Action for Public Housing (APH) was launched at the Redfern Community Centre on June 24. The launch was addressed by Green Bans movement activists Jack and Judy Mundey, Aboriginal elder Jenny Munro and Associate Professor Michael Darcy. The meeting also watched short videos highlighting the history of community resistance to the destruction of public housing in the city.
Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy
The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy released this statement on August 27. The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) has claimed an important victory in its fight for Aboriginal housing on the Block, ahead of a Supreme Court decision today on a timeline for forced eviction of the Embassy camp.
In 1972, Aboriginal rights campaigners successfully pressured the Whitlam Labor government to grant funds for the Aboriginal Housing Company to begin buying houses in Redfern for low-cost housing for Aboriginal people. Now, Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) is fighting for The Block to retain this role instead of being sacrificed to greedy developers.
About fifty supporters holding Aboriginal flags and chanting “Deicorp, Deicorp we won’t stop! Get your hands off The Block” gathered on August 14 to defend the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s (RATE) fight for affordable Aboriginal housing on The Block. The battle to stop commercial development in Redfern, the original site of the urban Aboriginal land rights struggle, has been waging for 15 months.
Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) has led a successful occupation of the Redfern Block for more than a year, calling for affordable Aboriginal housing to be built on the site. RATE has been fighting off attempts by the Aboriginal Housing Corporation (AHC), led by Mick Mundine, to develop the site with a $70 million commercial and residential development. In the 1960s and ’70s the Block became a focal point for the modern day urban land rights movement. Protests led to grassroots organisations such as the Aboriginal legal, medical cultural and housing services.
Dozens of members and officials of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) rallied at the Block on May 26to show support for the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) and its ongoing struggle for social housing for the Aboriginal community. They were also there to oppose the Aboriginal Housing Corporation’s attempt to evict the embassy from the site. The eviction notice for the embassy had come into effect that day.
Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) has come under increasing attack at the same time as DeiCorp developers are advertising their proposed development with the tag line “"The Aboriginals have already moved out, now Redfern is the last virgin suburb close to city". RATE was established by Redfern residents as a protest against the proposed development on what is legally Aboriginal land of a block of commercial shops and student housing, by the Aboriginal Housing Company and developer DeiCorp.
As New South Wales is experiencing some of the strongest winds and rain in several years, the Redfern Tent Embassy is holding fast against strong winds and relentless rain. Redfern locals, and activists have banded together over the past few nights to keep the activist spot at the Block running. The embassy was erected in protest of the Aboriginal Housing Company’s plans to develop on the site , placing th cheap and affordable Aboriginal housing the Block has previously provided.