NAIDOC rally in Adelaide

Issue 

The annual rally for NAIDOC week on July 13 drew a crowd of 1500-2000 people. While officially a day to celebrate the survival and revival of Indigenous culture and heritage, outrage at PM John Howard's recent intervention in the Northern Territory was palpable in the crowd. A sea of placards and banners made reference to the importance of protecting land rights, and fears about children being taken away.

Many Anangu people now living in Adelaide are from, and have families in, the NT, so the measures being taken perhaps feel closer to home here than in some other parts of Australia. While South Australia has traditionally had one of the more progressive land acts in the country, even that small comfort has been attacked by the Rann Labor government in recent years.

Led by cultural performers, the NAIDOC rally marched along King William St, drawing applause and support from workers and pedestrians, to a festival in Elder Park.

Six days earlier a protest action was called at very short notice by Adelaide Latin American indigenous and solidarity groups that wished to display their solidarity with Australia's Indigenous people. The action at Parliament House drew 150 people and was addressed, among others, by Lowitja O'Donahue, who urged the crowd to think of Indigenous people when they vote later this year, while expressing her disappointment at the ALP's support for Howard's racist attacks.