On June 21, protest actions were held around Australia on the first anniversary of the federal government's "intervention" into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, demanding an immediate end to the racist invasion of Aboriginal land that it entails.
In Sydney, 350 people gathered at "The Block" in Redfern, before marching to Town Hall, chanting "always was, always will be, Aboriginal land" and "stop the intervention — repeal the racist laws". Passing cars honked their support.
The rally, organised by the Sydney Aboriginal Rights Coalition, was addressed by Vince Forrester, an elder from Mutitjulu, one of the 73 affected NT communities; Auntie Bowie Hickie; and ARC activist Pat Eatock. Forester told the crowd that Uluru would be closed to tourists by its traditional owners Greens MLC Sylvia Hale, Warren Roberts from Young Labor, Simon Flynn from the Fire Brigades Employees Union and other speakers.
Nick Talbot reports that the Melbourne rally, chaired by Aboriginal activist Robbie Thorpe, drew a crowd of 250, while ARC activist Paul Benedek said the 100-strong rally in Brisbane was very youthful and vibrant.
According to Chris Williams, 80 people marched through Wollongong. The protest was organised by the newly formed Illawarra Aboriginal Rights Group.
In Hobart, Duncan Meerding reports that 100 protesters came from across the state to take part in the rally and march organised by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
Ruth Ratcliffe reports that, in Adelaide, 40 people gathered outside parliament in an action supported by SA Unions, the Greens, Socialist Alliance and a range of activist groups.