1982 Commonwealth Games Commemoration
4-6 October 2013
[organised by Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy (BASE) Contact for more info: 0424 610 492]
Last year (2012) the 30th Anniversary of 1982 Commonwealth Games protests were held in Musgrave Park a traditional place for struggle. A new generation of activists have stepped forward to take up the struggle for aboriginal land rights and sovereignty. Since 2012, BASE has organised a food program, assistance for people being kicked out of their homes, advocacy in court disputes with Child Safety, Dept of Housing and Brisbane City Council. Much of this work has been effective because it comes from the grass roots with people taking up the struggle on their own and others behalf. We have seen the West Papuan Freedom Flotilla being welcomed at the sacred fire and many ceremonies and gatherings. The fire still burns.
At the time of the 1982 Commonwealth Games, Queensland had the repressive and racist “Aborigines Act.” Mass protests led by Aboriginal people were crucial in raising the pressure to have the act repealed. Those protests saw thousands march and hundreds arrested, as they took up the fight against the Bjelke-Peterson Government. Bjelke Petersen declared a State of Emergency and proclaimed street marches illegal as he had done in 1977-1978 – the longest period of mass civil disobedience in Australia’s history.
During the week of protests, many thousands camped out in Musgrave Park – which provided both a base for the protests and a place to gather, meet and share.
The commemoration of this important milestone will provide a chance to once again gather, meet and share in the new struggles.