[Editors Note: Thanks to Callum Clayton-Dixon for this excellent video]
Half a century ago, the Yolngu people in the Northern Territory pushed for recognition of the rights of First Nations peoples – recognition of their inherent right to land ownership and to block/veto mining.
This call was dismissed by Australia’s court system, which has been a common trend when it comes to recognising the birth rights of First Nations people across the country (e.g. Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke back-stepping on promises of Land Rights and Treaty, Paul Keating responding to Mabo decision with inferior Native Title legislation, John Howard decimating what rights were provided for via Native Title & all major parties [Labor/Greens/LNP] backing tokenistic Constitutional inclusion whilst ignoring core/unresolved issue of First Nations sovereignty).
Kooma man, Wayne ‘Coco’ Wharton is a veteran First Nations activist, currently living in Currumbin Waters (Gold Coast). He established the original Aboriginal radio station (4K1G Townsville), was an ATSIC regional councillor, has been and continues to be heavily involved in large scale First Nations protest actions (e.g. 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games protests, 2012-current Aboriginal Embassy in Musgrave Park).
To this day, Mr Wharton continues to be a prominent figure in the struggle for the sovereign rights of First Nations people. “We ran this country once. We come with that law, we come with that authority, to run our country again…” In 1963, the Yolngu people were demanding recognition of their rights.
These rights still have not been recognized, and First Nations people across the continent continue to fight, struggle and resist colonization and the war of attrition.
ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE (1982 Commonwealth Games protests) – LeftPress
May 16 Musgrave Park police invasion – QLD Police
BACKGROUND TRACK ‘Black Phantoms Weight In Gold’ – Native Ryme