Aboriginal groups welcome refugees

Issue 
Ray Jackson: 'You parliamentarians do not speak in my name.'

Asylum seekers are welcome on Aboriginal lands in Australia despite the inhumane approach of both major political parties, the Aboriginal Provisional Government said on July 29.

Secretary Michael Mansell said: “As people who know what it’s like to be invaded by boat people we are in a better position to judge how the current boat people should be treated. Where the original boat people who took over our country were armed to the teeth and bent on conquest, asylum seekers in 2013 are unarmed and seeking sanctuary.

“The ancestors of Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott most likely came by boat. It is certain they never sought Aboriginal permission to enter our shores. It is hypocritical of both Rudd and Abbott, who gained all the benefits of migration to rise to the positions they hold, to deny other migrants the same opportunity. The only difference is that Aborigines are giving permission, not being ignored.

“Some may believe it strange that a people dispossessed and dominated by migrants over two centuries would welcome more. Asylum seekers are not trying to take over anything. They are hoping they will be treated as fellow humans escaping persecution and despair, willing to risk death on the high seas to gain access to a life Rudd and Abbott would deny them.”

In an open letter to Rudd released on August 5, Aboriginal activist and president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association Ray Jackson said: “Both Nauru and Papua New Guinea are countries very susceptible to the rattling of the bags of silver proffered by Australian governments to allow us to dump what we see as ‘undesirables’ or ‘queue jumpers’ or ‘illegals’.

“They, of course, are none of these. Under the UN Declaration on Refugees they have every International Human Right to seek comfort and refuge here in Australia.

“In our name, apparently, you and the Gillard government have made sickening submissions to the UN to either change the declaration to allow Australia to abrogate its responsibilities in this refugee area, or worse perhaps, to water down the Human Rights that are integral to the Declaration to allow all Nations to participate in these Colonialist politics.

“I am further insulted and denigrated that you politicians even believe you have any moral right to say who can and who cannot come to this country, to the Aboriginal Lands of the Aboriginal Nations. Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land. Your disgusting premise is built on theft and genocide so perhaps it should not come as too much of a surprise that you wish to force it upon others outside of your ethnic and religious kind.

“To me, and to many others, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, we have one very clear and simple message to give to ‘our representatives’ in Canberra and that is to loudly confirm that refugees are welcome here. From whence ever they come.

“You parliamentarians do not speak in my name.”

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