this open letter to ban ki moon, united nations secretary-general, from ghillar michael anderson clearly shows that the collective australian governments lust for the profits of the stolen lands of the aboriginal nations of wa has now reached crisis point. the shut-down of the aboriginal communities in wa is but the first of many across australia as theft and profit overcomes human decency.
as michael says, these removals will lead to horrendous outcomes in the areas of suicide, gaolings, among other social problems. this genocide of our peoples must be stopped and stopped now before any further criminal damage is done to these residents whose only crime, it seems, is the fact that they are living on their own lands and practising their long cultural duties of caring for country.
of course this means nothing to those avaricious governments, the extractive, pastoral and tourist industries and their well-paid aboriginal spokespersons.
they are more than willing to sell out lands that they have no cultural role in. should they attempt to do so on their own country their elders would quickly take them to task.
the matagarup tent embassy has had a very confrontational history whereby wa police continually arrive and remove the embassy. just as quickly, however, it is erected and peopled once again. currently it has been made known that this embassy has become a ‘refugee embassy’ for those of our people who are made homeless from their communities. made to be refugees in their own lands.
of course we all want to stop the closure of the aboriginal communities merely for greed and all possible must be done to support the call made by michael. write your own letter to the un to show the wide support of humanity to stop the closures. write or call the barnett government. let all know of you righteous wrath at their evil deeds. one thing is absolute. please do not think your community is safe because it is not in wa or sa. this action against the traditional owners is but a test run, a precursor to coming to your community.
this is an all-out attack against our sovereign right to live on our lands. i have no doubt that such actions are being fully monitored by the foul abbott government. this is the final push. assimilate or die! governments in all states and territories have become more brutal in their daily attacks against all aboriginal resistance to their racist and ruthless actions to the full point of our survival as the oldest living culture in the world. our living, our culture is now being recognised as being up to 80 000 years and possibly much more even. like others who question the anthropological records i do not believe our ancestors came out of africa. always was, always will be, aboriginal land.
and it is that historical and social certainty that increases the vitriol and venality of the attacks upon us. i know for a fact that here in nsw the police are becoming much more violent and ‘in your face’ against aboriginal protesters, regardless of the cause being raised. from reports i have read the same appears to be happening elsewhere throughout the country. the brutality and thuggery, the ‘bullyman’ attitude is alive and well and is being openly supported by all governments. we must resist! civil disobedience at all levels where possible, other means as the needs arise.
go to matagarup if you are able. raise your voice to the opposition of what is being done. protest, protest, protest. we owe it to our ancestors, our elders and our children and their children’s children to fight for what is ours as an innate right, our traditional lands. without our lands we become muchly weakened, spiritually and culturally, and their genocide will be complete. this must never happen. never! ever!
another tent embassy that is also very much under threat is the redfern aboriginal tent embassy at the block. this embassy has been in place since may last year but could well be coming to a point whereby the redfern police will be used to remove us all as trespassers. and the reason it has come to that is all down to an bungalung man, mickey mundine, of the mundine clan, attesting that he now has the sole rights as to what happens at the block. he has stated publicly that the block is not aboriginal land, it is now ‘his’ land! what manic rot!
as we know a government grant from the whitlam government in the 70’s bought the block and its derelict houses so they could become low cost housing for aboriginal people. as simple as that. much refurbishment from trade unionists and the local community spent months preparing the houses for aboriginal residents. the now-ceo at that time was ably employed as a painter. he knew what he was doing then but 30 plus years later as the aboriginal housing company ceo has allowed his mind to slip to a matter of vice – greed.
the block was destroyed through drugs, sellers and buyers and on-again, off-again police interest. eventually there were no houses in the block at all. some existed on the peripheries but they too are now gone as they were sold by the ahc. years passed and in 2007 came the pemulwuy project. anointed by the nsw government in 2009 but without the hope of funding such project. the project was to be the building of 62 accommodation units in a town-house configuration for the elders and families. no funding, the dream mutated to pp2 whereby 62 units would be built but 20 only for low-cost rental, 20 for family on a rent-buy scheme and the final larger units were to be sold to the highest bidder. but the project still contained the accommodation for aboriginal people whilst visiting sydney at low cost. a museum/art gallery would also be in place plus some shops for aboriginal use.
still no funding so in complete desperation the pemulwuy project was thrown out with the garbage. what to do, indeed. the low-cost accommodation had to go, totally. his block, his way. hence the mundine mansions concept. firstly, refurbish and strengthen the roof of the family gym. then erect multi-storey 3 and 4 bedroom units to emulate those built by deicorp that sold for $300 000 each. we have no idea the height of the tower nor the number of units but profits would be enormous and flow to a very select few.
at the redfern station end would be a building of unknown proportions to house the overflow of university students from sydney university and elsewhere. the shops would be sold to the highest bidder. there was also mention of a child-care centre for those working mothers employed in the city. the most puzzling concept, however, was the plan for a car park to allow workers all day parking. whether this is to be underground, contained in another building or the cars to park on the block itself is unknown.
what is known is that mick wants to build all these revenue-raising schemes way before even an outside toilet block is built for aboriginal elders or families. perhaps mick has a lousy superannuation scheme and this is one way to get a decent retirement bundle. i don’t know.
what i do know is that there is going to be a court-ordered mediation meeting sometime on monday 9 march. either that afternoon or the tuesday it is quite probable that the evictions for trespassing may occur and if that is successful, the block is lost to the machinations of an aboriginal megalomaniac named mick mundine.
i implore, nay i beg, all who want to save the block for its original intentions to come to the block over sunday or early on monday morning. i care not for any history of bickering or perceived insults among our people and recognise that these must be set aside. saving the block is paramount and i ask all to return to the block to at least attempt to save it. whether seasoned block attendee or new chum, please make the effort to be there.
for what its worth, i will see you there!!!
if we don’t fight, we lose – and we aborigines have already lost too much.
indigenous social justice association
prix des droits de l’homme de la republique francaise 2013
(french human rights medal 2013)
1303/200 pitt street, waterloo. 2017
61 2 9318 0947
0450 651 063
we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people
Refugee Camp in Perth and developing Humanitarian Crisis
Flag of the Djurin Republic of the Nyoongar who have set up a Tent Embassy which hosts a ‘Refugee Camp’ at Matagarup (Heirisson Island) Perth, Western Australia.
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of UN General Assembly
New York, NY 10017 USA
212-963-5012 fax: 212-963-7055
3 March 2015
Re: Refugee Camp in Perth and developing Humanitarian Crisis
As the appointed Ambassador of the original Aboriginal Embassy, the Convenor of the Sovereign Union and Head of State, Euahlayi Peoples Republic, I herewith bring to your attention the humanitarian crisis that has now developed in the state of Western Australia. This crisis is a consequence of the Western Australian government’s policy of shutting down up to 150 Aboriginal homelands and communities, which they have wrongly stated to be financially ‘unsustainable’ and economically unviable. We regard these actions as an an act of war and aggression against the various tribal Nations in Western Australia.
Already we have seen the Lockridge Aboriginal community in Perth bulldozed with impunity after the Commonwealth government of Australia had just completed building new dwellings. The people are homeless and have now crowded into other family homes creating massive overcrowding, which leads to family confrontation and lateral violence that affects not only children but adults alike.
In the northern part of Western Australia the Aboriginal community of Oombulgurri was progressively closed down:
First, the government closed the services. It closed the shop, so people could not buy food and essentials. It closed the clinic, so the sick and the elderly had to move, and the school, so families with children had to leave, or face having their children taken away from them. The police station was the last service to close, then eventually the electricity and water were turned off.
Finally, the 10 residents who resolutely stayed to the end were forcibly evicted, given just two days notice of eviction and allowed to bring only one box of belongings each. They had to leave behind cars, whitegoods, tools and personal possessions.
Most recently we have been contacted by Aboriginal representatives in the Kimberley of armed police raiding Aboriginal communities where they have shot on site the pet dogs in front of the horrified community. Furthermore, we have other incidences where armed police smashed into an old woman’s home, whilst she was showering and without reason opened the door and pulled back the shower curtain and exposed her nakedness. Only yesterday we have been advised that armed police stormed the home without any just cause, of two elderly women who were asleep in their beds.
In a recent media statement [3 March 2015] WA Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Peter Collier, commented that the establishment of the refugee camp by the Djurin Republic (Nyoongar Nation) on Matargarup also known as Heirisson Island in the middle of the Swan River adjacent to the city of Perth itself, was a preemptive act without cause, while at the same time stating that nothing will happen to these communities within the next two years. I do not think that the Minister gave any thought to what he was saying when he made this comment, for it certainly gives no comfort to those who have now been targeted. The news reports of this evening Perth time, carry stories that the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, said that he will soon make arrangements to send in the police riot squad to remove and shut down this refugee camp.
These actions by the Western Australian government are direct violations of all known humanitarian laws and are counter to the international ambition of world peace and harmonious relations.
The majority of the people of these homelands have never been displaced and have at all material time maintained their cultural norms and beliefs to their Country and natural Law for millennia.
For the Western Australian government to now dispossess and displace the Peoples of these homelands is designed to facilitate an expeditious expansion of mining interests and other developments.
We are now witnessing a full cycle of the historical wheel, that is to say when the Australian colonies and their British masters relied on the textile industries for their wealth, the colonial states of Australia, including Western Australia, cleared the land of Aboriginal Peoples in order to prevent Aboriginal resistance and opposition to the usurpation of their Country, without any form of redress or compensation.
These recent most despicable acts of the Western Australian government are a repeat of clearing the land so as to ensure no opposition to mining and other commercial developments.
This action on the part of the Western Australian government, aided and abetted by the Commonwealth government of Australia, has now created community and personal despair, which has resulted in hundreds of Aboriginal people becoming refugees in their own country, and thereby engendering great fear in the hearts of Aboriginal people and their communities.
The resulting dispossession and displacement of people from Country to the streets in large regional towns and cities have, and will, result in increased homelessness resulting in higher arrest rates, which leads to disproportional incarceration rates, child removal, family breakdown, community distress, social ills, and the tragic increase in suicide. These actions are a clear testament of genocidal acts done with intent.
I call upon Your Excellency to make this humanitarian crisis known throughout the world. Furthermore, we ask that Your Excellency assist in the immediate provision of safeguards and protection of the refugee camp and to provide appropriate aid for the health and well-being of the refugees.
In conclusion, given the most recent statement by the Premier of Western Australia on today’s evening news, we ask on behalf of the Aboriginal people of Western Australia, that this aggression against Aboriginal people be raised with the Prime Minister of Australia as a matter of urgency, in order to avoid people being physically hurt and totally demoralised.
Your immediate attention is essential for the well-being and safety of these people.
Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic
ghillar29 0427 292 492 www.sovereignunion.mobi
Amnesty International Australia: Oombulgurri demolitions: your questions answered
17 Sep 14: “The Government of Western Australia plans to flatten the Aboriginal homelands community of Oombulgurri within days. Amnesty International Australia is calling on the WA Government to stop the demolitions and here we explain why.”
Amnesty International Australia: WA Government must stop Oombulgurri demolitions after forcibly evicting community members
23 Sep 14: “The WA Government must stop the demolition of an estimated $30 million worth of homes, public buildings and infrastructure in the Oombulgurri community in WA’s Kimberley region, said Amnesty International. The organisation’s public action calling for a stop to the demolitions has attracted over 16,000 supporters since it was launched last Wednesday.”
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: Senate motion condemns Oombulgurri demolition
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/senate-mot… (link is external)
2 Oct 14: “The Senate has backed an Australian Greens motion condemning the demolition of the remote community of Oombulgurri in Western Australia.
“The Senate has supported my motion, which calls for an immediate suspension to the demolition of Oombulgurri and for a dialogue to begin with residents and Traditional Owners,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.
“The action being taken in Oombulgurri has caused deep concern.
“Communities cannot be strengthened if the underlying causes of disadvantage are not addressed. Governments at the State and Federal levels need to be investing in services and support for remote communities, to improve health services, ensure children and families safe and provide quality education and employment opportunities. That did not happen in Oombulgurri and this support has not been provided for the residents since they left.
“The demolition of Oombulgurri should be halted and the WA Government should immediately start working with residents and Traditional Owners,” Senator Siewert concluded.”
ABC News: Demolition starts on abandoned Oombulgurri community
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-01/demolition-starts-on-abandoned-oom… (link is external)
1 Oct 14: “Demolition work has begun to dismantle the remote East Kimberley community of Oombulgurri, which closed three years ago. The WA Government says it closed the community after a coronial inquiry found it to be in a state of crisis, with high rates of suicide, sexual abuse, child neglect and domestic violence. Most of the residents were moved to the nearby town of Wyndham. Contractors have begun removing 42 houses, the school, a powerhouse, sheds and water tanks.”
The Stringer: Western Australia’s Government to bury Oombulgurri
http://thestringer.com.au/western-australias-government-to-bury-oombulga… (link is external)
30 Sep 14: “The remote eastern Kimberley town of Oombulgurri was slated for demolition by the Western Australian Government in November. But the demolition job may have started today. It has been reported by The Australian journalist Andrew Burrell that the demolition could be underway today, “heading off a belated effort by Amnesty International and some Indigenous people to halt the works.” Contractor McMahon Services has been hired by the Government “to demolish and bury more than 40 houses, sheds and other buildings at the abandoned Oombulgurri community, near Wyndham”. But the truth is that Oombulgurri was never abandoned. The State Government evicted the residents after closing down Government services.” By Gerry Georgatos
NIRS: Questions over mining influence on Oombulgurri demolition decision
http://www.nirs.org.au/NEWS/Questions-over-mining-influence-on-Oombulgur… (link is external)
30 Sep 14: “A body representing Native Title holders over land including the shut-down east Kimberley community of Oombulgurri has criticised the decision to demolish its buildings. Chair of the Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation, Cissy Gore-Birch (pictured), has suggested mining exploration may be the real reason behind the Western Australian Government closing it down. 62 homes lay vacant in Oombulgarri, with the Government stating it will demolish them in November. Ms Gore-Birch says mining exploration licences have been handed out in recent years, but former residents, many now homeless, want to return to the community.” Gerry Georgatos, Correspondent
The Australian: Oombulgurri to be demolished
September 30, 2014 12:00AM
Senior Business Reporter
Oombulgurri community in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. Residents were forced off their Homelands.
(Source: News Limited)
http://tinyurl.com/nqrgvzd (link is external)
http://tinyurl.com/qcdteq2 (link is external)
An Aboriginal community in the Kimberley that was blighted by -alcohol abuse and suicide will be demolished as early as today, heading off a belated effort by Amnesty International and some indigenous people to halt the works.
The West Australian government has hired contractor -McMahon Services Australia to demolish and bury more than 40 houses, sheds and other buildings at the abandoned Oombulgurri community, near Wyndham.
The government ordered the demolition of the once-thriving community after closing it down in 2011, citing the high rates of domestic violence, child neglect, and sexual and alcohol abuse.
McMahon’s WA manager, Phil Bubner, said a four-man crew would take about six weeks to complete the job.
He said all of the houses and infrastructure would be pulled down and buried on site. “Unfortunately, the cost of moving it and selling it outweighs the value of the equipment,” he said.
Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation chairwoman Cissy Birch-Gore Gault, who has led the fight to have the community reopened, said she was working with Amnesty to seek a court -injunction to stop the demolition.
She said traditional owners were not consulted on the demolition and many former residents wanted to “return to country”.
One former resident, Tom Birch, said demolition would be “devastating” for those community members who now lived on the outskirts of Wyndham.
“They are putting these people back to the 30s and 40s when they were living up in the hills,” he said. “I think the government is disregarding full-blooded Aboriginal people.”
Amnesty claims the demolition is illegal under international law because the former community members did not give their free and informed consent.
WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier said Amnesty’s campaign was ill-informed.
“A coronial inquiry after five deaths, including four suicides, found it was in a state of crisis,” he said. “At the time of closure, most residents had already left the community voluntarily, and there was an average population of fewer than 30 people.”