Posts in: indigenous struggles

Expose the Redfern Cover-up!

Summer/Autumn 2005

On February 15, 2004 an Aboriginal teenager was chased by police through the streets of Sydney’s inner city suburb of Redfern. The police in their high-speed cars were in hot pursuit of their 17-year-old “suspect” on his bicycle. He died when impaled on the metal fence bordering a park used by his neighbours: residents of… Read more »

Australia must pay reparations for stolen East Timor oil

Winter/Spring 2004

The relationship between Australia and the newly independent nation of Timor-Leste is a classic case study of imperialism. The imperialist nation claims to be motivated by “humanitarian concerns” and “generosity” for its poor neighbour while blatantly plundering its resources. The dependent nation is expected the to be grateful for Australian aid, even though the amount… Read more »

ATSIC abolition creates opportunity to fight for something better!

Winter/Spring 2004

On the anniversary of the day Aboriginal people finally won the right to vote, the Howard Government introduced legislation into Parliament to abolish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). Established by the Hawke Government, ATSIC was an attempt to give Indigenous Australians a genuine say through an elected national body. Almost from the… Read more »

Maori resistance to the theft of the seabed and foreshore

Winter/Spring 2004

In June 2003, New Zealand’s Court of Appeal ruled that the customary title of Maori (Aotearoa/NZ’s Indigenous people) to the seabed and foreshore had never been legally extinguished, and that cases relating to it could therefore be heard by the Maori Land Court. The social democratic Labour  government of Prime Minister Helen Clarke reacted to… Read more »

High Court legitimises dispossession: Racist judgement denies existence of Yorta Yorta Nation

Summer/Autumn 2003

In 1992, Indigenous Nations celebrated the Mabo Judgement, which finally recognised, partially, their traditional ownership of their country. Since then, both major parties have stacked the High Court with judges hostile to civil rights in general and Indigenous rights in particular. On December 12, a five-to-two majority effectively annulled Mabo — part of a ruling… Read more »

Ngarrindjeri women vindicated! Make the developers pay compensation now!

Summer/Autumn 2003

On September 20, 2002 the Ngarrindjeri Nation of South Australia finally got some justice. National media reported the discovery of the 200-year-old bones of a woman and her baby daughter at Goolwa, outside Adelaide. Eighteen months earlier, the Hindmarsh Island Bridge had been opened with much fanfare, linking Goolwa to Kumarangk (traditional name for Hindmarsh… Read more »

Beyond the limits of reconciliation

Winter/Spring 2000

On 28 May, half a million crossed Sydney Harbour Bridge in the Walk for Reconciliation. Actions followed in cities and towns across the country — 50,000 participated in Adelaide and 70,000 in Brisbane. But reconciliation is a vague, “feel good” concept, and does not address the fundamental injustices experienced by Indigenous Australians. Many marchers understood… Read more »

Jack Davis: Indigenous leader & playwright

Winter/Spring 2000

Jack Davis, poet, playwright, actor and Aboriginal activist, died on 17 March at the age of 83. He leaves an extraordinary legacy. Born in 1917, Jack  lived for a period at the Moore River Native Settlement and the Brookton Aboriginal Reserve. As a young man, Jack laboured as a stockman and an itinerant worker. His… Read more »

Fiji: pro-imperialist coup

Winter/Spring 2000

The reasons behind the overthrow of the Fijian Labour Party Government are complex and sinister. The multiracial government of Mohendra Chaudry was popularly elected, and under the 1997 Constitution could not have won government without the backing of a large proportion of the Indigenous vote. The same Constitution guarantees Fijian ownership of traditional lands. The… Read more »