where they come from’. He said that aboriginal did know where they came from, that they understood, as he did, that his father was driven from his land at Clermont. That his people were driven from their land in Clermont in 1916. Adrian is from the Wangan people, of the Birri-Gubba language group.

    Robyn Taubenfeld spoke against racist acts in the Northern Territory and Queensland, she did not make the finer distinctions you make between the intervention in the Northern Territory and what the Qld government is doing in North Queensland.

    Robyn was openly critical of the Northern Land Council’s (NLC) failure to oppose Uranium Mining at Jabiluka. She said that they supported uranium mining on aboriginal land and she claimed that it was not the first time the NLC had not supported traditional owner’s opposition to uranium mining.

    Surely Robyn Taubenfeld is entitled to advance FOE’s long held opposition to uranium mining and export and be critical of organisations that oppose FOE’s position? Surely, she has that right even though she is criticising the Northern Land Council?

    Sam Watson was openly critical of various governments’ intervention in aboriginal communities in Northern Territory, in Queensland, in south Australian, in urban communities in places like La Perouse and in Brisbane. He tied government intervention to aboriginal deaths in custody like the death of Cameron Doomadgee at the hands of Sgt Hurley.

    One aboriginal speaker, Cilla, said that the fight against child abuse must apply across the board and should not be focussed solely on aboriginal communities under racist legislation. She said that the system ‘has failed aboriginal people, any changes that affect aboriginal people will affect white people’.

    Sam Watson stated that ‘the intervention’ has ‘not increased living standards’, that ‘there is lack of access to schooling, lack of health care’. He contrasted the urban health care in cities with that of health care in aboriginal communities in rural areas.

    Monique from ANTAR said that the NT invention showed a lack of respect for aboriginal people.

    Louise, an activist at the U of Q in the National Tertiary Education Union [NTEU], spoke about ‘why the campaign for aboriginal rights has so much to do with the campaign against WorkChoices’. She drew a parallel between ‘the escalation of the intervention in the Northern Territory’ under Labor and ‘the way WorkChoices has not been ….[reversed] … under Labor policy’.

    There was another parallel not drawn by Louise, namely, it is unions that organised opposition to WorkChoices, not small left groups like Socialist Alternative or Socialist Alliance. It might equally be said that it is Murris that organise campaigns for aboriginal rights and that only a very small part is played by Left and non-indigenous groups.

    Barry Mellissa (sp?), a Gubbi Gubbi man, said White Australians should oppose ‘power and ignorance’ that has existed since the arrival of James Cook. For example, he said, when Cook named the Glass House mountains, it was ‘his name’ imposed for later generations. The invention of Terra Nullius [that there was no one here] was ‘an example of power and ignorance’.

    ‘It was this [power and ignorance] that led to the new invasion in the NT’ Barry said.

    Australia pursues a system that ‘does not inform its public’. He said that ‘Eddie Mabo would have cried’ over what has happened, that ‘Native Title has no bearing in’ Australia. He said that he was ‘probably talking to the converted that, (but) as Australians, we had to reject power and ignorance’. ‘The Racial Discrimination Act [was brought] in 1973′ but was only used while it worked within a framework of power and ignorance’. He called on people to learn about all the tribes around south-east Queensland about the Yugambeh, Gorreng Gorreng, the Wakka Wakka, Gubbi Gubbi, and others.

    I do not think that is can be assumed that rallies come about solely as a result of actions by groups like the Aboriginal Rights Coalition. I think that this is an oversimplification.

    It is hard to ignore the fact that Aboriginal organisation and leadership going back to the Tent Embassy in the 1970s in Canberra and beyond form an essential part of the broader socialist and Left critique of capitalist society. A number of Aboriginal people have socialist political views.

    Oodgeroo Noonuccal was herself a one-time member of the Communist Party.

    Ian Curr
    July 2008

    References: Recent Books that give some insight into the level of understanding by non-indigenous authors of the struggle for aboriginal rights—
    1. ‘The Tall Man – Death and Life on Palm Island’ by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Books).
    2. ‘Gone for a Song‘ by Jeff Waters (ABC Books)
    3. The Australian Race (4 Volumes) by Edward Curr (Elibron Classics)

  14. Follow up message from Bejam

    http://newsroom.nt.gov.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewRelease&id=2487&d=5
    Chief Minister Clare Martin and Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour have welcomed the new uranium mine policy endorsed at today s ALP National Conference.

    http://www.aua.org.au/page.php?pid=8&category=1
    Saturday April 28, 2007

    The Australian Uranium Association welcomed today’s decision by the Australian Labor Party to remove its prohibition on the development of new uranium mines.

    http://tennantcreek.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/muckaty-message-to-go-to-canberra/788868.aspx
    SENATOR Trish Crossin has promised Muckaty traditional owners she would make sure their voices were heard in Canberra. Federal Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, has become impatient with due process and is now trying to fast track the site selection for a nuclear dump.

    http://ntne.ws/articles/article.php?id=1831
    2005….. Labor’s spokeswoman for science and education, Jenny Macklin, says Labor will oppose legislation forcing a nuclear waste dump on the Northern Territory.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20070906-You-cant-have-your-yellow-cake-and-eat-it-too.html
    2007…..Alexander Downer has denied that Australia will take radioactive waste as part of the deal to join the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), but try telling that to the Australian Nuclear Fuel Leasing (ANFL) company who have so far invested $45 million dollars in the prospect.

    http://ntne.ws/articles/article.php?id=3098
    2008…..The Federal Labor Government voted against repealing legislation which facilitates the selection of a site for the establishment and operation of a radioactive waste management facility.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/06/12/2272313.htm
    “It’s clear that Traditional Owners at Muckaty were not asked, were not consulted, are not represented and Rudd must, must adhere to his election promises (to repeal laws forcing a dump on the Northern Territory).”

    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/Act1.nsf/0/1895EB904D128F96CA2570D90020E935/$file/145-2005.pdf
    Commonwealth Radioactive Waste
    Management Act 2005

    3C Approval of nominated land
    (1) The Minister may, in his or her absolute discretion, approve in
    writing nominated land or a specified part of nominated land as a
    site.

    5 Application of State and Territory laws
    (1) A law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory (whether
    written or unwritten), so far as it relates to:
    (a) the use or proposed use of land or premises; or
    (b) the environmental consequences of the use of land or
    premises; or
    (c) the archaeological or heritage values of land, premises or
    objects (including the significance of land, premises or
    objects in the traditions of Indigenous people); or
    (d) controlled material, radioactive material or dangerous goods;
    or
    (e) licensing (however described) in relation to:
    (i) employment; or
    (ii) carrying on a particular kind of business or undertaking;
    or
    (iii) conducting a particular kind of operation or activity; has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this section,
    regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by
    section 4. (any activity related to the dump)

    6 Application of Commonwealth laws
    (1) The following laws have no effect to the extent that they would,
    apart from this section, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a
    thing authorised by section 4:
    (a) the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage
    Protection Act 1984;
    (b) the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
    Act 1999

    8 Procedural fairness in relation to Minister’s declarations
    No person is entitled to procedural fairness in relation to the
    Minister’s making of a declaration.

    9 Acquisition or extinguishment
    (1) If the declaration under subsection 7(1) relates to a site within the
    meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition of site in section 3, then
    at the time the declaration has effect, any rights or interests in the
    selected site (or selected part of a site) that have not already been
    acquired by the Commonwealth, or extinguished, are by force of
    this section:
    (a) acquired by the Commonwealth or extinguished; and
    (b) freed and discharged from all other rights and interests and
    from all trusts, restrictions, dedications, reservations,
    obligations, mortgages, encumbrances, contracts, licences,
    charges and rates.

    (2) To avoid doubt, the rights and interests acquired under or
    extinguished by subsection (1) include:
    (a) rights to minerals (if any); and
    (b) native title rights and interests (if any).

    http://news.theage.com.au/national/federal-govt-to-build-nuclear-waste-dump-20080610-2oc1.html

  15. Follow up message from Bejam

    http://newsroom.nt.gov.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewRelease&id=2487&d=5
    Chief Minister Clare Martin and Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour have welcomed the new uranium mine policy endorsed at today s ALP National Conference.

    http://www.aua.org.au/page.php?pid=8&category=1
    Saturday April 28, 2007

The Australian Uranium Association welcomed today’s decision by the Australian Labor Party to remove its prohibition on the development of new uranium mines.

    http://tennantcreek.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/muckaty-message-to-go-to-canberra/788868.aspx
    SENATOR Trish Crossin has promised Muckaty traditional owners she would make sure their voices were heard in Canberra.
    Federal Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, has become impatient with due process and is now trying to fast track the site selection for a nuclear dump.

    http://ntne.ws/articles/article.php?id=1831
    2005….. Labor’s spokeswoman for science and education, Jenny Macklin, says Labor will oppose legislation forcing a nuclear waste dump on the Northern Territory.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20070906-You-cant-have-your-yellow-cake-and-eat-it-too.html
    2007…..Alexander Downer has denied that Australia will take radioactive waste as part of the deal to join the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), but try telling that to the Australian Nuclear Fuel Leasing (ANFL) company who have so far invested $45 million dollars in the prospect.

    http://ntne.ws/articles/article.php?id=3098
    2008…..The Federal Labor Government voted against repealing legislation which facilitates the selection of a site for the establishment and operation of a radioactive waste management facility.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/06/12/2272313.htm
    “It’s clear that Traditional Owners at Muckaty were not asked, were not consulted, are not represented and Rudd must, must adhere to his election promises (to repeal laws forcing a dump on the Northern Territory).”

    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/Act1.nsf/0/1895EB904D128F96CA2570D90020E935/$file/145-2005.pdf
    Commonwealth Radioactive Waste
    Management Act 2005

    3C Approval of nominated land
    (1) The Minister may, in his or her absolute discretion, approve in
    writing nominated land or a specified part of nominated land as a
    site.

    5 Application of State and Territory laws
    (1) A law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory (whether
    written or unwritten), so far as it relates to:
    (a) the use or proposed use of land or premises; or
    (b) the environmental consequences of the use of land or
    premises; or
    (c) the archaeological or heritage values of land, premises or
    objects (including the significance of land, premises or
    objects in the traditions of Indigenous people); or
    (d) controlled material, radioactive material or dangerous goods;
    or
    (e) licensing (however described) in relation to:
    (i) employment; or
    (ii) carrying on a particular kind of business or undertaking;
    or
    (iii) conducting a particular kind of operation or activity;
    has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this section,
    regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by
    section 4. (any activity related to the dump)

    6 Application of Commonwealth laws
    (1) The following laws have no effect to the extent that they would,
    apart from this section, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a
    thing authorised by section 4:
    (a) the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage
    Protection Act 1984;
    (b) the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
    Act 1999

    8 Procedural fairness in relation to Minister’s declarations
    No person is entitled to procedural fairness in relation to the
    Minister’s making of a declaration.

    9 Acquisition or extinguishment
    (1) If the declaration under subsection 7(1) relates to a site within the
    meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition of site in section 3, then
    at the time the declaration has effect, any rights or interests in the
    selected site (or selected part of a site) that have not already been
    acquired by the Commonwealth, or extinguished, are by force of
    this section:
    (a) acquired by the Commonwealth or extinguished; and
    (b) freed and discharged from all other rights and interests and
    from all trusts, restrictions, dedications, reservations,
    obligations, mortgages, encumbrances, contracts, licences,
    charges and rates.

    (2) To avoid doubt, the rights and interests acquired under or
    extinguished by subsection (1) include:
    (a) rights to minerals (if any); and
    (b) native title rights and interests (if any).

    http://news.theage.com.au/national/federal-govt-to-build-nuclear-waste-dump-20080610-2oc1.html
    Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says the government will fulfil a Howard-government era policy to build a nuclear waste dump.

  16. Message from Bejam – not a response to above discussion
    JT

    “Stop the intervention – elders comment

    Please consider – The real reasons behind the intervention are to stop the Sovereignty claims by Indigenous peoples and thus be able to mine uranium and dump the wastes.
    Aboriginal Sovereignty claims are the only thing that stops the world governments from pursuing their agenda. TREATY NOW!

    Peace,
    Bejam, son of Oodgeroo, Custodian of the land Minjerribah.”

  17. Short Report from Dublin, Ireland, Screening of “Liyarn Nigarin” with Peter Postlewaite followed by gig with Archie Roach, Rubie Hunter, Bart Willoughby, Shane Howard, Steve Cooney, Mary Black & others

    Well the film was excellent and from chatting to a bearded hip Peter Postlewaite his heart is definitely in it. He stumbled across the struggle of aboriginal Australia while staging a one man play in Perth. He was approached by scouser Bill Johnson who had been in the seminary with him way back when. Bill had moved to Australia, married and adopted 3 children. The aboriginal lad adopted, Louis St John, was murdered in his late teens by 3 English racists recently arrived in Australia. When the cops asked why they chose the victim, the response was “Because he was black!”

    Postlewaite takes this response personally as an Englishman, seeing it as an attitude that runs directly from the early pastoralists encounter of aborigines. He hooks up with product of the Stolen Generation policy former street drinker now musician Archie Roach and former priest now Aboriginal activist Pat Dodson and takes us on a moving journey.

    The film looks at Western Australian aboriginal deaths/killings in custody that the coroner continually writes off as “misadventure” and then an exploration of the stolen generation removal policy of aboriginal children to be integrated into white society. We travel to the victim’s original family and outback community. The film then broadens out to analyse recent Australian government policy ignited by the racist One Nation/Pauline Hanson populism and adopted by the 11 year conservative Howard government rolling back the Mabo decision in the High Courts that for the first time in the courts recognised aboriginal occupation before British invasion.

    The disappointment was the size of the audience (approx 25) for this free 4 pm Saturday screening. I only recognised one person form the Dublin activist scene and didn’t detect any young Australian backpacker types. Not sure if this reflects on the passive racism of the young Aussie backpapers, disengagement of Irish activists who share a common history with the largest group of aboriginal artists to assemble in Dublin or bad promotion of the event.

    The gig in the evening was excellent. Obviously a significant moment in the life of Australian muso Shane Howard (Goanna) and those indigineous Australians who had accompanied him to his spiritual homeland. Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter were brilliant making the connections between Irish and Aboriginal history…their songs were great. Mary Black, Steve Cooney and other Irish musicians were also wonderful.

    Interview with Peter Postleaite on the film “Liyarn Ngarin” liran Nagarin

    http://screenwise.blogspot.com/2007/09/interview-with-pete-postlethwaite.html

    YOUTUBE -Archie Roach “Took the Chldren Away” & “Walking into Doors”

    Archie Roach “Took the Children Away”
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=ush_mailm&ei=UTF-8&p=…Roach

    Archie Roach “Walking into Doors”
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=ush_mailm&ei=UTF-8&p=…utube

  18. Short Report – Screening of “Liyarn Ngarin” & Gig in Dublin, Ireland

    Well the film was excellent and from chatting to a bearded hip Peter Postlewaite his heart is definitely in it. Postlewaite is well known to Irish audiences for his role of Giuseepe Conlon “In the Name of the Father”. Conlon (who died in jail) along with son Gerry and 7 Maguire relatives was farmed for the Guilford bombings and died in jail. The Guilford Four and Maguire 7 cases are recognised by the Brisith legal systems as svere miscarriages of justice.

    Postlewaite stumbled across the struggle of aboriginal Australia while staging a one man play in Perth. He was approached by scouser Bill Johnson who had been in the seminary with him way back when. Bill had moved to Australia, married and adopted 3 children. The aboriginal lad adopted, Louis St John, was murdered in his late teens by 3 English racists recently arrived in Australia. When the cops asked why they chose the victim, the response was “Because he was black!”

    Postlewaite takes this response personally as an Englishman, seeing it as an attitude that runs directly from the early pastoralists encounter of aborigines. He hooks up with product of the Stolen Generation policy former street drinker now musician Archie Roach and former priest now Aboriginal activist Pat Dodson and takes us on a moving journey.

    The film looks at Western Australian aboriginal deaths/killings in custody that the coroner continually writes off as “misadventure” and then an exploration of the stolen generation removal policy of aboriginal children to be integrated into white society. We travel to the victim’s original family and outback community. The film then broadens out to analyse recent Australian government policy ignited by the racist One Nation/Pauline Hanson populism and adopted by the 11 year conservative Howard government rolling back the Mabo decision in the High Courts that for the first time in the courts recognised aboriginal occupation before British invasion.

    The disappointment was the size of the audience (approx 25) for this free 4 pm Saturday screening. I only recognised one person form the Dublin activist scene and didn’t detect any young Australian backpacker types. Not sure if this reflects on the passive racism of the young Aussie backpapers, disengagement of Irish activists who share a common history with the largest group of aboriginal artists to assemble in Dublin or bad promotion of the event.

    The gig in the evening was excellent. Obviously a significant moment in the life of Australian muso Shane Howard (Goanna) and those indigineous Australians who had accompanied him to his spiritual homeland. Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter were brilliant making the connections between Irish and Aboriginal history…their songs were great. Mary Black, Steve Cooney and other Irish musicians were also wonderful.

    Interview with Peter Postlewaite on the film “Liran Ngarin”
    http://screenwise.blogspot.com/2007/09/interview-with-pete-postlethwaite.html

  19. What happens now?

    Forget about ABoriginal issues until the next outrageous sensation?

    All leadership applied to the Pope’s visit now?

    Will the pope protests bother to raise the issue of the NT intervention as the Bush/APEC protests failed to do at the very time the intervention was being rolled out?

    Cherbourg is resisting the state grog laws now, is there any support being organised or is this movement just about the NT and Cape York? – anywhere but here?

  20. p.s. Mark,

    Deaths in custody is an issue that perhaps affects Cape York people more than any other Queenslanders. The Mareeba prison where all the Cape people go is 70% Aboriginal. Murri court, which fast tracks people into the prison system is being expanded around the state and the number of Murries in gaol continues to rise.

    Maybe your enthusiasm to support the Aboriginal struggle would be better focused on deaths in custody which can only support the people of Cape York instead of trying to fight against them with your superior analysis of welfare.

    It is not a complex process that I am suggesting. The Socialist Alliance (belatedly) built a campaign based on the specific demands and leadership of real people in the N.T. culminating in the Canberra convergence. Real links and understandings seem to have occured.

    However the same grounding in reality built through activists such as Barbara Shaw and Vince Forrester is absent in both Solidarity and Socialist Alliance’s approach to the “Queensland Intervention” where the oppression and political will of ABoriginal people has been objectified and used for the propaganda purposes of non-Aboriginal political agendas.

    Poor old Sam Watson who everyone claims as their authority and who everyone blames if there is any contradictions, has been speaking pretty solidly about deaths in custody recently. If Sam is behind this campaign as you (Mark) suggest then why aren’t you also focusing on deaths in custody rather than frigging around with Noel Pearson?

  21. No Mark, I am supporting Aboriginal communities to make their own decisions even if urban radicals dissaprove, as opposed to Solidarity who is protesting against the will of the particular communities involved.

    What I support is more power to customary law process and any analysis of Pearson and the NT situation is flawed unless this element is considered.

    As long as you consider your ideology, be it Marx of Jesus, to be superior to the decisions and decision making process of ABoriginal Australia, as you clearly do in regard to Cape York, then you are indeed proslytising missionaries.

  22. Mark Gillespie says:

    John,
    No amount of abuse about “marxist missionaries” will hide the fact that you are supporting the government having more power to tell Aboriginal people how to live their lives.

  23. Who are these Marxist missionaries to tell the Aboriginal people of Cape York that they are wrong?

    Pearson has a vision of incorporating Aboriginal people into the means of production and therefore engagement in historical force, either as a worker or as a land owner or as both.

    Solidarity, DSP and other leftist perspectives have no such framework that incorporates Aboriginal people into the economy, at best calling for such things as expanding and increasing the wages of CDEP – a largely (but not totally) useless program of digging holes and filling them in – all totally separated from the real economy.

    The welfare dependency inherent in the leftist mode continues to disposess Aboriginal people from their rightful places as economic agents. The power of a worker is the right to strike. What power does a CDEP worker have? A CDEP strike can only punish its already punished community if there is a strike and neither the capitalists or the senior government bureacrats would even notice anything was wrong.

    Only by engagement in the real economy, even as workers, can Aboriginal Australia achieve both political power and the capacity to transcend desperate poverty.

    Historical materialists should be embracing Pearson, or if they dont they should be identifying some alternative based on historical materialism and economic determinism rather than protesting against the mode voluntarilly adopted by at least 4 Cape York communities.

    The poster for this Solidarity Pearson-bash is as inaccurate as Mark’s assumptions about the FRC above. Pearson has certainly not advocated small business as the only solution, allthough I have no doubt it has a role in the solution. Pearson and co have been wheeling and dealing with big corporations, not just for things such as employment quotas and training programs, but also joint venturing in projects on Aboriginal land. Pearson’s mode incorporates Aboriginal people as land owners, not simply workers, and the land itself is a major element of the means of production. Pearson has a comprehensive scheme from joint ventures as capitalist landlords right down to blue collar training and employment that one way or another and to some extent or another will build the economic power of his constituency in Cape York.

    The Solidarity/DSP mode has no notion of economic power for Aboriginal people as Pearson does. The marxist missionaries will need more than slogans and charachter assasination to be relevant to the Aboriginal struggle.

  24. ANTAR is another self appointed white controlled organisation “leading” the movement.

  25. Mark Gillespie says:

    John,
    Sorry, I’ve been very busy and I’m only on a short break now so I will have to drop out of this exchange.

    We feel that the NT intervention has been extended into Queensland – be it in a different form, and that it important not to let the Bligh govt escape criticism. Also there are other issues that we want to be given a run on the day, such as ‘stolen wages’ and continuing issues re Palm Island. I think Bligh is a fair target and if I remember correctly it was Sam who proposed that we have the picket and the rally where they are.

    I can see the point of your question. You seperate the NT and Qld interventions, we don’t, so you might have difficult in supporting the event if you’re not convinced to opposed the FRC.

    You have raised lots of other points, sorry I just have time to go into them all.

    The ARC is broader than just a Solidarity front. It is not as broad as I would like it to be, but it has grown. For what it is worth, ANTAR have endorsed the Qld NDA.

    Thanks
    Mark

  26. Mark,

    I forgot to ask,

    if the focus of the rally on the 21st is the NT, why is the rally at Qld. Parliament House? Similarly, why have you been picketing Anna Bligh’s office?

  27. Hi Wombo,

    The stuff you said about different communities having different priorities is important to remember, the war is everywhere not just in the NT. Perhaps that is a better way to explain the points I was making above. Activist need to connect to what is happening on the ground rather than organise fronts around national slogans.

    I lied when I said I know nothing of ARC, I was however prepared to be informed of things I didnt know in terms of who the Aboriginal authority was, in particular in my home town of Brisbane.

    I was previously aware of the mandate from NT activists and your correct assertion that the rally was the initiative of NTers.

    My concern, and it remains, is that this NT mandate has been used by some – including the S.A. as a license for blanket intervention into and public comment about local Aboriginal issues around the country, in particular protest against the Cape York trial – without doing the proper homework in terms of information as well as protocol.

    The recent socialist intervention into Aboriginal issues is, I believe, the application of the standard tactical agenda of the left onto Aboriginal issues without a proper education into the issues beyond the slogans.

    I predict now, mark my words, that when the next big spectacle arises, be it a bombing in Iran, a new flashpoint in Iraq or Afghanistan, some militant industrial action around some issue like NSW electricity, another Dubya visit, or any other popular protest movement that arises in the near future, then Aboriginal issues will be droppedand all the present hyper-activists will be leached from the Aboriginal agenda to form a new leadership of the new emerging campaign, whatever it is.

    The policy documents will remain, just in case they have to be used again in the future, and land rights will continue to be a dot point in propoganda using this campaign as historical credibility as Socialist Action has done with their involvement in Mulrunji protests.

    But the radical socialists will just blow in the political winds as they have for the last 30 years, paddling furiously at the beginning of campaigns in the hope that this wave will be the big one, but when it isn’t, or the wave was missed, the activists immediately begin scouting the horizon for the next wave to try.

    I have read the new S.A. Aboriginal charter and decided not to give feedback because it would be a fairly fundamental critique suggesting you return to the drawing board. It is certainly a more comprehensive collation of campaign slogans than the last one, but that is all it is. It has no strategic element or even a broad analysis of the problem. It is just stuffing to inflate the slogans.

    The fatal flaw in both your (collective) mode of action and the new policy is that you are trying to incorporate Aboriginal people and issues into the socialist struggle and agenda.

    The task that I suspect you (collectively) do not really understand and certainly are not choosing to engage in, is incorporating socialist people and organisations into the Aboriginal struggle.

  28. Thanks John,

    As far as a report from the Sydney conference from the ARC I haven’t seen one. There’s this in Green Left: http://www.greenleft.org.au/2008/753/38916

    Sam W does endorse the rally – I think it’s probably an oversight that his name isn’t on there. We’ve also been in touch with Gracelyn Smallwood and others. Understandably, however, the Intervention isn’t the only campaign in Aboriginal Australia, especially in Qld, and the Stolen Wages, and DIC campaigns have more focus than they do at the moment in, say, Sydney or the NT (while the ARC in Perth, for example, is different again, having formed out of a coming together of the DIC, Stolen Wages, Sorry Day, and other campaigns/ activists).

    With regards to Victor and the Cape, I haven’t got the info at my fingertips. I’ll get back to you when I have it.

    On reading, etc – the beginning of your comment contradicted the end. My point was that you didn’t know what you were talking about vis-a-vis the ARC: which you have just acknowledged. Nevertheless, you were more than happy to slander the ARC as a leftie, whitie, feel-good get-together. This is always a danger, but no healthy campaign emerges fully-formed – it needs to be built, and the right people involved.

    It is worth noting, though, that my impression of Brisbane ARC is that it is very Solidarity-dominated, so your scepticism has *some* merit. Just please refrain from generalising for the campaign nationally, as it has been a live issue in some places.

    Finally, thanks for sharing the info about treaty process at your end. I know you have issues about parties/ etc, but a while ago (on LeftClickBlog I think) you posted some questions and such on Socialist Alliance policy.

    Socialist Alliance has recently released a new draft ATSI policy and we are looking for feed-back, comments, corrections, etc. It would be good if you could have a look, and pass it around to anyone you think would be interested in getting a half-decent policy out there.

    The text of the draft is at http://www.socialist-alliance.org/page.php?page=753

    regards

    Wombo

  29. Oh the tension is unbearable, I can’t wait for someone to ask the obvious so I will…

    O.K. Tracey, you whinge a lot but what is your alternative? Have you got anything positive to contribute?

    ?

    ?

    Thank you John for your question.

    My answer is based on the Brisbane situation, as Wombo has pointed out I don’t know much about anywhere else.

    The answer is… if anyone is interested in engaging in a treaty process by way of the “Oodgeroo of the tribe Noonuccal, Custodian of the land Minjerribah, Peace prosperity and healing sacred treaty circles” then contact me at kurityityin at yahoo dot com and I can arrange an introduction.

    I know there are at least 2 DSP members who are treaty members already! (hope they don’t get expelled as a minority faction)

    The essence of this treaty process, administered by Bejam Denis Walker, is a peace treaty whereby non-Aboriginal people directly support and facilitate and resource the customary law government of traditional land and waters – land rights and self determination.

    Neither Bejam or the treaty circles are aware of (at time of writing) this discussion, nor have they endorsed what I have said and nor do I claim to speak on behalf of the treaty circles.

    Bejam has spoken publically including at Brisbane rallies of his vision of dry camps, cultural heritage education, housing, health, economic development and the reinforcement of customary law – based on Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) and to train Murries from everywhere, in particular the sovereign bloodlines of the Gurringindinami super nation of South East Queensland and Northern NSW.

    This proposal of Bejam, supported and co-visioned by Sam Watson is far more intricate and wholistic than I have just described, as far as I know, there has been no other holistic vision promoted in Queensland other than Bejam’s treaty process and the so-called Pearson plan.

    For those of you who reject the Pearson plan, perhaps Bejam’s plan would be worthy of your support…. real support, beyond slogans and street demos and motions at meetings and sensationalised commentary about flashpoints in the left media.

    The treaty process allows the Aboriginal people to do the Aboriginal business but it is also a mechanism by which non-Aboriginal support can be directly involved in support functions – just like a real revolution!

    Real engagement with an ongoing Aboriginal project will provide both the education and the solidarity – black and white – necessary for a movement with real capacity. The many conversations will be the building blocks of a new Australian radical ideology

    If anyone, including ARC would like to explore the treaty notion I would be happy to help. Maybe a conference where the Murries are in control to explore the possibilities? Invite ANTAR and the Greens. See what happens,

    I hope that answers your question John.

    Wombo,

    It is true that I know nothing of the ARC campaign, which is why I am asking so many questions.

    Is there a report from the Sydney conference?
    Why are there no Murries in any public endorsements?
    Why does ARC oppose the Cape York trial?
    What does Victor say of the Cape York trial?

    I did read what you wrote, several times. Perhaps if I read it a few more times I will see the light.

  30. John, you didn’t read what I wrote, you’ve just exploded with more self-aggrandising. I know you do plenty of work in community. The point is, you know nothing about what’s going on in the ARC campaign you’re blustering about so self-righteously and mindlessly.

    Go back, read it again. Stop and think, and THEN think about posting.

    And Victor couldn’t make it to the conference, unfortunately, but yes, we are very much in touch with him.

  31. Oh yeah, something I forgot to mention.

    When I was getting my education about Aboriginal Australia in the 80s, as thousands of lefties did, many of my Aboriginal teachers often said something like…. we are sick of teaching you white fellers all the time, there are so many of you and so few of us and we have got better things to do. it is the responsibility of you white fellers to teach other white fellers once we have taught you.

    I hope this story explains my arrogance.

    This is not an argument about FRC, it is about the notions of Aboriginal self determination and white radical consciousness.

  32. Wombo,

    If ARC is not an Aboriginal organisation, by what authority does it fly the ABoriginal flag in its logo?

    I may well be arrogant, I may even be wrong but I assure you I am not ignorant.

    I won’t speak of my present connections with Aboriginal Australia except to say that I have been living in it for the past 20 years. In terms of non-Aboriginal support, more relevant to this discussion, I was involved in support during the 82 and 88 protests in Brisbane, managed Aboriginal musicians including BArt Willoughby, was the media officer of an Aboriginal prisoners organisation, for six months I was the personal assistant of the oldest Murri in Cape York.

    I believe my perspectives on the role of white people in Aboriginal Australia is not just very well informed but also relevant to the left if it is serious about supporting (rather than appropriating) the Aboriginal struggle.

    You are just as blind to the phenomenon of white ignorance as you are to black power.

    The biggest left campaign in support of Aboriginal struggle was the Gurindji struggle which was for land. However the unions/CPA interpreted Aboriginal experience within there own terms of reference as workers and built an into an anti racist campaign in support of equal wages.

    Because the left decided Aborigines were workers instead of landowners the equal wages campaign was directly responsible for the mass dissposession of Aborigines from their traditional land around Australia.

    Such white cultural blinkeredness that manifested in the white support for the gurindji manifests also in your latest campaign frameworks.

    Because of the cultural blinkeredness of white supporters, any campaign that is not Aboriginal controlled is just a white illusion as was the referendum and reconciliation “outcomes”. The real gains of the struggle of the 80s manifested in ATSIC and native title before they were corrupted and then extinguished, the point at which the Australian state has been pushed furthest in the 200 year struggle, these wins came from Aboriginal leadership, defiantly proclaiming their control of their own movement.

    Your suggestion that the left has played a leading role in any of these campaigns is as much a romanticisation of the role of the left as it is a racist rewriting of history.

    When you join the established movement for land rights and self determination, the movement created and controlled by Aboriginal people from the guerilla wars to the present, then you will have the right to accuse me of ignorance. Perhaps if your campaign propaganda even mentioned land rights or self determination you would have some thin platform of integrity to rely on.

    But while you are just regurgitating the leftist campaign formulas with the current flavour of the month campaign slogans then you are simply speaking out of your arse and displaying your capacity to deny reality to defend the ideology in dismissing my comments. Your comments about cultism on the other thread is hypocritical in light of your dismissal of the possibility that there may be some validity in what I have said..

    Wombo, it is indeed you who are ignorant, although I am prepared to be convinced that you are right but it seems that your arrogance prevents you from even defending your position. e.g. why does ARC oppose the Cape York trial? Does it have any connection at all with resistance to the trial on Cape York?

    If you can see further than I, have a go at answering those questions. If ARC really do take their direction from Aboriginal people these answers should be easy to answer.

  33. John,

    1. Firstly, there have been some concerns over the issue of non-aboriginals (largely people in Solidarity) controlling (or appearing to control) the campaign. Socialist Alliance on the other hand strongly supports aboriginal control of aboriginal affairs, and seeing that in this campaign as well as elsewhere. And the campaign – despite the number of lefties of whatever ilk – is currently being led by aboriginal people.

    2. Secondly, however, you are showing nothing but ignorance and – worse – an abject arrogance with regards this campaign, and the left both. The left have been involved (not *involved* does not mean *leading*) in many of the best and strongest campaigns for aboriginal rights over the past century (and other campaigns too), but you prefer to write them off at the drop of a hat.

    Your attitude, of first writing off the left, then writing off the campaign because it has the left involved, and THEN writing off leading aboriginal activists for daring to associate with lefties is arrogant in the extreme. And thoroughly counter-productive.

    Did I mention arrogant anywhere in there John? I’ll mention it again. Arrogant. And useless.

    And ignorant.

    The Aboriginal Rights Coalition has NEVER claimed to be an aboriginal organisation, unlike the NAA. However, it still takes its lead from aboriginal Australia – as well it should.

    If you can’t get your head around these facts, you might just want to shut up, instead of undermining the struggle against the ongoing genocide and apartheid in the country with your bullshit.

  34. And I also cannot support a united front of the factional left masquerading as an Aboriginal organisation.

  35. Mark,
    While it is true that the state can sack any council, including the Brisbane City Council. I know it has sacked the Palm Island council before for not towing the line. However, there was a council election last MArch where the trial was on the table and understood and the mayors supporting the trial were elected with a democratic mandate as strong as any mandate that the democratic process can create.

    You are wrong about there being no right to appeal, all decisions of the FRC can be appealed to a magistrate and centrelink has its own review process, which admitedly is bullshit, but the decisions are no less appealable than any other centrelink decision.

    The FRC does indeed have the power to impose things, that is its purpose. At present the state also has the power to remove children, but I say the FRC is a much better option.

    Is there even a dissident minority in Cape York that you are supporting? Or even a radical individual? Was Victor Hart at the Sydney conference as advertised? He is from Cape York and has been an outspoken critic of Pearson. Have you consulted him?

    I certainly cannot support a demand based on the ill informed hunches of a few activists in direct contradiction to the stated will of the communities involved.

  36. Mark Gillespie says:

    Hi John,
    You say the four councils have volunteed to be part of the FRC trial, but it must be remembered that the relationship between the government and the councils is not equal. The govt controls the purse strings and has the power to disolve councils. Is this self determination?

    Individuals already have the right to have their welfare quarantined if they want it. The FRC, however, has the right to impose it on individuals. Once imposed you don’t have the right to appeal the decision and if you leave the community the income management follows you.

    I don’t pretend that there is unanimity about the NT or Qld intervention either within the indigenous or non indigenous community and this is an on going debate. There are indigenous leaders, however, criticising the FRC and I feel comfortable with being part of the action on the 21st.

    The main focus on the day will be the NT intervention and there will also be a focus on deaths in custody issues in Qld as well. Sam was at the meeting last night and will be speaking at the rally. I hope you reconsider your attitude to the event even if you have doubts about the FRC.

    Thanks
    Mark

  37. Mark,

    That FRC pamphlet sounds like what a lot of elders are saying about their communities, as priority issues for their communities. I see nothing sinister in that quote.

    You, like may others are confusing the concept of victim blaming with self responsibility. Also I suspect, from your comment, you do not fully comprehend the desperation in the communities and their powerlessness of elders and community workers to intervene into situations where children are neglected.

    Have you seen the Cape York Institutes program for the trial? It includes jobs and corporate development, houses, health, training etc. Again I don’t give it full marks but it is a wholistic strategy of which the FRC is just a spoke.
    http://www.cyi.org.au/

    You said “I really don’t think people already living in dire conditions need more rules and more pressure”. I think it is the people in those communities who should decide what is relevant for them, and it appears that they have at the 4 communities. Your opinion and value framework is as irrelevant to the oppression and real situation on the ground at Cape York as my white opinion is.

    I agree with what you say about housing. No welfare, employment, domestic violence or education programs including school can succeed in overcrowded housing. Without proper housing nothing will work. The state government has been using housing money as a lever – the threat and actual withdrawal of funds, to ensure council conformity to state agendas on a whole range of issues. They have kept millions in unspent housing money on their accounts and most Aboriginal housing money in communities goes to maintain massive Qbuild bureacracies that deliver next to nothing in terms of housing.

    Housing provides real jobs and apprenticeships, as well as houses.

    Housing is one of the issues that the left in Bris should be highlighting rather than protesting about the previous federal governments policies in the NT.

    You may be interested in this report on Palm Island housing that I co-wrote for the Greens. Apparently Palm island is the DOGIT community in the most despearate housing need but all the communities have the same problems.
    http://www.kalkadoon.org/index.php/palm-island-housing-report/

    Get beyond the slogans and get into the meat of the matters – otherwise the left are irrelevant to the Aboriginal agenda.

    For example, Mulrunji’s murder was a flash point, but the real issue is deaths in custody which is the issue of police and prisons. This is where the Brisbane left should be applying itself – Brisbane police and prisons. If you really want to protest against Aboriginal initiatives, protest about Murri Court which streamlines the systematic criminalisation of Murries with incentives to plead guilty, even if the victim of police racism.

    Bob Weatherall’s arrest in the Valley should have thrown the Brisbane left into frenzied activity, not NT or Cape York policy debate.

    And then there is the question of land rights which for some reason the left does not seem to want to tackle beyond the slogan.

    Mark, I respect your personal opinion on FRC as you have expressed it. However the rally on the 21st specifically refers to the Qld. Invasion.

    Why does ARC and the rally, not just you, oppose the Cape York trial? Is it a consensus of left activist opinion or a response to resistance on the ground at Cape York as in the NT?

  38. Mark Gillespie says:

    John,
    I think the problem with the FRC – like the grog laws- is it doesn’t deal with the underlying problems which is the systematic government negelect of these communities for many many decades. The FRC is all about victim blaming. A leaflet handed out by the FRC into the communities involved says:

    “What does it [FRC] mean for you?
    make sure your kids go to school every day; be a responsible parent and make sure your kids are safe and healthy; do not commit any drug, alcohol or family violence offences; pay your rents and look after your house”

    It then goes on to say if you don’t follow the rules you can have your income managed.

    I really don’t think people already living in dire conditions need more rules and more pressure. Rather than put the demands on Indigenous people I think we should put the demands on the government to provide decent housing etc. It is a bit hard to “make sure your kids are safe” and to “look after your house” when you are living in massively overcrowded conditions.

    Mark

  39. Just in terms of my own thinking on FRC, it provides community and support organisations with a realistic option for families who neglect their children – as an alternative to removing the children as is the current norm. It is, at least in theory, an alternative to another stolen generation

    I have concerns about the FRC, I do not give it full marks but it does actually deal with child welfare putting in in a different league altogether to the assortment of stunts in the NT and Qld’s grog laws to date.

    Why does ARC oppose it?

  40. Thanks Mark,

    Yes I have read that link and I think I republished it at the time.

    Not much was known about the trial then outside of Cape York and Brough had previously heralded it as extending the intervention into Qld. I dont know if any of those Murris changed their mind when people like Marcia Langton and Murrundoo Yanner publically endorsed the Pearson program.
    But I did, or at least I had a look at the details anyway and it was not what was being said of it. Ian’s link shows Les Malezer is still opposed.

    I understand there are those who oppose this, including on Cape York but the argument and decisions about it should be left to those involved I reckon. The four councils have volunteered. This should not be protested against.

    Lack of consultation is a trademark of state Aboriginal affairs so that issue is predictable and not a matter of the FRC program. What did people say about the program itself?

    But I am not really surprised that the Brisbane community was not consulted about the Cape York trial. it would be outrageous if it was imposed on Cherbourg without Brisbane consultation.

    this proposal is a result of 10 years of lobbying and a multi million dollar consultation and development process and has been argued about for years in Cape York, the argument being won by way of the 4 communities volunteering for the trial.

    The trial has been forced through, by Aboriginal people including traditional elders, despite and in conflict with the obstructions and lack of consultation by the state.

    The principle of self determination means people govern themselves, not conform to an slogan or template such as blanket dismissal of the FRC.

    Did Victor Hart attend the Sydney conference as advertised? Does he support the rally? What Cape York consultation has ARC engaged in to comment on Cape York matters?

  41. Mark Gillespie says:

    Yes John,
    That was the meeting which I attended. It was called by the steering group of the National Indigenous Womens Alliance and chaired by Boni Robertson.

    Mark

  42. Ian,

    Its the Jagera meeting mentioned in comment 1 on the report of the meeting with Vince and Graceyln. They met with the new FRC commissioner.

  43. Mark Gillespie says:

    John asks:
    (Ian, is there any report back that you know of from the Murri Womens’s meeting about the family responsibility commission?)

    John if you are referring to the meeting at the Jagera Arts Centre on May 30th that meet with the Chair of the Family Responsiblities Commission, I was there.

    I’m not aware of any report back from that meeting, but I can tell you breifly that I heard no voices in favour of the FRC and that there was hostility expressed about the government not consulting broadly before introducing such ‘punitive’ measures.

    Also were you aware of this media release opposing the Qld intervention:

    http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/aboriginals-fight-queensland-invasion

    Thanks
    Mark

  44. John,

    I have heard nothing about the Murri Womens’s meeting concerning the Family Responsibility Commission. For readers who do not know this Commission was set up by the Qld Govt. to quarantine welfare payments on communities in the North.

    There is some discussion of it in the mainstream media at http://www.abc.net.au/speakingout/stories/s2261721.htm

    Ian Curr
    June 2008

  45. Protocol is obviously a very important issue here. Aboriginal sovereignty is not an idea or a theory or a slogan but a historical reality that manifests in such things as protocol.

    For all the nasty things I have said over time about the Socialist Alliance I have also acknowledged that throughout the Mulrunji campaign in Brisbane they acted by way of proper protocol. The structures, networks and authorities of ABoriginal Brisbane and beyond were articulated through Sam who gave instructions to the white supporters who did the best they could to help. Political and strategic critique aside, this is a good model of protocol. Sam’s embrace of post-trot factionalism is new but the protocol is the same as that observed by the white support groups during the 82 Commonwealth games (Land Rights support group directed by Black protest committee) and the Bicentenial protest (Justice 88 directed by FAIRA).

    Having an Aboriginal representative at a meeting is not protocol of itself. Even John Howard had meetings with Aboriginal people present.

    This may well be the case of NT Aborigines, channeled through Redfern activists giving directions to national white supporters at such venues as the Canberra convergence or recent Sydney conference.

    However, the situation of N.T. activists authorising Sydney Kooris to authorise white activists to campaign in cities and towns outside of Sydney and N.T. is problematic unless there is an assumed grass roots connection to local traditional owners and historical communities. If such local sovereignty is not observed, the white activists become detatched commentators, presenting the problems and solutions within their own frameworks rather than the grass roots agendas of local Aboriginal leaderships.

    Issues of protocol aside, the obsessive focus on the N.T. by ARC has blinded and distracted activists from the Aboriginal struggle under their own feet on the country on which they live and work.

    Wombo criticises me above for pointing out that the Cape York trial or “Qld intervention” has nothing to do with the NT models, is an aboriginal initiative and has been developed over 10 years. No, according to Wombo this trial must be villified in the same ideological brushstrokes as the NT intervention, not only dismissing the political reality but deliberately undermining the will of Cape York leaders, elders and community councils.

    On the day that ARC picketed Anna Bligh’s office to “stop the Qld Intervention”, the mayor of Aurakun was lobbying her to bring it on quickly.

    (Ian, is there any report back that you know of from the Murri Womens’s meeting about the family responsibility commission?)

    I have been attacking the state government for years, in particular the grog restrictions which was the single indigenous policy framework of the Beattie era. The single state agency of Aboriginal policy has been the police force since the various National party reforms under Borbidge and Cooper were extinguished.

    Yet the left such as Solidarity and Socialist Alliance have ignored the decade old Qld intervention and its many deaths in custody. But now, they have jumped on the bandwagon and generalised the NT situation to the whole of Australia (well Queensland at least) imposing their sloganistic minimalist agendas onto the Qld/Bris context in ignorance of what lies under the tip of the iceberg in Aboriginal power and politics.

    This is a very similar issue to my comments about the radical christians on the other thread.

    As long as activists speak about or on behalf of Aboriginal people (or any victims of oppression including workers) they are just using oppression as a symbol by which to bolster their own identity, individually or organisationally.

    Working with Brisbane Murries in their struggle for their liberation requires considerably more from white activists than just allowing black input into the process.

  46. Sorry, I meant Socialist Alliance not Socialist Action.

    Is there any report anywhere on the Sydney conference that called the national rallies? GLW said they would publish one but they never did.

  47. Mark,

    Unfortunately you have confirmed indeed that Brisbane ARC is not an Aboriginal controlled organisation. The suggestion that Sam’s presence in a meeting somehow constitutes Aboriginal control is simply mischievious tokenism.

    Why are there no Brisbane Murris publically endorsing this rally?

    What Brisbane Murris are involved, or even consulted, other than Sam?

    What Aboriginal organisations or movement in Qld. does ARC support?

    Wombo,
    my crusade is not about the N.T, intervention, it is about Aboriginal self determination which informs my comments in other places about the intervention.

    There are some key issues that were fought out in the land rights movement decades ago in the FCATSI split over self determination.

    However Solidarity and Socialist Action are re-inacting exactly the same white paternalism and control over ARC as unionists and christians did to FCATSI.

    Unlike the paternalistic christians and unionists in the 60s and 70s, white left activists today go as far as publically condemning and villifying Aboriginal leaders such as Pearson, those who support aspects of the NT intervention and now it seems even Peter Yu.

    This white ideological commentary has nothing to do with Aboriginal self determination and power. It is a parasitic intervention into Black politics of which the white activists know nothing.

    When ARC becomes a support group for black power then it can be taken seriously. However Solidarity and Socialist Action obviously see Aboriginal issues in the context of the broader canon of left campaigns and, like the other campaigns, see themselves amongst the leadership.

    Such white arrogance, especially from people with a shallow history and understanding of the issues is perhaps the final nail in the coffin of Black resistance, in Brisbane anyway. While local Aboriginal leaderships attrophy through lack of support, the new white leaders simply continue to regurgitate the simplified slogans and demands of the white revolution.

    I have put this Foley link on BT before but it is very relevant to ARC.
    http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/essays/essay_9.html

  48. Mark Gillespie says:

    Hi John,
    Sam was at the Brisbane ARC meeting that decided to have the rally outside Parliament on the 21st.

    There is a meeting at the TLC tonight (11/6/08 ) at 6.30pm to help organise this event, all are welcome. I’m not sure if Sam will be there because I forgot to remind him about it, but he is certainly supporting the event.

    Thanks
    Mark

  49. For those interested, these are the details for the national day of action around the country:

    Sydney: 11am, The Block, Redfern
    contact Monique Wiseman 0415410558 or Paddy Gibson 0415800586

    Alice Springs – Mbantua: 2pm Court House Lawns
    contact Barbara Shaw 0401291166 or Marlene Hodder 0889525032

    Darwin: 10am Raintree park
    contact Liv 0401955405

    Perth: 11am Wesley Church, cnr Hay and William st
    contact Natasha Moore 0434303248

    Brisbane: 11am State Parliament, George st
    contact Lauren 0413534125

    Melbourne: 12pm State Library
    contact Michaela 0429136935

    Wollongong: 10am Lowden Square (east side of Wollongong Station),
    contact Sheree Rankmore 42281585 or Tina McGhie 0415504589

    Adelaide: details tba,
    contact John Hartley 0424943990 Sue Gilby 0431112898

  50. The ARC is not a Solidarity front – not in Sydney, nor Perth, nor Darwin, nor anywhere else for that matter. Solidarity members have played an important role in helping to set it up in Sydney and Brisbane, and other parts of the left like Socialist Alliance have done so in Sydney, Wollongong and in Perth. And there are Greens, and anarchists, and members of Labor, and plenty of independent activists – aboriginal and non-aboriginal – involved all over the country.

    But the initiative to set it up came from Aboriginal people, and particularly at the request of people in the Northern Territory, suffering the direct impact of the Intervention in their lives. The ARC – everywhere, from Darwin to Wollongong – continues to take its lead from Aboriginal Australia – especially that part of it at the sharp end of the federal government’s racist, punitive, policies. And I think you’ll find (if you need to see Sam’s name on a list before you believe that this campaign is genuine) that Sam is behind this 100%.

    Now John, please take your phony crusade to prove that anyone opposed to the Intervention must be far-left, non-aboriginal and, for that matter, wrong, and put it where it belongs.

  51. Who is Brisbane ARC?

    The phone number on the above poster for the rally is the Brisbane contact number for Solidarity.

    The contact person for the Sydney rally is a Solidarity person.

    The quenched fist in ARC’s logo is the same as Solidarity’s logo.

    I rang the phone number to ask what Murries were involved. I was told that they had a meeting with Vince Forrestor (from the NT) and Gracelyn Smallwood (Townsville) which I assume was the public meeting advertised above, and they said Sam Watson was behind the rally. Yet in all the info about the national day of action from ARC coming out of Sydney, Sam’s name appears nowhere in the endorsements. Every Aboriginal rally in Brisbane for the last few years has been personally endorsed by Sam – but not this one.
    What’s going on?

    Is ARC an Aboriginal controlled organisation or a Solidarity front?

  52. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23770642-601,00.html

    CHRIS Hurley – the policeman acquitted of manslaughter over a Palm Island death in custody, only to face a civil claim from the victim’s family – received a confidential $100,000 payment from the Queensland Government after the incident.

    When autopsy results revealed on November 24, 2004, that Cameron Doomadgee, known in death as Mulrunji, had died of “an intra-abdominal haemorrhage caused by a ruptured liver and portal vein”, Palm Islanders rioted and burnt down the police station, watchhouse and officer-in-charge’s residence.

    The officer, Senior Sergeant Hurley, was not on the island at the time. Having arrested the drunk and abusive Mulrunji and hauled him into the watchhouse, Sergeant Hurley was handling Mulrunji when the islander suffered his fatal injuries.

    Two weeks after the riots, Sergeant Hurley lodged a claim with the Queensland Police Service for reimbursement of the cost of replacing belongings lost in the fire. Details of the claim were never publicly released.

    The documents, released to The Australian after a Freedom of Information request a year ago, show that two weeks after the riots, on December 10, 2004, Sergeant Hurley sent his superiors a memo with a list of personal property believed to have been in the three-bedroom residence when it was burnt down. “This list is as exhaustive as possible from memory alone,” Sergeant Hurley wrote.

    The total of the items on the list came to $102,955, but the items were exempted from release under FOI and will remain secret.

    Sergeant Hurley sent a similar memo to the district office the same day, with a smaller list of police property and some personal items, including a Parker pen he valued at about $100, a torch valued at $80, two coffee mugs and a 2004 hardcover diary.

    “In relation to my personal property, as you area (sic) aware the OIC residence was also totally destroyed during the riot hence I have no proof of purchase for my personal items,” Sergeant Hurley wrote.

    “I am prepared if necessary to complete a statutory declaration.
    “I respectfully request permission to replace these items and have the Queensland Police Service meet the cost,” Sergeant Hurley said.

    The claim went as high as a deputy commissioner and was paid in full on February 11, 2005, with the QPS expenditure voucher declaring the payment to Sergeant Hurley to be “loss of property compensation”.

    Andrew Boe, who is representing Mulrunji’s family in the civil case against Sergeant Hurley, was outraged when told of the payout.

    “The ex-gratia payment to Chris Hurley, by government, for his material losses in the riot should be contrasted with the losses sustained by Mulrunji’s spouse and family as a result of his death at Hurley’s hands, which presently remains uncompensated,” Mr Boe said.

    “It is difficult not to be offended by the irony.”

    The average sum of household contents insured in Australia – by singles, couples and families of all socioeconomic levels – is $70,000.

    Palm Island is considered one of the poorest areas in Australia, and has a high crime rate.

    A police spokesman yesterday revealed the other 10 officers who lost property in the fire were paid only $17,579.90 in total.

    The spokesman again refused to list the items claimed for compensation by Sergeant Hurley.

    “Senior Sergeant Hurley did not provide a statutory declaration and the service had no concerns with the claim,” the spokesman said.

    Sergeant Hurley and the other officers who lost property in the riots benefited from a public appeal run by the Queensland Police Union.

    The Australian applied under FOI a year ago for access to documents related to the case. While the QPS recommended certain documents be released, Sergeant Hurley had his lawyers demand an internal review and then took the case to the Office of the Information Commissioner.

    The Office of the Information Commissioner has now backed the original decision by the QPS, also endorsing the original exemptions used to delete certain information from release.

    The QPS payment was made shortly before the start of a coronial inquest into the death, which led Deputy State Coroner Christine Clements to find: “Hurley caused the fatal injuries.”

    The then director of public prosecutions, Leanne Clare, opted not to lay charges, but after political intervention and a review of the case by former NSW chief justice Laurence Street, Sergeant Hurley was charged on February 5 last year with manslaughter and assault.

    He was found not guilty by a jury in the Townsville Supreme Court on June 20, and has since taken legal steps to have Ms Clements’s findings struck off the record.

    A QPS spokesman was unable to comment on the case last night, and Sergeant Hurley’s lawyer, Glen Cranny, declined to comment.

  53. There was a public meeting last night 28 may 2008 – Elders, Vince Forrester & Gracelyn Small speaking.

    The feedback re the NT & QLD interventions is terribly grim.

    The Aboriginal Rights Coalition organised the forum and they have a number of activities coming up:

    Vince speaking again today at Griffith Uni (Nathan Campus)
    1pm, N13 Environment 2 Bld, Rm 1.04
    ph: Paul 0410 629088

    Community mtg at Jaggera (Musgrave Park) tomorrow,
    Friday at noon – a rep from the Qld Gvt organising welfare quarantine for communities in QLD will be there. Great opp to listen and contribute. All welcome.

    “Teach In” afternoon of strategy and discussion re the intervention and history of assimilationist policy and Aboriginal resistance etc (speakers inc Lester Thompson)

    1-2.15pm History etc,
    2.45 – 4pm — where to now? (campaigning ideas)
    AVID reader (sunday 1/6/08 ) west end – all welcome ph: 0413534125
    Day of Action for Indigenous Rights coming up
    – 11am Sat June 21, Parliament House George St

    Also, VERY IMPORTANT – this Saturday 6.30- 6.45am is the gathering at Hill End around the Memorial Plague for Sorry Day.

    Numbers have grown over the years and it is an opportunity for people to come together and share their stories (very personal for the Murri attendees).

    Kids and all ages welcome.

    There will be a big breakfast organised again this year – it is always helpful if people can bring a plate of something, though not necessary.

    Follow Orleigh Park around to the rowing sheds and you’ll see everyone gathering.

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