land rights

Sam Watson, a leading Murri activist from Brisbane, has been involved in Aboriginal rights struggles since the 1960s.

He is a prominent author, playwright and filmmaker, and is the Aboriginal affairs spokesperson for Socialist Alliance. A Birri Gubba man, he was previously an academic at the University of Queensland, and received honours for his 1990 novel The Kadaitchi Sung and acclaim for his 1995 film Black Man Down.

Watson spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Jim McIlroy about the issues confronting Aboriginal people.

The following is a statement issued by participants of the StandUp2017 conference that concluded with a rally in Mbantua (Alice Springs) on June 26.

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Rosalie Kunoth Monks: “You better believe it, when the Intervention first hit in 2007 community councils were decimated.”

Matthew Ryan: “Trying to get the government to listen to us, is like a brick wall.”

About 1200 people marched through Melbourne on July 8 in the annual National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) march. The rally demanded "Treaty Now", "Land Rights" and "Stop Deaths in Custody".

http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/blog/2016/

The Darumbal people of central Queensland were recognised as the traditional owners of their land a Federal Court decision on June 21. The native title claim was first made in 1997, making it one of the longest-running claims in Queensland.

The decision covers more than 14,500 sq km of land and waters, spanning the Banana, Livingstone and Rockhampton Regional Councils, including the city of Rockhampton, the town centres of Yeppoon, Stanwell, Ogmore and Gracemere, as well as the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area.

This is part of a series of articles detailing the policies and platform the Socialist Alliance will be taking to the Federal election.

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For tens of thousands of years, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this continent and its islands looked after the diverse ecosystems, developed complex languages and cultures, and traded among themselves and with visitors from overseas. They were strong, proud peoples.

The great power of Vincent Lingiariʼs story is that it teaches us how this land sings to us all, how it holds us and nurtures us. This is the common ground that we share.

When the Gurindji leader and his people walked off Wave Hill Station, camping by the Victoria River and then eventually by Wattie Creek at Dagaragu almost half a century ago, they understood that the land was their birthright and their destiny.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recent comments on the “lifestyle choice” of Aboriginal Australians living in remote areas are troubling, especially given his self-anointed role of “Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”.

I have been privileged to work in Aboriginal health, in a rural centre of South Australia, for a number of years. The simplistic notion that people live in remote regions purely due to a lifestyle choice is far from reality.

Bring The Sun Out EP
Impossible Odds
Classik Nawu
Coldwater Band
July 2013
www.impossibleoddsrecords.com

"Land rights is a load of crap," says Kaylah Truth. They are not the kind of words you'd expect to hear from a radical, politically-savvy Indigenous rapper. But Truth, of militant Murri hip-hop group Impossible Odds, says she has learnt from bitter experience to pursue sovereignty instead.

On the band's album, Against All Odds, she raps:

I no longer need my fists to fight
I just write whenever those emotions do arise

Deep Thought EP
Caper
April 5, 2013
www.caper.net.au

Rapper Caper slams the Native Title Act as a "white bible" on his latest release.

The Narungga emcee, who has worked as a Native Title field officer in South Australia for the past 10 years, raps on his track "The Writing's On The Wall":

A lot of misconceptions about us owning land
We don’t own any, man
I work for Native Title
The government is a rival
Assholes with a white bible

Aboriginal leader Sam Watson discusses the brutal dawn eviction by 300 police of the peaceful embassy in Brisbane; the importance of the Tent Embassy movement; the need for unity to fight the LNP government which he compares to the infamous government of Joh Bjelke Petersen; and where to for the struggle for sovereignty.

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