Occupy Melbourne calls for Treaty with Indigenous Australia

October 26, 2011
Robbie Thorpe.

Occupy Melbourne released the statement below on October 27.

* * *

Occupy Melbourne’s 8th general assembly passed a proposal, put forward by the Indigenous Working Group, to support the creation of a treaty between the First Nations of Australia and the Australian Commonwealth Government.

The call for recognition of Aboriginal Sovereignty gained public prominence in Australia with the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972.

At the 1988 Barunga culture and sporting festival Prime Minister Bob Hawke declared his intention to negotiate a treaty with the Aboriginal First Nations by 1990. Yet, such a treaty was never established.

In December this year the Australian Government will consider options for formally recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the constitution.

Robbie Thorpe, member of Occupy Melbourne’s Indigenous Working Group, argues that Constitutional recognition isn’t enough to protect the sovereign rights of Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples.

Thorpe asserts: “Without a treaty Australia doesn’t have a foundation for its law. The Treaty should underpin the Constitution, rather than having the Aboriginal People slotted into the Constitution 100 years later.”


Okay we know the First Nation Indigenous will be one signatory on the Treaty, but what about the other? What's the point in being included in a Constitution which was usurped by the creation of the "Australian Government Corporation" in 1973 by Gough Whitlam. Our original agreement between the Crown and the Commonwealth (citizens of Australia), has been made ineffective in our injustice system. The Australian Government Corporate Justice System no longer recognises any Constitutional rights within it's illegal system. So what's the point of it. I think it needs to be between the Crown and the First Nation, keep the illegal occupiers of our Parliament out of it.
Clearly none of you know anything about how a treaty is formed or anything about constitutional law or common law. Do some homework or better yet do a degree. Im probably better credentialed to be a "socialist" than any of you since my grandfather actually spent most of the fifties underground and has an asio record. Yet, I dont sit in the middle of the street in a camp full of dreadlocked fools protesting about corporate greed. I have three degrees and I wear a suit everyday. Your protests drove me insane. Did you consult with any indigenous groups before you started waving the flag around? Its not the 1960s, your not so oppressed or being sent off to war. Most of us on the left who are mainstream think you did more harm than good. The protest won't change anything. Those men who sit in their towers of steel dont care about your protest. You want to make some changes? Work hard and put a suit on, climb the ladder and put yourself in a position of power where you can actually so something. You won't mobilise people like those in the 1960s and 70s did. Your cause isnt that important. Dont insult those who actually had something to protest against, ie being sent to the jungles of vietnam. God, none of you would last a day.
I have no degree and never wear a suit. If the occupy protests drive you insane, the fact that about 3 billion of the world's people live in dire poverty today drives most occupiers insane. Its great your grandfather proudly struggled for what he believed in in his day, against the odds ... that's very similar to what occupiers are doing today globally. But please don't try to claim his proud record as your own. Far from insulting those who struggled against war, racism and injustice in the past, those who protest today are the real inheritors of the terrific legacy of the anti-Vietnam war protests. And I'm sure at the time there were plenty of condescending voices who lectured the Vietnam War protesters about how they were far better off in comparison to the people who went through the Great Depression. People who said things like, those hippie anti-war protesters wouldn't have lasted a day in the 1930s. Yawn.
What kind of suit? Boiler suit? Clown suit? Birthday suit? Zoot suit? Or, given that the protests allegedly drove you insane, perhaps a straightjacket?
The criticism is more about how its suddenly became an exclusive left-wing movement.

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