Alyawarr walk-off protest vs NT Intervention

June 3, 2010

In July 2009, members of the Alyawarr people in the township of Ampilatwatja, approx 350 kls north east of Alice Springs in Central Australia, after sewerage flowed into their backyards, walked out of the government proscribed area into the desert and set up a protest camp.

This protest action is in defiance of the Northern Territory Intervention Act of 2007 brought in under the Howard Coalition government and continued under the Labour Rudd government. The Alyawarr community and others are calling for the NTI Act to be abolished and the reinstatment of the Racial Discrimiation Act which was suspended in order to bring in the racist NTI Act.

The impact of the NTI Act on Indigenous communities has taken the issue of indigenous rights in this country back 50 years. The government appointed Business manager is reminiscent of the white protectors, being forced into a smaller number of hub towns is like being forced onto missions, forcing communities to sign 5 year, 40 year and 99 year leases in order to take the land away from the traditional owners for mining exploration, offensive signs outside communities banning alcohol and pornography (imagine a sign in front of Parliament House in Canberra), a ration card in the form of a BASIC CARD, sending in the army and police into remote communities still reeling from the impacts of the stolen generation and it goes on.

In February 2010, unionist from around Australia travelled to Ampilatwatja to assist in the construction of a donated prototype desert house.
This film documents this act of solidarity between unionist and indigenous communities and looks at the impact of the NTI in this community.

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