NT walk-off: solidarity needed

October 10, 2009

On October 9, 100 people gathered at the Manning Clark Centre at the Australian National University, to hear about the Northern Territory intervention and the inspiring Alyawarra people's walk-off at Ampilatwatja in the NT.

The speakers were Harry Nelson from Yuendumu, NT, walk-off spokesperson Richard Downs, and Michael Anderson, founder of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.

Nelson and Downs are touring eastern Australia, building support for the walk-off. Inspired by a successful meeting with the Maritime Union of Australia in Sydney, they called for university students and the Community Public Sector Union to support their struggle. Many CPSU members are employed to carry out the racist policies of the intervention. Downs said: "Don't be timid, don't have wool pulled over your eyes."

Speakers also talked about the need to build international links, and referred to revolutionary developments in Latin America.

As well as racism, Downs and Anderson pointed out that Aboriginal Australians also face the effects of US imperialism, with US military bases on their land in Central Australia. They said US military planes flew over NT communities each day, en route from Guam.