Thursday, 28 May 2009

June 20: Protest 2 years of the Intervention

Protest, march and concert – marking two years since the announcement of the NT Intervention

Saturday June 20, 10:30am Belmore Park, Eddy avenue, Haymarket (opposite Central station)

March to the Block in Redfern for family and culture day concert

Stop the NT Intervention
> Reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act
> No Blackmail – Land Rights not Leases
> Aboriginal Control of Aboriginal Affairs
> Housing and Services for all Communities
> Jobs – not cuts to CDEP

Speakers include:
> Maurie Japarta Ryan (Central Land Council, NT)
> Larissa Behrendt
> Adam Kerslake (Unions NSW)
> Geoff Scott (NSW Aboriginal Land Council)
> Jim Allen (Board Member NSW Aboriginal Housing Office)
> Jeff McMullen
> Dootch Kennedy (Illawarra Aboriginal Land Council)

Performers include:
> The Last Kinection
> Nadeena Dixon
> Cuzco
> Maupower (Torres Strait)
> Dizzy Doolan
> DJ Exile (Aotearoa)

Stand Against Rudd’s Racism

June 20, 2009 will mark two years since the Howard government announced its Intervention into NT Indigenous communities.

The Intervention promised health, housing and education – but it has delivered only racism, the destruction of Aboriginal control and worsening social problems. After the allocation of more than $1 billion the only houses that have been built with intervention funds have been for government managers imposed on communities. The compulsory quarantine of welfare payments is causing greater poverty, real hunger and segregation in Centrelink and in shops.

The Rudd government has made symbolic gestures to try and signal a break from the racism of Howard – apologising to the Stolen Generations and recently signing on to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But this is hypocrisy. They have pursued Howard’s agenda of “mainstreaming” and assimilation with force, expanding the Intervention, despite the recommendations of their own ‘review’.

In the NT, they have also overseen the withdrawal of funding from remote ‘outstations’, forcing migration into towns, and severe restrictions on teaching in Aboriginal languages. The government has pledged to re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act this spring, but has insisted this will mean no ‘softening’ of punitive Intervention policies.

Land Rights not Leases – Stop the national expansion of Intervention policies

A key aspect of the Northern Territory Intervention has been the compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal township land for five years. Housing assets have been forcibly transferred from community councils to the NT public housing agency. Over the past nine months, the government has announced that only 16 of the 73 ‘prescribed communities’ will receive any funding for new housing. And these communities have been given an ultimatum. They must sign township land over to the government for between 40-90 years before any construction can commence. While a handful of communities-desperate for housing and under extreme pressure-have signed these leases, the majority say they will never sign away Land Rights fought for over decades.

In March, the government announced it would extend the policy nationally – no new housing will be built in any remote community across Australia unless long-term leases are signed. And of the scores of Aboriginal communities in NSW who desperately need housing, only two – Walgett and Wilcannia – will receive funding.

The abolition of Aboriginal controlled Community Development Employment Projects (CDEPs) was a cornerstone of Howard’s Intervention, forcing thousands of Indigenous people in the NT out of work. Now this policy is also being rolled out nationally, with up to 30,000 CDEP jobs facing the axe this July. In the face of looming global recession this is madness. We need to fight these policies aimed at breaking up Aboriginal control and forcing Aboriginal people to leave their communities.

June 20 will be a national day of action, including a march in Darwin led by Aboriginal people living under Intervention policies. Join in the rally, march and concert in Sydney. Demand an end to Rudd’s racism and funding now for Aboriginal controlled housing and services in all communities.

For more info contact the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS) through
Monique on 0415 410 558 or
Paddy on 0415 800 586

To see the flyer for the protest: click here

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