Daily Archives: July 27, 2010

Morrison does not understand Nauru Constitution

Editor’s Note: The Scott Morrison referred to in the article below is the Member for Cook (not the electorate in Nth Qld which had the first aboriginal state member of any parliament, Eric Deeral), that’s Scott Morrison in the photo of the BBQ. Cook (see map below) is one of the places where the British invaded lands of the first nation people of Australia. Scott Morrison is a refugee of sorts himself, accorded privilege by virtue of British conquest of Aboriginal lands. You won’t find any history of that on the Shadow immigration minister’s website. You will find Scott Morrison’s top priority as being to ‘Restore our Nations Birthplace‘ by which I think he means the descendants of the British.

Why not send Scott Morrison and his supporters by boat to Port Arthur in Tasmania and put someone in charge, say Mr. Ruddock, just to make sure that they do not get in or out of their detention centre and so that they do not inconvenience the descendants of Truganini, a proud first nation person of Tasmania.

This is to put the article below in context.

Ian Curr
July 2010


Here is the article:


Earlier, Mr Morrison said Nauru would be an instant solution to stop asylum seeker boats arriving in Australia, dismissing Labor’s claims that a deadlocked Nauruan parliament was a barrier.
“The constitution of Nauru enables the president to enter into an agreement with Australia to reopen the centre,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Brisbane.
“There are no constitutional barriers. It could be done today, it could have been done three weeks ago.
“I’ve also met with the opposition leader of Nauru and he has indicated strong support.” SMH today

Has he forgotton or does he not know that Australia assisted Nauru to write its constitution in which there is a provision that no person will be detained arbitrarily without charge.
This prohibits the sort of indefinite arbitrary detention which Australia indulges in.

In order to overcome this constitutional legal problem – a legal fiction was dreamt up by Howard bozos.

Nauru did not have a detention centre- it had a “reception and processing centre” and the asylum seekers dumped there were issued with a “visa” which only allowed them to stay in the “reception and processing centre” – clever eh? Howard, Downer and Ruddock thought so.

Morrison clearly knows about this which is why he is woofing about there being ” no constitutional problem”.

As for this rubbish that asylum seekers had club med privileges – bicycling swimming etc.

They were locked up in black plastic shelters with flush toilets with no water to flush them and potable water available for a few hours per day- on some days. We have photos to prove that people lugged water by bucket to their shelters.

Only in the last days when a few people were left languishing on the island, were they allowed to leave the camp with a curfew imposed.

How did Nauru protect the human rights of the last two men left on Nauru? Then the last man left on Nauru?

Truth is a scarce commodity in an election – could we not have just a little drop of truth.

Please ask Scott Morrison which part of the Nauru Constitution on Protection of Personal Liberty which he does not understand.

Pamela Curr
Campaign Coordinator
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
12 Batman Street, Melbourne
ph 0393266066 / 0417517075

FACT: Australia June 2010 - 508 CHILDREN IN DETENTION


Constitution of Nauru

Protection of personal liberty

5.(1.) No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty, except as authorised by law in any of the following cases:-

(a) in execution of the sentence or order of a court in respect of an offence of which he has been convicted; (b) for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court; (c) upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed, or being about to commit, an offence; (d) under the order of a court, for his education during any period ending not later than the thirty‑first day of December after he attains the age of eighteen years; (e) under the order of a court, for his welfare during any period ending not later than the date on which he attains the age of twenty years; (f) for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease; (g) in the case of a person who is, or is reasonably suspected to be, of unsound mind or addicted to drugs or alcohol, for the purpose of his care or treatment or the protection of the community; and (h) for the purpose of preventing his unlawful entry into Nauru, or for the purpose of effecting his expulsion, extradition or other lawful removal from Nauru.

(2.) A person who is arrested or detained shall be informed promptly of the reasons for the arrest or detention and shall be permitted to consult in the place in which he is detained a legal representative of his own choice.

(3.) A person who has been arrested or detained in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (c) of clause (1.) of this Article and has not been released shall be brought before a judge or some other person holding judicial office within a period of twenty‑four hours after the arrest or detention and shall not be further held in custody in connexion with that offence except by order of a judge or some other person holding judicial office.

(4.) Where a complaint is made to the Supreme Court that a person is unlawfully detained, the Supreme Court shall enquire into the complaint and, unless satisfied that the detention is lawful, shall order that person to be brought before it and shall release him

Ciaron O’Reilly on Christian Anarchism & the Catholic Worker

VID (8 mins 30 secs) – Ciaron O’Reilly on “Christian Anarchism & the Catholic Worker”.

Talk given at Christian – Anarchist gathering in England 2010.

The August 4th Meeting of the 17 Group

The next meeting of the 17 Group is on Wednesday the 4th of August at 7pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St in West End. The speaker is Richard Cassels. Hereunder is the title and an account of the content of the talk and of the distinguished speaker.
“The Sustainability challenge: your genius needed”.

Richard Cassels, Director of Climate Leadership, will talk about the challenge of embedding sustainability into the political and community consciousness at the August 4 meeting of the 17 Group.

Richard trained as a Stone-Age archaeologist at Cambridge University and excavated in the Middle East. He was then a senior lecturer in Prehistory at Auckland University, with his research focussing on prehistoric environments and their people. His next career was in managing and directing museums in New Zealand and Australia, including holding the position of Director of Exhibitions and Publications at The Queensland Museum. He and his wife have built two “more sustainable” homes in Brisbane. Now he directs Climate Leadership, a group committed to community learning about sustainability.

About sustainability, he says that: “Sustainability itself is a rather soggy word, not one that is easy to raise a revolutionary flag for. The meaning of its opposite, unsustainability, is rather more obvious”.

“If my family was starving in the desert, and the last Arabian Oryx in the world walked past, I would kill it and eat it. Sustainability is about making sure you don’t end up in the desert, and that the oryx isn’t the last oryx in the world. It’s about having foresight”.

Richard’s view is that one of the problems is the view that people who fail to act sustainably are just plain stupid. “There is a dangerous myth that sustainability is easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Some things are easy, like turning off electrical appliances. But for other things it’s like trying to turn around the Titanic when it’s going at full speed for an iceberg. We genuinely need geniuses to help us achieve this. Even Alan Greenspan, former Governor of the U.S. Reserve Bank, admitted he did not understand the world’s financial system”.

Richard will talk about his own journey towards sustainability, including his experiences of man-made deserts of the Middle East, archaeological sites of the last Ice Age, animal extinction in prehistoric New Zealand, and museum collections around the world that tell stories of past historic battles for sustainability. He then will invite the 17 Group to share their stories and experiences of being more sustainable, and join him in his search for one “Golden Rule” and “The Ten Amendments”, guidelines that could pave the way for developing more sustainable communities and improving the future for our grandchildren.

Leon is definitely thinking of being at this one when he reads about the need for a genius. Climate is of interest too. Think Siberian exile, think Mexico. So we can hope, but even without him this one will be very interesting and highly relevant to someone like you. So come, and bring someone like you as well. Eat, drink, and be talkative. As usual.

stoptheintervention ARC mtg, Thursday, 6.30pm, Peel Street, South Brisbane

On 18/07/2010, at 2:32 PM, Dominic Hale wrote:

With a Brisbane ARC bus returning from the Amazing ‘Defending Indigenous Rights’ convergence this week, we have a whole new layer of activists keen to get involved in the Brisbane Aboriginal Rights Coalition. Lets seize the momentum.

Join the Bus Participants for a meeting (with Food) at the TLC Building in Peel St on Thursday the 22nd of July.

Where: TLC Building, 16 Peel St, South Brisbane
When: Thursday 22nd July @ 6:30pm
If possible, bring a plate of Food to share

Proposed things for Agenda
– quick reportback from convergence/bus trip/SOS
– proposals coming out of convergence/bus trip
– organizing public reportbacks to unions,churches/ on campus etc.
– building the campaign
– black deaths in custody
– election

Resolutions from the Defending Indigenous Rights Conference

Hi ARC mob,

Below are some of the main resolutions coming out of the Defending Indigenous Rights: Land, Law and Culture gathering held in Alice Springs between the 6-9 July. There are several more resolutions which will be available on the Intervention Rollback Action Group website in the next couple of days, and can be accessed at www.rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com

If you’ve got any questions or feedback on any of these or follow up on the conference please don’t hesitate to get in contact with myself, or at rollbacktheintervention

in solidarity,

Resolutions from the Defending Indigenous Rights Conference Alice Springs 6-9 July 2010.

We the people in attendance at the Defending Indigenous Rights conference held in Alice Springs from the 6-9th July 2010 stand in solidarity with Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory to condemn the NT Intervention. We call on all political parties to call for the abolition of the NT Emergency Response legislation and return rights of self determination and restore control over Traditional lands, including remote communities, homelands, and town camps.

1. Women’s Statement

To Prime Minister Julia Gillard:

We, the women, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters in support of our men who are the shared caregivers of the NT wholeheartedly demand the NTER be abolished immediately.

The media has heralded your promotion to PM as a breakthrough for women. All this talk is a slap in the face for Aboriginal women whose communities are being devastated by this government’s racist intervention.

For three years the removal of our human rights has been justified with lies about protecting women from violence and feeding our children. We are living proof of the damage it has caused to us as Indigenous peoples of the NT who are trying to survive, live and practice our way of life. Shame on you!

We call on you, and Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, to abolish this law that takes away our human rights as Indigenous peoples of this country.

Minister Macklin consistently claims that women support Income Management and the Intervention. This is not the truth. Under current policies we have no choice and no change and now a big cloud is covering our struggle and journey. The Working Futures policy is about closing our homelands and communities. This is damaging and destructive to our families, our language, law, culture, everything that is important to us. This is our identity, passed down through generations, and this is what makes us the oldest unique culture in the world.

Income Management, cuts of the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP), the bi-lingual education ban in schools, compulsory five year leases over our land and housing – all these measures are taking away our control over our lives and our communities. Your legal discrimination against us has given a licence to racists to abuse us in the street, in supermarkets and to attack our kids at school.

We call for the immediate end of the NT Intervention and the resignation of Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin.

2. Worse than Workchoices: Exploitation of Aboriginal workers must stop! Jobs with Justice now.

The Rudd government committed to halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in a decade. But due to a continuation of Howard era policies such as the NTER, the gap is becoming far wider. ABS data released on June 3 shows that Indigenous unemployment has drastically worsened from 13.8% in 2007 to 18.1% in 2009. The employment to population ratio of Indigenous males in remote areas decreased 6% in just one year 2008-09.

Minister Macklin has promised to deliver ‘real jobs’ for Aboriginal communities through the NT intervention. Instead, thousands of CDEP positions have been lost.

At the end of 2010, 500 ‘real jobs’ created to replace some of the lost CDEP positions in remote shire councils face the axe. The Commonwealth is refusing to release the $8.5 million per year needed by the NT government to keep the jobs. Many Aboriginal communities serviced by these shires already suffer atrocious living conditions which shame Australia – 500 more job losses will be devastating.

Worse than Workchoices

Under the new CDEP scheme designed by the federal Labor government, Aboriginal people no longer receive wages. They are being forced to work providing vital services such as rubbish collection, school bus runs, sewerage maintenance, construction and aged care in exchange for quarantined Centrelink payments.

There are cases of people working between 25-40 hrs a week for a base rate of approximately $120 cash and $110 on the Basics Card – that is $4 an hour plus rations. Centrelink is threatening to cut off payment entirely if people do not participate in CDEP. This is far worse than anything the Liberals inflicted on workers under Workchoices.

Minister Macklin has referred these shocking revelations to a departmental enquiry and to Fair Work Australia. But this is not good enough. The gross exploitation of Aboriginal workers must stop immediately. The government is planning to spend $350 million (over 4 years) to expand income management across the NT. This money is desperately needed to create real jobs in remote communities and ensure the provision of basic services.

We call on the trade unions, State Labour councils and the ACTU to endorse this statement, provide funds for its publication and help organise members to attend a national day of action in September to push these demands.

The government must act immediately to:

-Guarantee the 500 threatened Shire jobs

-End compulsory income management

-End current CDEP arrangements forcing people to work for the BasicsCard

-Turn all CDEP positions into fulltime waged jobs

-Provide massive investment in job creation and service provision in all NT communities.

3. No to Radioactive Racism

The nuclear industry continues to have a disproportionate impact on remote and Indigenous communities in Australia and overseas. Nuclear projects leave a lasting legacy of environmental contamination and adverse social issues. The NT Intervention, NT government ‘Working Futures’ and other regressive and paternalistic policies are stripping communities of funding and resources and pushing Traditional Owners and communities to consider high impact projects like uranium mines and nuclear waste dumps in exchange for essential services which are basic human rights.

The Defending Indigenous Rights gathering calls for full government investment to provide services for all communities. The gathering supports the strong stance taken by the Electrical Trades Union in banning their members from working on nuclear projects and commends the support of the Maritime Union of Australia, Unions NT and the Australian Council of Trade Unions in solidarity with Muckaty Traditional Owners opposing the federal radioactive waste dump.

The gathering supports the upcoming Australian Nuclear Free Alliance meeting and will start work to support delegates to attend the conference.

We commit to immediate and ongoing protest actions in cities/towns and a blockade at Muckaty if the site is announced and the community calls for support.

4. Defend Aboriginal Languages – Scrap the Bi-Lingual Education Ban

Stop the erosion of Aboriginal language rights. The government is denying Aboriginal people our identity and culture through the Bi-lingual education ban.

The Defending Indigenous Rights gathering calls on the Australian Education Union to pledge support for any teachers who refuse to follow the policy of assimilation being enforced on NT communities – the restrictions on teaching in Aboriginal languages. That all conference participants work to get signatures on the AEU petition against the Bi-lingual Education Ban and works with teachers around the country to build forums and protest actions.

5. Indigenous Media and Media Representation

The Defending Indigenous Rights gathering i) calls for a boycott of the National Indigenous Times, and ii) condemns the ABC Lateline program.

i) The conference congratulates Chris Graham, Amy McGuire, Larissa Behrendt and others who have edited and written for the National Indigenous Times over many years. They have reported the truth about Aboriginal affairs, an area characterised by mainstream media racism and propaganda. This conference condemns the push to run a pro-Intervention editorial line in the current National Indigenous Times to gain access to government funding. We call for a boycott of National Indigenous Times while this sell-out strategy continues. We support efforts by former NIT staff to establish alternative forums for news and critical analysis of Indigenous issues.

ii) That this conference calls upon the Federal Minister for Communication to investigate the ABC’s Lateline program of reporting false, inaccurate, misleading statements on Aboriginal communities in its program of 2005 of alleged sexual abuse in Mutitjulu. Participants of this conference condemn the ABC on this program and call for an on-air apology in casting all Aboriginal communities in a derogatory light. Particularly the male participants at this conference condemn child/sexual abuse and agree that those matters should be properly investigated without racist targeting of all Aboriginal communities.