Gallery

news from ray jackson – indigenous social justice

time again to join the e-world.

for some 16 days of a crashed white-mans-magic box (and many many thanks to jp for his assistance in bringing it back to life), including an 8 day stop in hospital to work on the diabetic ulcers on my left foot. the only good to come from this enforced silence was in allowing me to catch up with some good reading.

two recommended readings are, one, the article by gary foley in the latest issue of tracker whereby he forensically explains the differences between noel pearson’s analysis of where aborigines should be heading and the aboriginal reality of what is possible and what is allowed by australian go-erments. noel, like many others, has tra-elled from an acti-ist who once described the howard go-ernment 10 point plan to o-erturn the mabo decision as racist scum to now recie-ing millions of dollars of federal and queensland go-ernments for his cape york program. opinion is seriously di-ided on the success of his well–funded programs.

the second is a book from 1996 titled ‘in the age of mabo – history, aborigines and australia’ that is edited by bain atwood. it is a collection of articles by 8 authors in-estigating the -various issues arising from the 1992 mabo decision and what it meant for aborigines at that time co-ering subjects from aboriginal histories, native-e title and historical traditions, between mabo and a hard place: race and the contradictions of conser-atism, among others.

ha-ing been out of the loop since before anzac day, 25/4, i am left in a position of catch-up so we will begin with a report that the bowra-ille 3 families had with the nsw attorney-general, greg smith, that was followed by the meeting with gail hickey, her family and isja.

as i did not attend the meeting with the bowra-ille families i asked family spokeswoman, leonie duroux, to explain to me what had occurred at their meeting. the following words are hers.

Hi Ray,

My understanding of the meeting yesterday was that Mr Smith will not commit to a royal commission and would not commit to a parliamentary inquiry.  He would prefer that we leave it alone and it will then hopefully it will go away.  Professional Grief counselling was suggested so they could move on with their lives.  We assured him that leaving it alone was not even in the equation we would not walk away and would not give up fighting for justice.

He thought Thomas was Clinton’s brother or my brother (not Clinton’s father), he got the name of our law firm wrong, he misnamed a crucial piece of evidence but was sorry for the tragedy the families had suffered.

Disappointed once again, but not surprised at all, but thanks for organising it all because he got all the confirmation he needed yesterday that we would not walk away from this.

Kind Rgds

Leonie

this outcome came as no real surprise but i remain as disappointed as the families at the failure of greg smith to show some leadership in obtaining justice for the three grie-ing families. it seems that some 20 years of grief and a recognised, e-en by some police, complete lack of justice in this case counts for nothing. three children abducted, assaulted and murdered; three families bereft of a satisfactory judicial answer; a community torn asunder by white-mans justice; 20 suffering years and the families are ‘offered’ grief counselling! we cannot be more insulted! too many families want and need closure and settlement yet all remain with blind insults. what outcome would occur if these 3 murdered souls had been white? not 20 bloody years of pain and insults. justice would ha-e been found. why the difference because these murdered youths are aboriginal?

the eternal e-er-echoing screams of why? ha-e haunted our people for o-er 200 years. and greg and his minders offer counselling. ne-er greg, we want the same access to the justice that your family would recie-e if one or more of your children were murdered. quite simple greg, please reconsider and allow justice to occur. this nation needs real justice for the bowra-ille 3 families. now!

after the hickey/isja meeting greg smith asked me to remain as he had an issue to raise with me personally. normally in these situations i would request somebody to remain with me but for se-eral reasons this did not happen. my astonishment was great when greg and his minders charged me with ‘exciting’ the bowra-ille families that they were going to be gi-en a royal commission into the murder of the 3 youths. i informed the group that i had not, under any circumstances, ‘excited’ any member of the bowra-ille family members. i had merely played the role of a go-between the families and his office. my in-ol-ement was minimal as shown by the absence of myself at their meeting. we left it at that and i reported this e-ent to the rally downstairs publically.

in my opinion the second meeting with gail hickey and isja went down a more positive-e road. gail began by informing greg smith and his minders what justice outcome she expected to come out of this meeting.’aunty’ gail then spoke as did liz and raul. i presented the paperwork to greg, gi-ing examples of the corruption of the police in-estigation and the equally corrupt coronial inquest. greg stated that he would read and consider the documentation presented, or his minders would, and he would also read and consider the coroner’s decision. i offered him the inquest transcripts and some e-identiary material to broaden his knowledge.

it has now been roughly 4 weeks since that meeting but nothing has been forthcoming from greg’s office but we will formally contact him shortly as to where he is up to and does he require any further information. we are hopeful but not starry-eyed about the outcome of our collective-e call for justice. we await any reply from greg.

the national stop deaths in custody coalition, see attachment, was distributed by the other three organisations but isja has only sent it out now for knowledge and perusal. the release is self-explanatory.

there is a most interesting public performance e-ent happening and i urge all who can to make the time to attend. see below.
The Red Room Company invites you the first ever public performance and exhibition of poems and recordings from

Unlocked, a literacy program that takes Australian poets into Correctional Centres to guide and inspire inmates to read, write, publish, perform and record their own poems. The event includes a panel discussion exploring the ways poetry impacts on inmates’ lives. Featured poets include Anthony Lawrence, Philip Hammial, SOLO, Gareth Jenkins and Lorna Munro. 

Chaired by Artistic Director of The Red …Room Company, Johanna Featherstone and Rob Osborne, Manager, Audio Visual Production Unit, Corrective Services NSW
WHAT: UNLOCKED: POETS, POLICE AND PRISONERS
WHEN: 3pm, Sunday 26 May, 2013
WHERE: Place Philharmonia Studio, Pier 4/5 Hickston Road, Walsh Bay
HOW MUCH: FREE

http://www.facebook.com/kateatjailbreak#!/events/184621521687380/

Kate Pinnock

Jailbreak Health Project Coordinator

Community Restorative Centre (CRC)
PH:  02 9288 8700
MOB: 0420 946 709
kate@crcnsw.org.au

the national indigenous times continues the pressure on the a-g greg smith, police minister mike gallechar and the nsw ombudsman, bruce barbour, to show reason why the police on police investigation report was not made public and why the office of the dpp has recommended no charges be laid against those kings cross police who shot at the unarmed youth and then -violently assaulted. these assaults are public knowledge but so is the exoneration of police by governments and the dpp for their criminal actions.

a most legally interesting discussion is continuing in the australian high court on what are known as the fernando principles that must be taken into consideration when sentencing aboriginal offenders. during the royal commission into aboriginal deaths in custody the commissioners were urged to seriously consider the underlying causes of the reasons why each person was in gaol/police/jj custody and ultimately to their death. this urging was at the behest of the police/gaols/justice health unions that i consider allowed no officer to be charged.

there had been argued that the horrendous lifestyles led by most aboriginal families created the opportunities not for success but for a spiralling downhill run to criminal actions. it fell, however mostly on deaf ears until 1992 when j. wood set out the fernando principles that i have placed below. this is followed by an article by my esteemed colleague, gerry georgatos.

SENTENCING ABORIGINAL OFFENDERS

 I: THE PRINCIPLES DISTILLED IN R v FERNANDO

The main decision in relation to the specific considerations when sentencing Aboriginal offenders is R v Stanley Edward Fernando.[1]
Fernando was a sentencing decision by Wood J sitting in the Supreme Court.

[1] (1992) 76 A Crim R 58.

[2] See, for example, R v Iginiwuni Unreported, Supreme Court, Northern Territory, 12 March 1975; R v Peter Unreported, Supreme Court of Queensland, 18 September 1981 per Dunn J; Neal v R (1982) 149 CLR 305 especially at 326 per Brennan J; R v Rogers & Murray (1989) 44 A Crim R 301.

Fernando was sentenced for Malicious Wounding. The victim was his de facto partner. The offence had occurred after a period where both the victim and the defendant had consumed large amounts of alcohol.

Fernando was forty-eight years old at the time of sentencing. He normally lived on an Aboriginal Reserve at Walgett. He had an extensive criminal record.

There were numerous decisions prior to Fernando dealing with sentencing principles relating to Aboriginal offenders [2]
In Fernando, when addressing the difficult problem of sentencing the defendant, Wood J distilled the following principles from these cases and other cases in relation to the sentencing of Aboriginal offenders:

(A) The same sentencing principles are to be applied in every case irrespective of the identity of a particular offender or his membership of an ethnic or other group but that does not mean that the sentencing court should ignore those facts which exist only by reason of the offenders’ membership of such a group.

(B) The relevance of the aboriginality of an offender is not necessarily to mitigate punishment but rather to explain or throw light on the particular offence and the circumstances of the offender.[2]

(C) It is proper for the court to recognise that the problems of alcohol abuse and violence which to a very significant degree go hand in hand within aboriginal communities are very real ones and their cure requires more subtle remedies than the criminal law can provide by way of imprisonment.

(D) Notwithstanding the absence of any real body of evidence demonstrating that the imposition of significant terms of imprisonment provides any effective deterrent in either discouraging the abuse of alcohol by members of the aboriginal society or their resort to violence when heavily affected by it, the courts must be very careful in the pursuit of their sentencing policies to not thereby deprive Aboriginals of the protection which it is assumed punishment provides. In short, a belief cannot be allowed to go about that serious violence by drunken persons within their society are treated by the law as occurrences of little moment.

(E) While drunkenness is not normally an excuse or mitigating factor, where the abuse of alcohol by the person standing for sentence reflects the socio-economic circumstances and environment in which the offender has grown up, that can and should be taken into account as a mitigating factor. This involves the realistic recognition by the court of the endemic presence of alcohol within aboriginal communities, and the grave social difficulties faced by those communities where poor self image, absence of education and work opportunity and other demoralising factors have placed heavy stresses on them, reinforcing their resort to alcohol and compounding its worst effects. 3

(F) That in sentencing persons of aboriginal descent the court must avoid any hint of racism, paternalism or collective guilt yet must nevertheless assess realistically the objective seriousness of the crime within its local setting and by reference to the particular subjective circumstances of the offender.

(G) That in sentencing an Aborigine who has come from a deprived background or is otherwise disadvantaged by reason of social or economic factors or who has little experience of European ways, a lengthy term of imprisonment may be particularly, even unduly, harsh when served in an environment which is foreign to him and which is dominated by inmates and prison officers of European background with little understanding of his culture and society or his own personality.[3]

Fernando was approved by the Court of Criminal Appeal in R v Hickey4 and has been applied in a number of subsequent cases.

The purpose of this paper is to explore exactly what it means to apply these principles in the sentencing of Aboriginal offenders.

The Stringer
Aboriginality in sentencing before the High Court 
by Gerry Georgatos 
May 10th, 2013
The High Court of Australia will for the first time in decades consider whether Aboriginality is 
relevant when deliberating sentencing. This morning the full bench of the High Court heard an 
application from the Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS) of NSW and the ACT.

 The ALS was awarded the grant of special leave relating to the relevance of Aboriginality to 
sentencing.

 The ALS application had sought clarification from the High Court on a precedent from 1992 – the 
Fernando principles – where the Supreme Court of NSW determined that Aboriginality should be 
taken in account in sentencing.

 The application was lodged on behalf of western NSW Aboriginal man William Bugmy.

 Mr Bugmy had spent most of his adolescence and adult life in prison. While in prison he 
assaulted a prison officer.
The ALS, in a statement following this morning’s High Court’s grant of special leave, commended 
the decision as “recognition of the potential significance of the matters advanced on behalf of Mr 
Bugmy.”
In 2011, Aboriginal adults were 14 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Aboriginal 
counterparts.
WA’s Aboriginal juveniles at 48 times. In 2013 this has risen to 16 times and 50 
times respectively.
Since 1990 the rate of incarceration of Aboriginal peoples has increased 14 
times faster than that of non-Aboriginal peoples.
In 2011, Aboriginal adults were 14 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Aboriginal 
counterparts. WA’s Aboriginal juveniles at 48 times. In 2013 this has risen to 16 times and 50 
times respectively. Since 1990 the rate of incarceration of Aboriginal peoples has increased 14 
times faster than that of non-Aboriginal peoples.

The Court’s decision has created the opportunity for serious questions about Aboriginal identity, 
life and imprisonment – in reference to sentencing and incarceration rates.
The ALS will have the 
opportunity to drive a powerful agenda in pursuit of remedying through the criminal justice system 
the vast divides that lead Aboriginal peoples to be incarcerated at the world’s highest rates.
This is an opportunity for the ALS to secure various precedents that will travail Aboriginality in 
terms of childhood trauma, inter-generational poverty, the denial of various rights from the 
beginning of life as being pertinent within mitigation and sentencing.
The question of the actions of the individual will not be limited to the individual’s actions but to 
their origins.
The ALS has sought to defend Mr Bugmy, who is from Wilcannia, in light of a very troubled youth. 
With an Australian prison population 26 per cent compromised of Aboriginal peoples, if the High 
Court finds accord with the ALS depositions hence the whole justice landscape of Australia may 
have to change – and push for restorative justice practices and a levy a burden on Governments, 
Federal and State, to do more for troubled Aboriginal communities.
Mr Bugmy is facing seven and a-half years for pelting a prison officer with pool balls. The officer 
has suffered the loss of vision in one eye.
Mr Bugmy was found guilty of the offence in NSW Court but the Court of Criminal Appeal 
increased Mr Bugmy’s original sentence from six years.
The ALS sought in the High Court 
direction as to sentencing principles.
The Court of Criminal Appeal increased Mr Bugmy’s sentence on a ruling that a socially deprived 
childhood diminishes its hold over time. But others and obviously the ALS disagree.
In 1982, High Court Justice Gerard Brennan found that social deprivation facts – and 
compounded by an offender’s ethnicity – should be considered by Courts.
In 1992, NSW’s Fernando case outlined eight principles to be considered when sentencing 
Aboriginal people deemed as having been disadvantaged. This included the circumstances 
arising from historical dispossession, the impacts of colonisation, the various disadvantages that 
lead to social deprivations.
Mr Bugmy had never learned to read or write. He was an alcoholic by the time he was twelve and 
a drug addict by the time he was thirteen. By the age of twelve he was in foster care. He has 
spent most of his adult life in prison.
During Mr Bugmy’s imprisonment his mother died, his sister died, his brother died. Because he 
was in prison he was never able to attend their funerals.
Mr Bugmy’s issues are thematic to the Aboriginal lives that finish up in prison – the underlying 
issues that led Mr Bugmy into prison have led a significant proportion of Aboriginal peoples into 
prison. Therefore the deliberations of the High Court around Aboriginality as mitigation to 
sentencing goes to the heart of why Aboriginal peoples are being imprisoned – the origins lie not 
in their individual actions alone but in the preconditions they are born into, a determinism that 
usurps equality. The High Court has an opportunity to impact the political landscape.

Canada’s Supreme Court set precedents when it ruled that the backgrounds of their First Nation’s 
peoples must be taken into account when deliberating sentencing.

There is nothing to be gained by heavy sentences other than the total ruination of lives which 
though already broken could be mended. There is no evidence to show that recidivism rates 
reduce with heavier sentences. The Bugmy case is an opportunity for the High Court to set 
guidelines like never before to ensure restorative justice practices, and to reduce time spent in 
prison and instead offer people the opportunity at life building opportunities in community or 
post-release. The Fernando principles are well meaning but vague and therefore they have not 
been able to achieve anything.

my final offering is a statement from michael anderson warning our people not to be bamboozled or bludgeoned into the trickery of the governments push of the infamous indigenous land use agreements. i have made my views known several times of this government land theft and merely need to state that i agree with the caution espoused by michael.

A prominent Aboriginal leader warns Aboriginal and Torres Strait people against signing Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA), saying they cede their sovereignty for a few crumbs if they do.

Michael Ghillar Anderson writes in a media release from Germany that state and Territory governments are trying to coerce Aboriginal peoples into signing ILUAs.

“This is an act of bastardry on the governments’ part as they are NOT informing our peoples of their deceitful intent.

“The ILUAs are designed in such a way that the state, Territory and federal governments can say to the world and the local courts, ‘The Aborigines recognise us as the sovereign state because they signed an ILUA under our law, therefore, they recognise our sovereignty and authority over them, together with sovereignty over the lands, airspace and waters therein.’”

Mr Anderson is the last survivor of the four men who set up the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra in 1972 and spokesman for the First Nations Interim National Unity Government, which campaigns for sovereignty. He is the leader of the Euahlayi nation in northwest NSW and southwest Queensland.

“In Australia we have reached a very important time in our history. We must come together as distinct sovereign nations to jointly locate a national perspective on our sovereign rights,” he writes.

“We know that the Uncle Toms and Aunt Marys will all tell you that this is all a pie in the sky pipe dream. That is fine because they have always been the people who have betrayed our legal rights and interests.

“I say, these same people are NOT able to demonstrate any real achievements that they have influenced and been involved in the past 40 years or so. The medical services, some housing companies and legal services, which continue to this day, are the achievements of the 1970s Black Power movement.

“If they do say, we did some things, ask them, where is it all now? Some will say local land councils. I will leave that for you all to answer for yourselves in terms of real benefits and outcomes.

“Everything we have, we achieved by getting on the streets and fighting for it. Nobody gave us anything.

“The Aboriginal Embassy is a testament to the fact that we are independent sovereign peoples and the authorities respect its function and purpose. We argue that it is an embassy in the real sense of the word, covered by international law. It is not a protest. It is an embassy that stands for ‘sovereignty never ceded’.

“I can assure each and every one that if you have not put a special clause in your ILUAs to cover this then you lose all your rights to negotiate and/or say no to development and mining. In the long term our children and their children will not appreciate the giving away forever of our and their rights and interest to these lands, airspace and waters.

“The Australian federal, state and Territory governments are at the crossroads. That is, if the federal legislature seeks to legislate and take away our rights then they must observe the laws and rules of their own constitution which informs them that any rights that are taken from us under their legislative regimes ‘just compensation’ MUST be paid.

“We, as First Nations peoples are not Australians. We are who we are. If individual Aboriginal people choose to be assimilated and seek to be part of the invader society, then good on them! But they must not pretend to talk for those of us who seek to be known by our own national identity of belonging to an Aboriginal nation state.

“Under international law we have a right to revolt and the United Nations is obligated by law to assist us in our efforts to be liberated and self-determining.”

Mr Anderson’s entire statement:

Having reviewed more of the legal aspects associated with Aboriginal sovereignty, I now understand in greater detail why the Australian state and Territory governments are quickly offering Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs).

My concerns come from international legal advice based on a Canadian Supreme Court case Delgamuukw [1997] coupled with the Mabo judgement of 1992.

The Canadian Delgamuukw case sets new common law rights, thereby advancing the Mabo judgement [2]. The Canadian case must be taken into account by Australian courts. The Canadian Delgamuukw case concluded that two Canadian Supreme Court cases in 1888 and 1897 established that:

Indian constitutional ‘interests’ is paramount over the Crown’s constitutional ‘interest’ until surrendered by treaty, that being the legal consequence of the treaty process in Canada.

Like Australian Courts, the Canadians are also at a loss as to what and how to deal with these matters, particularly where Aboriginal peoples assert their continuing sovereignty and which the peoples argue has never been ceded.

The legal significance of Delgamuukw for us in Australia is that at no time have we sold our rights and interest to the Crown under a valid treaty. Consequently, this confirms our continuing sovereignty, that is, exclusive jurisdiction as sole possessors. This means that our law is the supreme law of the land and waters. Importantly a valid treaty can also affirm the sovereignty of a nation when making agreements with other nations with free prior and informed consent. It must be especially noted that Delgamuukw establishes the utter irrelevance of Crown parliamentary legislation, particularly if the Aboriginal people concerned are not tied to the establishment by way of treaties and/or other legal arrangements. Aboriginal rights are now deeply entrenched within the common law and cannot be altered by the legislative process, as we remain independent of it as independent sovereign peoples.

The Mabo judgement [2] concluded that Aborigines in Australia have continuing rights which are propriety rights under ‘their law and customs’. If we take this a little further, it means that we have not, nor have ever, been part of the Australian system.

History helps confirm this fact. Under the Australian constitution pre-1967, we were not counted as citizens. Section 127 barred our inclusion. That is, Aboriginal people were ‘not to be counted when determining Australia’s population’. Under section 51 sub-section 26 of the Australian constitution we were the property of the state. We were ‘wards’ which made us by definition ‘prisoners of the state’. Like the Gulags of the old Russian state, we were locked away, not for anything we did wrong, but just because we were Aboriginal. As ‘wards’, we were not permitted the right of freedom of movement and/or association. If we left the government mission stations the state law required the state police to locate us and return us to the mission station that we came from. If we crossed borders, the states had complementary laws that permitted the people to be returned to their state of origin. Our children were taken and traded under the pretence of them being indentured. This by definition is state controlled slavery. Then in 1967, it is alleged that First Nations peoples were given their freedoms. But the question now is, how did the federal government, the colonial power, obtain our sovereignty and patrimony?

No courts anywhere in the world have condoned this method by which a state acquires the sovereignty of another people. It is accepted that a state can gain the patrimony, sovereignty of other peoples if they are conquered in a declared war, but under this rule of law, the conquered peoples’ laws remain in force until otherwise changed by formal legal agreements. Alternatively, there are those who cede their sovereignty to a dominant state. But in our case, we do not fit any of these categories for a legal transfer of sovereignty. We remain independent with sovereign entitlements unceded. No courts have declared, nor can declare, that we are legally obligated to the invader Australian state. Those who claim to govern us just simply say you have to abide by our rules. This is not a legal authority no matter how you look at it. The position that we have now reached in Australia is a full frontal standoff on the questions of jurisdiction and sovereignty.

Under international law, we have the right to be self-determining in our own right, but due to the invaders’ dominance we continue to be either prisoners in our own lands or displaced people in someone else’s country. Under international law we have a right to revolt and the United Nations is obligated by law to assist us in our efforts to be liberated and self-determining.

The Australian federal, state and Territory governments are at the crossroads. That is, if the federal legislature seeks to legislate and take away our rights then they must observe the laws and rules of their own constitution which informs them that any rights that are taken from us under their legislative regimes ‘just compensation’ MUST be paid.

We must always remember that the federal Native Title Act 1993 as amended 1998 also recognises our common law rights. We do not have to be a registered Native Title applicant to engage in matters effecting our lands or waters. Our rights are preserved in state, Territory and federal laws. All that is needed is for us as Aboriginal people to know our true rights.

Despite the arguments about the federal Native Title Act, every government in Australia must deal with the recognition of Aboriginal rights that have now emerged in common law.

We, as First Nations peoples are not Australians. We are who we are. If individual Aboriginal people choose to be assimilated and seek to be part of the invader society, then good on them! But they must not pretend to talk for those of us who seek to be known by our own national identity of belonging to an Aboriginal nation state.

If the Australian state seeks to force parliamentary legislation on us that deprives us of our inherent rights, then we must call it for what it is, racial discrimination in the extreme and/or dictatorship. But they can only achieve this if they suspend the Racial Discrimination Act.

Currently, state and Territory governments are going around in haste to coerce Aboriginal peoples into signing ILUAs, Indigenous Land Use Agreements. This is an act of bastardry on the governments’ part as they are NOT informing our peoples of their deceitful intent. The ILUAs are designed in such a way that the state, Territory and federal governments can say to the world and the local courts, ‘The Aborigines recognise us as the sovereign state because they signed an ILUA under our law, therefore, they recognise our sovereignty and authority over them, together with sovereignty over the lands, airspace and waters therein.’

When we examine some of these ILUAs we see that the governments have been very clever in their deceit. They ensure firstly, that the people will get their names on the ‘deeds and titles’, then they ask the people to sign them back to the government(s) in perpetuity (forever). What good does it serve, just to have your name on the ‘deeds and titles’?

Furthermore, is getting a few people employed, such as rangers in national parks, all that our people want? I think not. Then there is the question, what if the governments want to change the purpose of some of these national parks/reserves, or for that matter, make a law that permits mining within these same national parks/reserves?

I can assure each and every one, that if you have not put a special clause in your ILUAs to cover this then you lose all your rights to negotiate and/or say no to development and mining. In the long term our children and their children will not appreciate the giving away forever of our and their rights and interest to these lands, airspace and waters.

My message is – don’t let the governments deceive you. You all have sovereign rights that cannot be taken from you. We all know that the government and their Aboriginal lackeys will always say, but if you don’t sign then you get nothing. Rubbish. Your right under the existing laws of Australia gives you negotiating rights. If you are not a Native Title applicant, never mind. You can always seek from the Australian courts, under federal court rules, interlocutory injunctions on any development on your lands and waters as your Native Title rights and interests have never been extinguished.

Our law and customs do not depend on the non-Aboriginal land tenure. Our law connects us to all things natural. Our religion is based on our observation of where the song-lines run. This means that the trees, waterholes, animal habitats and aquifers are all part of our law and customs. If these items are under threat or destroyed, then the governments are interfering and interrupting our continuing law and customs, our Native Title right are being illegally interfered with. This is against our common law rights. This means that if the natural ecosystems on freehold or perpetual leasehold land are to be destroyed, then our inherent native title rights are being interfered with without our free prior and informed consent and this attracts compensation.

In Australia we have reached a very important time in our history. We must come together as distinct sovereign nations to jointly locate a national perspective on our sovereign rights

We know that the Uncle Toms and Aunt Marys will all tell you that this is all a pie in the sky pipe dream. That is fine because they have always been the people who have betrayed our legal rights and interests. I say, these same people are NOT able to demonstrate any real achievements that they have influenced and been involved in the past 40 years or so. The medical services, some housing companies and legal services, which continue to this day, are the achievements of the 1970s Black Power movement. If they do say, we did some things, ask them, where is it all now? Some will say local land councils. I will leave that for you all to answer for yourselves in terms of real benefits and outcomes.

Everything we have, we achieved by getting on the streets and fighting for it. Nobody gave us anything. The Aboriginal Embassy is a testament to the fact that we are independent sovereign peoples and the authorities respect its function and purpose. We argue that it is an embassy in the real sense of the word, covered by international law. It is not a protest. It is an embassy that stands for ‘sovereignty never ceded’.

I appeal once again to all our countrymen and women – think about what you are doing when you sign an ILUA, for you are in fact ceding your sovereignty for a few crumbs.

Contact: Michael Anderson ghillar29@gmail.com +61 (0) 427 292 492 or 0421 795639

fkj

ray jackson
president
indigenous social justice association

isja01@internode.on.net
(m) 0450 651 063
(p)  02 9318 0947
address  1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017

www.isja.org.au

we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.

sovereignty  treaty  social justice

Please keep comments brief (moderated for spam only)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.