indigenous struggles

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 »

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 »

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 »

From high school rebel to Socialist Alliance leader: Talking with Sam Watson

Summer/Autumn 2002

Sam Watson headed the Socialist Alliance Senate in Queensland at the last Federal election. The ticket attracted a very credible 8,965 votes. After the elections, Alison Thorne, who headed the Victorian Senate ticket for Socialist Alliance, caught up with Sam Watson in Brisbane to discuss his 35-year history of political struggle, Watson’s hopes for the… Read more »

Finish the fight to stop Jabiluka!

Winter/Spring 2001

The fight to stop the Jabiluka uranium mine is close to victory. Rio Tinto, the new owner which took over North Limited, has announced that the mine will not be developed without the consent of the Aboriginal owners. The Mirrar people, led by feisty senior custodian Yvonne Margarula and activist Jacquie Katona, are rock solid… Read more »

In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right

Winter/Spring 2001

Robert Manne has for many years been associated with anti-communism and a trenchant opposition to the Left in Australia. This has led to a tendency among leftists to dismiss him as just another apologist for rampant capitalism. The truth, as always, is more complex. In fact Manne has been a consistent liberal, believing in the… Read more »

Beyond Reconciliation: Fight for real justice for Aborigines

Summer/Autumn 2001

On Sunday, December 3, 2000, six hundred thousand people came out for Melbourne’s Walk for Reconciliation. Perth also had its biggest-ever rally that day, ending a year of similarly spectacular actions. On May 28, Sydney’s Harbour Bridge was crowded with 500,000 marchers. Cities and towns across the country also set their own records — 50,000… Read more »

Self-determination for West Papua!

Summer/Autumn 2001

History is repeating itself in West Papua. After finally being forced to reverse course on East Timor, both the Howard Government and the Labor opposition have been gripped by another bout of bipartisan opportunism. Their prime concern is to maintain “good relations” with the Indonesian bourgeoisie. The result? The legitimate aspirations of the West Papuan… Read more »