Aboriginal communities under attack by the Australian government
Aboriginal communities under attack by the Australian government: background information from the editor
This summer 4sm received information from friends in Australia about a racist Australian government attack against hundreds of Aboriginal communities. Early this year several Australian states, particularly the state of Western Australia, decreed that hundreds of Aboriginal towns and communities would soon be faced with “closure”. This government “closure plan” mandated that all water and electricity services would be totally cut off. Additionally, all schools and health care facilities would be shut down. This plan is only directed against Aboriginal communities, especially remote ones located more that 100 kilometres from majority white cities. Closures of many towns have already taken place and more are imminent.
Aboriginal people and communities, as well as Australians of all backgrounds, have come out in the thousands, in large demonstrations in April, May and June against these outrageous closures. More opposition and resistance is planned and international solidarity is welcomed.”
Australia — 2015 — The Struggle Continues
In mid-May, I put out a commentary stating, “Stop the forced closures of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and all across Australia.” This is Jaan Laaman, your political prisoner voice, coming to you from the federal prison in Tucson, Arizona.
Let me share some new information from Human Rights and social justice activists and from Indigenous leaders in Australia, about the ongoing government attacks against Aboriginal communities.
Early this year the Australian government, especially the State of Western Australia and its Premier Colin Barnett, began shutting down all services, that is: water, electricity, schools and health care facilities in Aboriginal towns and communities located more than 100 kilometers from large urban areas. This policy is only directed at Indigenous communities. No white towns or stations are being shut down.
It has been widely speculated that by driving out the Indigenous people from these remote towns, this will open up these lands for mineral exploitation. Colin Barnett and his Western Australian government have close ties to huge mining corporations.
Whatever the full reason might be, the reality is that Aboriginal people and their communities are once again under direct attack by government policies and forces.
Aboriginal people and communities are resisting this latest colonial attack on their lands and lives. In fact, Australians of all backgrounds have come forward to rally and demonstrate against these outrageous policies. Tens of thousands of people have rallied in cities all across Australia. In late May and on June 1st, there were also a small number of solidarity rallies in Europe and Asia.
Aboriginal leaders and Australian activists are mobilizing for an upcoming weekend of protests and are asking people around the world to support them. This is part of the call from Australia, “With Aboriginal communities, culture and land under the threat of forced closures, we are calling on all communities, friends and allies around the world to stand together as one, on June 26, 27 and 28.”
Go to http://www.sosblakaustralia.com, to find out more information. Time is short, but why not organize or join an action in support or our Aboriginal friends.
The following is a radio commentary put out by Jaan Laaman in May 2015
Stop the forced closures of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and all across Australia. These were the opening words of a solidarity statement political prisoners in the United States recently sent to Aboriginal communities in Australia.
This is Jaan Laaman, your political prisoner voice, coming to you from the federal prison in Tucson, Arizona. Let me share some ugly information with you that the mainstream U.S. corporate media is not reporting. The government of the State of Western Australia recently announced the imminent closure of almost 150 Aboriginal communities and towns. By closure, it means that the water and electricity and the schools and health care facilities, in these towns, will be shut down. The Western Australia government has decided and decreed that Aboriginal communities must be located no more that 100 kilometers from large towns or cities. Any Aboriginal towns and communities located further away can be closed.
This sounds absurd in the 21st century. This is nothing but a racist, blatantly colonialist assault against the original indigenous people of Australia. This policy really sounds like it is designed to drive people off their land. By emptying Aboriginal areas of their inhabitants, the land becomes available to the huge mining corporations that are closely linked with the Western Australian government.
The Western Australian government has tried to explain its policy by labeling Aboriginal communities as “dysfunctional”. They are trying to demonize these communities by raising issues like alcohol abuse, unemployment, child abuse and poverty. No doubt such problems do exist in Aboriginal communities, as they unfortunately also do in other sectors of Australian society. This is similar to when conservative politicians here in the U.S., point to drug and alcohol abuse, in Native American, Black and Brown communities, when they want to put more cops in an area or cut back programs or funding for those areas. So the Western Australian government is using old politicians’ tricks to justify what is a racist land grab policy.
Australia is a large country with vast areas that are lightly populated. Only Aboriginal towns and communities are subjected to this policy requiring them to be located within 100 kilometers of majority white, large towns or cities. This policy isn’t meant for Crocodile Dundee and his mates. This is the Australian government once again going after Aboriginal people still living on their ancestral lands in remote areas, which now are suspected of having rich mineral resources.
This ugly government policy has met with significant popular opposition. Two large rounds of demonstrations, one in April and one on May 1st, have taken place in towns and cities across Australia. Aboriginal people and Australians of all backgrounds have come out into the streets in the thousands, to show their opposition to this unjust policy. This government decree violates International Law and the Human Rights of Aboriginal people. At this juncture, the government is pushing ahead with this policy. But more demonstrations are being planned and it is expected even more people will come out to show their opposition to this racist, colonialist assault on Aboriginal communities and their land.
For more information you can go to: http://www.sosblakaustralia.com. You can also show your support at: #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA.
This is Jaan Laaman. Until next time remember, all around the world, Freedom Is A Constant Struggle!