Friday, October 19, 2012

Talking to a brick wall - Political Stuff

Blogging politics...
It's funny this blog hasn't really been a platform for making political comment... at least I don't think it has. But a lot of my life seems engulfed by political issues that I can't escape from. My work and personal interests have made political issues an inevitable and unavoidable part of my life. The people I work with and for are directly affected by an enforced occupation of their land by a government that has never legitimized their presence in the form of any treaty or legally acknowledged process of acquisition. Their laws and customs have been interfered with at virtually every level. Traditional systems of governance that once maintained social harmony and balance are continually interfered with and they are blamed for the resulting dysfunction and accused of being unable to adapt!

The Federal Intervention into Indigenous Communities in the NT which even suspended the racial discrimination Act just so the government could completely take over Aboriginal communities was recenly perpetuated by legislation known as the Stronger Futures Bill. The Australian People barely batted an eyelid why should they care, since the laws only apply to Indigenous people. The average Ausie probably doesn't think their lives could possibly be affected by such discriminatory laws.

About a year ago A group of prominent Yolngu leaders from East, West and Central Arnhem Land got jack of being screwed around and so they formed theYolngu Nations Assembly known in Yolngu matha as (Yolnguw Makarr-Dhuni).
Last week in Maningrida the Makarr Dhuni gathered for a second annual meeting and have made a media statement which can be read HERE on the Blog Cultural Worlds, It's not likely they will get the media attention they deserve.

Last weekend representatives of Makarr-Dhuni met with the NT Chief Minister Terry Mills:

They made a formal statement on the following subjects:


Here's what they had to say about STRONGER FUTURES:

"We want self-determination. We want democracy. We want the power of the people in Arnhem Land and in all Aboriginal communities to be recognised and our rights respected.
We want the Intervention to be thrown out, and we want the Northern Territory Government to lobby the Federal Government on our behalf. The Federal Government must start to listen to the voices on the ground. No more deception, no more lies, we want the Intervention out now and self-determination to be taken seriously.

We never consented to this law, and we were never asked if we wanted the continuation and extension of these laws under the deceptively named “Stronger Futures” Act. We will not tolerate this bullying and it is no way to treat human beings. We are being led around like dogs on a lead with the Basics Card, compulsory acquisition of our land, police coming into our houses without a warrant, and having our law disqualified from recognition or consideration in court.
All this was done and continues to be done under the lie that we are hiding pedophiles and that child abuse comes from our culture. This is disrespectful, slanderous and fundamentally untrue. It is undermining our law, our culture and our whole identity. All this so Government can get legitimacy to take over our communities.
We demand an apology from the Federal Government.
We have our own system of law to prevent disagreements from escalating. We keep peace and order through good governance and we have very serious and consistent ways of teaching respect and discipline to all our young people. We have ways of dealing with people who have broken the law that means they are not a threat to the community while they are taught responsibility and maturity. These processes are being eroded through community disempowerment and Government attacks on our legitimacy as leaders and our society as a whole."

Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni (Yolŋu Nations Assembly)
Maningrida: October 11th – 13th, 2012.
Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni represents the people of eight nations in the Western, Central and East Arnhem Land areas of the Northern Territory:
Miwatj, Laynha, Raminy, Marthakal, Garriny, Gumurr-Rawarraŋ, Gatjirrik and Miiyirrk

With thanks to Cultural Worlds

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