Indigenous & Minority Rights

Issue 41 - February-March 2013

By Jon Lamb

Last year marked an important turning point in the struggle of Aboriginal people for justice and sovereignty.The 40th anniversary commemoration of the Tent Embassy in Canberra, culminating in the January 26 Invasion Day protest, sparked a renewed fight by activists young and old against the ongoing and institutionalised racism endured by Aboriginal people.

Issue 35 - September 2011

By Shilo Harrison

People need to know the truth: that the reality of Western Australia is very different from what community organisations, legal organisations and government bodies wish members of the community to believe.

Issue 32 - May 2011

By Win Padauk Wah

Western Australia’s small mining town of Roebourne became a centre of attention following a native title meeting that was taken over by outsiders and turned into a sham on March 16.

Issue 29 - February 2011

By Andrew Martin

Thousands of Tamils around the world commemorated the massacre at the Nagerkovil school that occurred 16 years ago near Jaffna, in the north-east of Sri Lanka. Many of the Tamils who commemorated the bombing of the school are facing deportation back to Sri Lanka where the Tamil people face systematic persecution.

Issue 28 - November-December 2010

By Kathy Newnam

On October 20, Gurindji workers in the remote Aboriginal communities of Kalkaringi and Dagaragu stopped work in protest against the NT intervention. This protest revives the memory of the Gurindji walk-off in 1966, which was central in sparking a wave of protest and solidarity that led to the land rights victories of the 1980s.

Issue 27 - October 2010

By Linda Waldron

Hundreds of Muslim women and children rallied in Punchbowl, Sydney, on September 19 to protest a burqa ban soon to be debated in the NSW parliament. The bill, introduced by Christian fundamentalist MLC Fred Nile, criminalises wearing a “face covering while in a public place” except as part of a job, entertainment, recreation or sport.

Issue 26 - September 2010

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – Plans by a mainstream Islamic group to build a cultural centre a few blocks from where the former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood in New York have suddenly been seized on by right-wing media and politicians to whip up a storm of Islamophobia.

By Kim Bullimore

Israeli military and police razed the Bedouin village of al-Arakib in the Negev desert for a fourth time on August 17, leaving homeless more than 300 Palestinian Bedouin from the al-Turi tribe, the majority of them children.

Issue 25 - August 2010

By Hamish Chitts

The Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation, commonly referred to as the NT Intervention, is a prime example of the ALP’s and Coalition’s bipartisan approach to racism. Initiated by the Howard government months before it lost the 2007 election, the intervention was readily continued by the Labor government.

Issue 24 - July 2010

By Jon Lamb

In a surprising turn of affairs, the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) confirmed on June 18 that it was commencing two separate investigations in relation to the death in custody in 2004 of Palm Island man Mulrunji Doomadgee. A report released by the CMC noted that it will investigate compensation claims made by previously exonerated officer Senior Sergeant Ch

Issue 21 - April 2010

By Hamish Chitts

On March 14 another Aboriginal person died in custody, this time in a Perth police watchhouse. He was 33 years old. His completely preventable death is one of over 300 that have occurred since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody issued its final report, with 339 recommendations, in April 1991.

By Jon Lamb

Indigenous communities, environmentalists and human rights activists are gearing up for a fight against the federal government’s push to create a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory. Traditional owners in the area of the proposed waste dump at Muckaty Station, located around 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, are strongly opposed to it.

Issue 20 - March 2010

By Kathy Newnam

Hundreds of people gathered on February 14 for the launch of a “protest house” established by the Alyawarr people at the protest camp at Honeymoon Bore – 350 kilometres north east of Alice Springs. The camp was set up in July 2009 when Alyawarr elders led a walk-off from the Ampilatwatja community in protest against the federal government’s racist treatment of the community.

Issue 17 - November 2009

By Hamish Chitts

During October, Richard Downs, an elder of the Alyawarra-speaking community from the Northern Territory township of Ampilatwatja (300km north-east of Alice Springs) toured major eastern Australian cities to raise support for a protest camp established 3km from the township.

Issue 15 - September 2009

By Jon Lamb

There is perhaps no better reflection of the health of a society than the way it treats those who have no or limited access to power or control over decisions that affect their daily lives. This is especially so for the rights of indigenous people, women, migrants and young people.

Issue 14 - August 2009

By Hamish Chitts

Recent reports and revelations have conclusively shown that the Rudd Labor government is using the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) policy to dispossess Aboriginal people. Under the Australian government’s “emergency protection measures”, the situation for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory has become worse.

Issue 13 - July 2009

By Virginia Brown

A “disgrace” and custody conditions “not fit for humans” were among the June 12 findings of Western Australian state coroner Alistair Hope on the January 27, 2008, death of 46-year-old Warburton Aboriginal elder Ian Ward.

Issue 12 - June 2009

By Hamish Chitts

Whenever Australian capitalist politicians have talked about protection, welfare and reconciliation in relation to Aboriginal people they have actually meant dispossession, forced cultural assimilation and racial oppression. The capitalist class knows that much of its wealth has been gained at the expense of Aboriginal people through the takeover of their lands.

Issue 11 - May 2009

By Kerry Vernon

Government troops were still advancing into the so-called no-fire zone in the north-east of Sri Lanka on April 29, adding to what the Australian Tamil Information Service calls “an unprecedented humanitarian crisis”.

Issue 9 - March 2009

By Hamish Chitts

In the small community of Mona Mona, just north of Cairns, some 150 people met last December 9 with Linda Aplet, the director-general of the Queensland government’s Department of Communities.

Issue 7 - December 2008

By Hamish Chitts

After PM Kevin Rudd’s February 13 official apology to the Stolen Generations, media outlets around the world hailed him as a great humanitarian friend of Aboriginal people.

Issue 6 - November 2008

By Kathy Newnam

A 400-strong rally was held in Brisbane on November 1 as part of the campaign to free Lex Wotton, an Indigenous community leader from Palm Island, who was found guilty on October 24 of “rioting with destruction” by an all-white jury in Brisbane’s District Court.

Issue 5 - October 2008

By Hamish Chitts

On September 29, the Rudd government announced that it would give a 2-week extension to the review board and panel of experts handpicked to look at the federal government’s intervention into remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

Issue 2 - July 2008

By Hamish Chitts

The first anniversary of the federal government’s racist “emergency” intervention into 73 remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory was marked by protests in Australia’s major cities by Aboriginal people and their supporters. The protests called attention to the real intent of the intervention, which is to continue stealing Aboriginal land.