Rally condemns intervention, welfare quarantining
On June 20, a 100-strong rally against the Northern Territory Emergency Response (the “NT intervention”) was held, protesting its third anniversary. On June 21 the Senate passed legislation allowing one of the most oppressive aspects of the intervention — welfare quarantining — to be extended to all welfare recipients (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) in the NT, and then to targeted communities throughout Australia.
Speakers included Phil Bradley, vice president of ANTaR NSW; Valerie Martin, Walpiri leader and campaigner against coerced long-term leasing of Aboriginal housing and land to the government; Steve Patrick Jumpinjimpa, bilingual education teacher from Lajamanu; Sean Marshall, from the CFMEU National Office; CFMEU delegate Howard Byrne; and Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon.
Tjanara Goreng Goreng, founder of Foundation for Indigenous Recovery and Development Australia (FIRDA) also addressed the rally. In 2006, when she was a senior public servant, her house was raided and she was arrested for leaking the then-Howard government’s NT intervention plans to a local council member from the targeted NT community of Mutitjulu. She was convicted and fined $2000.