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NT communities to protest opening of Parliament 2009

Media Release: Paddy Gibson - 22 December 2008

NT communities to protest opening of Parliament 2009

NT Aboriginal communities set to Converge on Canberra

Resistance to the Intervention is strengthening across the Northern Territory.

People from NT Aboriginal communities are preparing to take their protest directly to the federal government on the first day of parliament, February 3 2009.

On November 7 2008 the Prescribed Area People's alliance, whose meetings have involved over 150 people living under the Intervention, issued a statement:

"The NTER must be immediately repealed... We call for everyone who supports Aboriginal rights to converge on Canberra for the opening of Parliament in 2009".

The convergence has been endorsed by the full council of Central Land Council, the key representative body for the 24,000 Aboriginal people living across the region.

Planning is taking place with Aboriginal rights organisations and activists around the country for two days of workshops and discussion at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra on February 1 and 2 before a major rally on Tuesday February 3.

The NT delegation is also planning to meet with politicians to lobby for repeal of the Intervention laws and substantially increased funding for community controlled services.

Valerie Martine, from Yuendumu said, "We need support, more and more, whoever feels that this Intervention is wrong. We want to see many people come out to support us and hear their voices. It's really bad how they're treating us, taking away our rights. With the quarantining we are struggling to get the money to survive. My daughter has been sick in the hospital in Adelaide - but because our money's are quarantined I've had to battle hard, even for basic things like doing our washing. How are people supposed to survive?"

Elaine Peckham from the Iwupataka Land Trust and the Intervention Rollback Action Group said, "We've already been through many struggles, for land rights, for native title. Now we have the Intervention which has taken control of our communities in the Centre. It's very discriminatory and very hurtful. It's like a big cloud over us. Its time for us to say enough is enough, we need to start getting together and talk up - not on our own but as a voice with everyone else strong and loud. We can not sit back and let others take control of our lives. Its going to keep continuing if we don't speak up and let our voices be heard out there".

For more information, or to arrange Interviews, please contact:

Barbara Shaw 0401 291 166 or Marlene Hodder 08 8952 5032

Email: [email protected]


See for updates on the Canberra Convergence --

Reproduced with the kind permission of Paddy Gibson.