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First Nations’ activists condemn ongoing colonial apartheid in Australia 9-12-14

Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney                  Media Release                                  9 December 2014

First Nations’ activists condemn ongoing “colonial apartheid” in Australia

 


First Nations’ activists will tell a public forum marking UN Human Rights Day in Sydney at 6pm tonight that ongoing human rights violations in Australia are the result of an entrenched “colonial apartheid system”.
 
The forum will examine a range of abuses against First Nations across Australia including the discriminatory NT Intervention, the erosion of land rights and proposed closure of WA communities, the increasing incarceration of Aboriginal people nation-wide and the unprecedented rates of forced Aboriginal child removal in another Stolen Generation.
 
Speakers include Uncle Ray Jackson (President of Indigenous Social Justice Association), Aunty Debra Swan(Grandmothers Against Removals NSW), Chris Graham (Editor New Matilda and Associate Producer of Utopia) and Jeff McMullen (Honorary CEO of Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for Youth).
 
It needs to be understood that we, as Aboriginal people, are still under a colonial apartheid system. The incarceration of Aboriginal people is over five times higher than under South African apartheid. These are the worst black incarceration rates in the world”, said President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) Uncle Ray Jackson.
 
In December last year, ISJA was the first-ever Indigenous organisation in Australia to receive an international human rights award from the French Government for it’s work to stop Aboriginal deaths in custody and other social justice issues.
 
Aunty Debra Swan from Grandmothers Against Removals NSW added, “Human rights in this country only exist on paper not in practice. There are more Aboriginal children being stolen from their families in 2014 than at any previous time in Australia’s history. I worked in child protection for over 13 years and witnessed first-hand the systematic racism against our people”.
 
The latest report from GMAR NSW, titled ‘Guwaabal Ngiyani Guwaalaylanha; Sharing Our Stories – Our Struggle Against Ongoing Stolen Generations’ (October 2014) is attached.
 
The recent announcement in Western Australia that over 100 First Nation’s communities will be closed has generated nation-wide outrage and represents yet another racist wave of dispossession that will devastate First Nation’s people.
 
Journalist and filmmaker Jeff McMullen, said"Australians must hear about the extraordinary land grab now underway aimed at breaking the most ancient communal attachment to country."
 
The forum has been organised by Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney and has been endorsed by Grandmothers Against Removals NSWIndigenous Social Justice Association and Union Aid Abroad APHEDA. It will be held at 6pm tonight at Trades Hall, 337 Sussex Street, Sydney. Further details attached.