Representatives from the Nyoongar tent embassy gave a presentation forum on Nyoongar native title at Murdoch University on October 15, hosted by the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre. The focus of the forum was the ongoing negotiations between the Western Australian state government and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) to extinguish native title in the Nyoongar territories of WA (roughly the region south of Geraldton and east to Esperance) in exchange for a $1.3 billion cash and land package.
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.
Well, it is only February and one thing is certain: a federal election doesn’t have to be called until as late as November 2013, but the Tony Abbott-led Coalition smells blood and, as far as they are concerned, they are in election mode. This means if you are dark-skinned, downtrodden or desperate, you had better look out. You are right in the Coalition’s firing line, and just behind them is a desperate Labor government (led, for now, by Julia Gillard) eager to play the futile game of blunting attacks from the right by joining in.
In the week after the January 26 Aboriginal Tent Embassy anniversary celebrations and protests, the mainstream media poured out a continuous stream of negative, scathing commentary on the Tent Embassy and the people that defended it. Ignoring the thousands of people gathered for three days to recognise the achievements of the Tent Embassy and protest against ongoing attacks to Aboriginal people today, the corporate media ran stories of an “angry mob” that surrounded a Canberra restaurant and “besieged” Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Liberal leader Tony Abbott.
Pat Eatock, a veteran of the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy, was recently splashed all over the news holding the Prime Minister's shoe. The shoe was lost when Julia Gillard was clumsily evacuated with opposition leader Tony Abbott by her panicked security detail from a function just 100 metres from the 40th anniversary gathering at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. The gathering took place next to the Old Parliament House in Canberra on January 26.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott and his co-thinkers are dead wrong. The Aboriginal Tent Embassy, established by activists 40 years ago, is as relevant as it was then. Early on January 26, Abbott told reporters he understood why the embassy was set up “all those years ago”, but said it was not relevant today.
The day after the January 26 protests by Aboriginal people and supporters gave the media the sensationalist images of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Liberal leader Tony Abbott fleeing under police protection, the Herald Sun's Mark Knight captured the image with a truly hilarious cartoon.
redSTACHE, January 26 -- In Canberra, in front of Old Parliament House (also known as the Museum of Democracy) is the First Nations' Tent Embassy, established in 1972 by four Aboriginal activists who wanted to draw attention to the plight and inequality of Indigenous Australians. 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Embassy, so a large gathering was organised for this Australia/Invasion day.