Sydney protests 8th year of NT Intervention 18-6-15
Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney Media Release 18 June 2015
Sydney protests 8th year of NT Intervention
On Sunday June 21, protesters in Sydney will mark the eighth anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention renamed Stronger Futures with a rally at Town Hall and march to the Block in Redfern. The protest will be addressed by Ken Canning, Albert Hartnett, Eva Cox, Gerry Georgatos and Kyol Blakeney.
“John Howard’s announcement of the NT Intervention was one of the most shameful days in the history of our brutal treatment of First Nations People”, said Alex Johnson, spokesperson for the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS). “It has set the struggle for First Nations People’s rights back many decades.”
Under the Intervention, the military was sent into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, the Racial Discrimination Act was suspended and compulsory Income Management was introduced for Aboriginal people. The Intervention also removed the Community Development Employment Projects which provided employment and maintained basic infrastructure in communities.
Most of the Intervention’s measures were extended for 10 years by the federal Labor government’s Stronger Futures legislation in 2012.
“$1 billion has been spent on the punitive, racist measures of the Intervention, which have only had a detrimental effect”, said Cathy Gill. “Government statistics show that since 2007, incarceration in the NT has doubled, reported rates of attempted suicide and self-harm are up almost 500%, child removal rates have increased more than three-fold, and there is more alcohol related domestic violence.”
Additional measures introduced in the NT mean police can now enter the homes of Aboriginal families in the NT without a warrant, courts are unable to consider cultural circumstances when sentencing, alcohol and R18+ material are restricted regardless of community wishes.
In South Australia and Western Australia, remote communities are under threat of “closure” after State governments said they would stop funding basic services.
“The Intervention paved the way for further government attacks on our First Nations people”, said Emily Bullock. “It has left small remote communities weak and vulnerable to the threat of closure.”
“We will be calling for an end to policies that foster cultural genocide and disempowerment”, Ms Bullock continued.
“First Nations people must no longer be treated as second class citizens in their own country.”
The protest will start at Sydney Town Hall at 3 pm.
For more information contact: Alex Johnson on 0449 184 801 or Cathy Gill on 0422 385 852