Redfern Aboriginal embassy faces eviction, needs support

A mural at the Block in Redfern. Photo: Peter Boyle.

The Redfern tent embassy in Sydney has received an eviction notice from the Aboriginal Housing Company. It claims the owners of the tent embassy do not have “permission to be on this site” and are “trespassing”.

The tent embassy was set up in May last year to stop land being taken from the Block and redeveloped for commercial space and private housing.

READ MORE: Redfern Tent Embassy remains strong

Their eviction is expected to take place on February 23. Jenny Munro, one of the founders of the tent embassy, is calling on people to gather at the Block to help make sure the embassy remains on Aboriginal-owned land.

She told Green Left Weekly: “Come and support us, be here on the Monday. We need people on Monday to keep watch. Now is the time to come out and show support or we lose it.”

Munro says that the development company Deicorp have given them no information about why they are being evicted.

Deicorp plan to redevelop the Block into student accommodation, along with retail and commercial space. They say it will include affordable accommodation, but opponents are concerned Aboriginal people will be driven out of the Block permanently.

Munro said: “We don't have the advantage of seeing the Deicorp contract that was signed. Building shops and student houses is not accommodating to our needs. The tent embassy should be the priority not shops or student accommodation. I’ll probably be in court on Monday getting an injunction trying to stop it. All the reports I have been reading says has to be in consultation with the community and they haven't done that.”

Munro has called on the developers and the police to let the community have a say in the status of the tent embassy and whether the high police presence expected is unnecessary.

“The community need to make an informed decision have to have access to this information, but don't treat us like mushrooms leaving us in the dirt and piling us with shit. This is a civil matter not a criminal matter so police can't come in willy nilly. Make a stand now or be silent forever,” she said.

[A solidarity gathering will be held on February 23 at 5pm at the tent embassy. They are also requesting volunteers to help keep watch on February 22, 23 and 24.]

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