Reports from Community Rally at Parliament

Some things are not meant to be
So please please do not take my land
Always was, always will be
And do not take my whole life too
Like Hurley did to Mulrunji
Like a river flows so surely to the sea

Two Train Singers by Ian Curr

At a COMMUNITY RALLY AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE people spoke out against the Qld Police Commissioner, Atkinson,  and his deputy, Kathy Rinder. The rally called for a royal commission into the operations of the QLD Police Service.

The protest action has been sparked by the ongoing investigations into the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee in Police custody on Palm Island in 2004 and a recent spate of Indigenous and non-Indigenous deaths in custody around the State. There has been a spate of deaths in custody this year and an exponential rise in complaints by the community against police.

No answers come from government and the bureaucracy. For example, there is still silence on Sheldon Currie’s death as a result of lack of care for a sick young man in Arthur Gorrie prison. If it were not for the work of the Reverend Alex Gator, her daughter Nicole,  Sam Watson and the aboriginal inmates of Arthur Gorrie, we would not know about the abuse of care and mistreatment in that privatised hell hole.

Sam Watson, one of the organisers of the rally says the police need to be held accountable… [See National Indigenous Radio Wednesday, 15 September 2010 Calls for QLD govt to sack the Police Commissioner]

Adrian Burragubba argued that indigenous people are not subject to laws of parliament because they have not ceded sovereignty over their land. Adrian is from the Babingbura clan of the Wangan people, a part of the Birri-Gubba language group, of Central Queensland.

New Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) have been signed in the new Galilee coalfields with Rio Tinto near the towns of Clermont and Alpha.

The Premier Anna Bligh intends to launch the new mine at Clermont soon. Her department has engaged someone not belonging to the Wangan poeple, the traditional owners, to do the smoking ceremony at the launch of the mine.

Bureaucrats have chosen someone from the wrong language group. This shows disrespect to the traditional owners. Government ignorance on these matters is shameless. But they are only doing the bidding of their masters at Rio Tinto and other big mining companies.

The following information is taken from the Rio Tinto website:

Rio Tinto is currently constructing the Clermont Mine, located 12 km north west of  the township of Clermont in central Queensland. When the mine reaches full capacity (expected in 2013)  it will produce up to 12.2 million tonnes of thermal coal for international markets … Rio Tinto Coal Australia and the Wangan & Jagalingou native title claimants signed an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) in May 2008. This agreement established an Aboriginal Community Development Fund that claims to provide funds to support community driven projects…

A consortium is attempting to build a rail line over indigenous land to carry coal from the Galilee coalfields near Alpha to the coast.

The Queensland government intends to privatise  new exploitation of the coalfields – including rail and the ports.

Rio Tinto is the same company that refuses to sign collective agreements with mining workers unions like the CFMEU, AMWU and ETU.

An ETU delegate who attended the BHP Billiton AGM last year does not believe the rail line from Alpha to Bowen with ever be built. It was a con job that Clive Palmer was doing on the State Government he said. He argfued that to haul the coal that far to the coast would not be as economically viable as hauling coal form large coal seams closer to the coast. They are merely trying on the government for later times and larger profits.

Meanwhile the government has stalled on police responsibility for deaths in custody.  The police minister met with indigenous people who organised the speak out yesterday.

Demands made at the speak out

POLICE ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW !!

POLICE WHO BREAK THE LAW MUST BE CHARGED !!

SACK COMMISSIONER ATKINSON, NOW!!

SACK ASST. COMMISSIONER KATHY RINDER, NOW!!

DEMAND ACTION NOW

DEMAND THAT CORRUPT POLICE BE CHARGED

DEMAND THAT CRIMINAL POLICE BE JAILED

THE PEOPLE OF QUEENSLAND

DEMAND THAT POLICE BE HELD TRULY ACCOUNTABLE

WE DO NOT WANT A CORRUPT AND BRUTAL POLICE FORCE

WE DEMAND A FULL ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE QLD. POLICE FORCE

RALLY AND HAVE YOUR SAY

( All inquiries Sam Watson 0401227443 )

A life flows like a river Darling,
Down goes another Murri
Wise men say only fools rush in
So how do we respond to this death
Especially when only one fella’s left

Ian Curr
September 2010

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