Alice Springs Convergence – 6 to 9 July 2010

[Aboriginal News]



Monday 12th April 2010

An historic nationwide gathering of Aboriginal peoples and supporters has been finalised for 6-9 July 2010 at the Alice Springs showgrounds

The Alice Springs convergence, supported by Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal peoples from across Australia, will call on the Rudd federal Labor government to immediately end the intervention and unconditionally re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act.

The continued suspension of the RDA with the full consent of the Rudd government allows for the contentious and racially discriminatory aspects of the NTER intervention to continue unabated.

Alyawarr spokesman Richard Downs and his people walked-off their community in protest in July 2009. They’re calling for all Australians to join together to rid Australia of racism and to ensure justice and equal recognition for Aboriginal peoples and the promotion of human rights for all.

“This is a struggle for our very survival as Aboriginal people” Mr Downs says.

“All control over our lives is being removed. The Communities Corporations and Associations built up over many years are being closed down, our infrastructure is being dismantled, our languages have been banned in schools and our law systems completely pushed aside. We’re back to where we were 40 years ago.”

Mr Downs says policies of assimilation have led to homelands being starved of jobs and resources, with Aboriginal people forced into towns as virtual refugees where they’re vulnerable to drugs and alcohol.

“The measures are now targeting other states – lands are being taken away, long term leases are being enforced, and the basic card is destroying our independence. It’s time to start fighting back to defend our rights our county and our culture. We are fighting for our future, and for our children’s future” he says.

“We welcome everyone, all our brothers and sisters, to come and stand with us for four days in July. Let’s send a clear message to the Rudd Labor Government and to all future government leaders that racism in all its forms will not be tolerated by Australian voters. We truly need to turn a new page in race relations in this country, end the intervention, and show respect to each other as human beings” Mr Downs says.

For further information please contact:

Alyawarr Spokesperson: Richard Downs Mobile: 0428 611 169. Email: Senior Pitjantjatjara Elder: Murray George Mobile: 0428 614 965 John Hartley, Yalanji: Mobile: 0424 943 990 Email:

One thought on “Alice Springs Convergence – 6 to 9 July 2010

  1. Working Group for Aboriginal Rights says:

    WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

    WGAR Website:


    PM Gillard: No change on Muckaty nuclear waste dump
    Other Muckaty nuclear waste dump articles
    Background to the Muckaty nuclear waste dump
    Calls to reform the Australian Constitution
    Deaths in Custody protest
    New Way summit: Aboriginals to retake lands
    Other Aboriginal articles


    – Media Release

    Australian Conservation Foundation:
    Muckaty nuclear waste plan is a bad deal, not a done deal
    7 Jul 10: “The Australian Conservation Foundation is deeply disappointed with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s admission in Darwin today that the Federal Government intends to proceed with building a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek. “The push to impose a radioactive waste dump on an unwilling Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory is a significant broken promise from Federal Labor,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney. “The decision is inconsistent with international best practice for radioactive waste management and must be reconsidered. The Muckaty site is highly contested; Traditional Owners are taking both the Commonwealth Government and Northern Land Council to the Federal Court at the end of this month to halt the dump plan.“”

    – News

    NT News: Gillard dumps Muckaty in it after refusing to reconsider
    8 Jul 10: “PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has told
    Territorians she won’t be revisiting the decision to dump Australia’s radioactive waste in the NT Outback. In Darwin yesterday, Ms Gillard said she wanted a process led by science to choose the best site for the facility.”

    ABC: Labor missed chance on nuclear dump: CLP
    8 Jul 10: “The Northern Territory Opposition says the
    Henderson Government missed a golden opportunity during the Prime Minister’s visit to take a stance against a nuclear waste dump being built in the Territory.”

    ABC: No change on NT nuclear waste dump: PM
    7 Jul 10: “The Prime Minister says the Federal Government’s position on building a nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory remains unchanged. … During a visit to Darwin today, Julia Gillard said the arrangements made under Kevin Rudd’s leadership will remain in place.”

    Yahoo!7: Gillard OK with nuclear dump process
    7 Jul 10: “A process that will see Australia get its first nuclear waste dump against the wishes of the site’s traditional owners will not change under Prime Minister Julia Gillard.”


    – Media Release

    Australian Conservation Foundation:
    New call to dump Martin Ferguson’s nuclear waste plan
    2 Jul 10: “The Australian Conservation Foundation has
    launched a major new campaign to end Resources Minister
    Martin Ferguson’s plan for a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty,
    120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek. ACF is seeking
    community support and donations to run newspaper and
    billboard advertising (see design below) in Melbourne,
    asking for him and the Government to ‘Dump the Dump’.
    Concerned Australians can find out more and donate at … “Muckaty is a long way from our east coast capital cities and these billboards are an important way to let people know that their Government is trying to dump nuclear waste on an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.“ [Mr Sweeney said.]”

    – Radio

    Beyond Nuclear Initiative: Audio
    June 16, 2010 – Interview on 98.9fm radio
    “Featuring Muckaty Traditional Owner Dianne Stokes, Maurice Blackburn senior associate Martin Hyde and Beyond Nuclear Initiative coordinator Nat Wasley.”

    – News

    MelbourneProtests Weblog:
    No Dump at Muckaty!
    FoE ACE Collective at Martin Ferguson’s office, 2 July 2010
    2 Jul 10: “Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s ACE
    (Anti-nuclear and Clean Energy) Collective continued its campaign against Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson’s planned nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory. Activists in protective clothing offered motorists and passers-by miniature waste drums containing information leaflets, … ”


    – Video

    Beyond Nuclear Initiative: Video
    [scroll down page]
    ““Muckaty Voices” is a short film capturing community resistance to an Australian government plan to dump radioactive waste at Muckaty Station.”

    – Media Monitoring

    WGAR News: Nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory (2 Mar 10)

    WGAR News: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (20 Mar 10)

    WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump … (28 Mar 10)

    WGAR News: Muckaty Radioactive Waste Dump … (4 Apr 10)

    WGAR News: National day of action against Muckaty nuclear waste dump: 12th April!

    WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump: Senate inquiry in Darwin; Nationwide protests (17 Apr 10)

    WGAR News: … Update: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (23 Apr 10) [scroll down page]

    WGAR News: Update on Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (2 May 10)

    WGAR News: “Muckaty Voices” film; Senate Report into nuclear waste dump plan (16 May 10)

    WGAR News: Federal Court legal challenge over nuclear waste dump (13 Jun 10)


    – Media Releases

    ANTaR: Constitution Day call for election commitment to reform
    9 Jul 10: “On National Constitution Day, ANTaR calls on all major parties to make an election commitment to seek reform of the Australian Constitution to recognise the specific status and rights of Indigenous peoples. “It is time to deal with the unfinished business of reconciliation, including recognising the unique status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our nation’s Constitution,” said Dr Janet Hunt, ANTaR President.”

    Australian Human Rights Commission:
    Calls for Constitutional recognition on National Aboriginal
    and Islanders Day
    9 Jul 10: “Constitutional reform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is the next major step towards reconciliation and full recognition of Indigenous rights, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda, and Co-Chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Sam Jeffries and Dr Kerry Arabena, said today, on National Constitution Day. Commissioner Gooda, Mr Jeffries and Dr Arabena used 9 July, National Constitution Day and also a national day of celebration of Indigenous people and culture, to call for an election commitment to Constitutional reform from the major political parties and independents.”


    – Video

    Perth Indymedia: Video from Deaths in Custody protest 2-7-10
    by Alex Bainbridge
    3 Jul 10: “Over 100 people protested outside the office of
    the director of public prosecutions after the DPP announced that they would not lay ANY charges in the case of the Warburton elder killed in the back of a prison van in January 2008. The protest took place Fri 2 July 2010 and was a prelude to the major public rally on Sun 11 July 2010.”

    ABC Lateline: Anger over decision on prison van death
    28 Jun 10: “LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Western Australia’s Director of Public Prosecutions says no-one will face criminal charges over the death of an Aboriginal elder after a trip in a prison van two years ago. The man, known as Dr Ward – Mr Ward, sorry, died of heat stroke after being transported hundreds of kilometres across the Goldfields in extreme conditions. The decision has sparked an angry reaction from his family and the community.”

    – News

    ABC: Hundreds protest against death in custody decision
    11 Jul 10: “Hundreds of people have rallied in Perth to
    protest against a decision not to lay charges over the
    death of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward. Mr Ward died in 2008
    after being transported hundreds of kilometres across the Goldfields in a prison van with faulty air conditioning. The temperature in the back of the van was close to 50 degrees.”


    – Media Release

    Perth Indymedia: New Way summit: Aboriginals to retake lands
    5 Jul 10: “Aboriginal people have been encouraged to take possession of unoccupied and Crown lands including abandoned buildings to assert their ownership and original title. This proposal comes out of an Aboriginal conference held in Melbourne from 1-4 July. The third meeting of the New Way Summit movement, initiated by Michael Anderson, heard that the Mabo judgment on Native Title was legal trickery, because hunting, gathering, walking on land, ceremonies on Country do not constitute a claim to legal title and ownership, whereas erecting fences, buildings and clearing of land does as an act of ‘adverse possession’.”

    – News

    Green Left: New Way Summit: Aboriginal people to retake lands
    11 Jul 10: “At the conclusion of the New Way Summit in Melbourne over July 1-4, a proposal was adopted stating
    that: “Aboriginal people be encouraged to take possession
    of unoccupied and Crown lands, including abandoned
    buildings, to assert their ownership and original title.”
    This was the third New Way Summit on Indigenous rights to
    be held. The New Way Summit was initiated by Euahlayi man Michael Anderson from far-western New South Wales. The first summit was held in Canberra in January.”


    – Media Release

    Greens: New PM, same disregard for the disadvantaged.
    7 Jul 10: “Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Community Services has today expressed great disappointment with the Prime Minister’s decision to continue punitive income management measures in the Northern Territory. “Despite a change in leader, the Government is persisting with this draconian approach to the most marginalised people in our society,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today. “It is disappointing to hear the Prime Minister repeating the rhetoric of Minister Jenny Macklin, making claims about income management that are not supported by the evidence.“”

    – Analysis/Opinion

    Treaty Republic:
    Indigenous Land Corporation accused of defrauding
    Aboriginal people
    11 Jul 10: “Aboriginal people across Australia are
    expressing great concerns and anger at the operations of
    the government’s Indigenous Land Corporation, whose task is
    to purchase and give land to Aboriginal people unable to
    claim it through Native Title. Political activist Michael Anderson, leader of the 3,000 Euahlayi living on both sides of the Queensland and NSW border, says he is receiving calls about this from various parts of the country.”

    On Line Opinion: Punishing poverty
    8 Jul 10: “Recent legislation introduced by the Federal Government sees welfare recipients across the Northern Territory lose control of at least 50 per cent of their income. … But welfare groups haven’t been so quick to applaud the scheme. More than 90 submissions were given to the government opposing the reforms, with only two submissions supporting it.”

    – News

    ABC: NAIDOC award winner blasts intervention laws
    11 Jul 10: “The winner of the NAIDOC lifetime achievement
    award in Darwin last night has called on the Federal
    Government to rethink its “draconian” Indigenous
    intervention laws. In accepting the award, the Labor Member
    for Arafura, Marion Scrymgour, criticised the intervention, saying it “completely demoralises” Aboriginal people.”

    Green Left:
    Indigenous leader slams major parties’
    ‘race to the bottom’ on refugees
    9 Jul 10: “Brisbane Murri activist and Socialist Alliance Senate candidate Sam Watson made the following comments on July 8 on the anti-refugee policies of the two major parties.
    * * * PM Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott are involved in a headlong race to the bottom of the political pile with their policies on asylum seekers. There is no sign of humanity, no compassion, no generosity of spirit.”

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    WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)


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