Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rally against Federal Intervention

This morning at 10:00 am in Raintree Park there was a fantastic turn out for a protest rally against the Federal Government's intervention into Aboriginal communities.

A crowd gathers in the shade of the Banyan tree in Smith St Mall

Powerful message great singing!

As the Federal Government has imposed it's will on indigenous people, dissolving their rights as citizens and legislating against whole communities collectively across the Northern Territory many of us are asking:

"What's this legislation got to do with saving the children?"

Amazingly as if the legislation isn't discriminatory enough, many non indigenous people, Including the minister responsible for alcohol in the NT, are lobbying for 'non-indigenous' visitors to Aboriginal communities to be exempt from these laws!
It is astounding that in the midst of this crisis people are asking "Why should these rules apply to me? I'm not an Aboriginal! This law is for 'them' not us!" The scariest thing about this attitude is that it is being taken seriously and exemptions have already been made along clearly discriminatory lines.

If it's still available check out what Chris Burns said in the NT News article Grog bans watered down. It's a great laugh in a tragic kind of way.

In the article Mr Burns is quoted as having said:
"people who are not from Aboriginal communities should be able to camp and fish in these areas with alcohol."
He qualified this with the following statement
"This isn't about discrimination"
Either the minister has no comprehension of the meaning of the word 'discrimination' or he is a brilliant comedian and master of irony. With statements like this he leaves political satirists with no where to go! The punchline has been taken! All they could possibly do is repeat his words verbatim.

But enough about our jokes and jesters there was serious business at todays rally. Many great speeches were made, songs sung and injustices exposed. There was a great sense of unity throughout the crowd. However the discontent was visible and shared by Indigenous and Balanda Australians alike. The demands were simple; justice and equality for all Australians, safety for our children. The Government are asked simply to "Say Sorry and Listen.

This group could be called the coalition of the caring

There is a strong feeling that the decision makers and voters east of the Great Dividing Range have little understanding of how their decisions will affect real people living in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. As there will soon be a federal election, more action has been planned to bring this to the attention of interstate voters.
On Thursday 27th September there will be another rally. People from all walks of life will unite and walk from Raintree park in Darwin's CBD and proceed to march all the way to Mindil Beach Market. A demonstration will be made to the Federal Government and all interstate onlookers that this new legislation is seen as an abuse of the rights of Aboriginal people and offers little in substance for improving the lives of Children.

No comments: