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The Façade of Indigenous Rights as Rudd’s Racism Devastates Nation-wide

Media Release: Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney - Friday, 3rd April, 2009


The Façade of Indigenous Rights as Rudd's Racism Devastates


The Rudd Government is set to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples today despite its domestic regime of coercive assimilation and dispossession enforced through policies such as the Northern Territory Intervention.

"The NT Intervention contravenes 25 of the 46 articles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 remains suspended and Aboriginal communities remain under the control of an explicitly racist government", said Barbara Shaw, Aboriginal rights activist from Mt Nancy Town Camp, Alice Springs.

Despite overwhelming resistance to the Intervention and evidence that it serves only to further entrench Indigenous disadvantage, intervention-style policies are being targeted at Aboriginal communities across Australia representing a re-emergence of colonial paternalism that is in direct contradiction with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"It's not just the NT Intervention. Now Rudd and Macklin are saying there are only 26 Aboriginal communities Australia-wide that are ‘viable' to receive future government funding for housing, but this is conditional on signing 40 to 99 year leases. It is a joke", said Monique Wiseman, Aboriginal activist from Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney.

"As stated in the UN Declaration, First Nation's Peoples have the right to live on their ancestral lands free from racist government policies that aim to dispossess, centralise and assimilate Aboriginal populations" Wiseman continued.

"Signing the UN Declaration is nothing less than a tokenistic gesture like the apology was. The government must action the articles of the UN Declaration. Actions speak louder than words," added Shaw.

Barbara Shaw will visit the UN Durban Review Conference on Racism in Geneva this month and expose the absolute hypocrisy of the Rudd government's signature to the UN Declaration and the dangerous façade being created while Aboriginal people across Australia suffer under racist and oppressive policies.

"The post-apology honeymoon is over. The hypocrisy is clear. Resistance to Rudd and Macklin's racist assimilationist policies is growing around the country and will continue to grow until the demands are met", said Olivia Nigro from the Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney.

"We will accept nothing less than the immediate repeal of the NT Intervention. We will resist unceasingly until there is an absolute withdrawal of all policies that contravene this Indigenous Rights declaration. It must become the binding blueprint of Indigenous policy development with Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs the spearhead", Nigro concluded.

Media Contacts:
Monique Wiseman 0415 410 558
Olivia Nigro 0401 955 405

Coming up:
JUNE 20th - National Day of Protest - Two Year Anniversary of the NT Intervention.


Newsletters from WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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Contents: Background, Media Releases, Opinion, Radio Interviews, News, Related Newsletters