Indigenous rights

Recognition: Yes or No? The ABC asks the wrong questions of the wrong people

Last week the ABC broadcast Recognition: Yes or No?, a program following the joint travels of federal Labor MP Linda Burney and conservative commentator Andrew Bolt as they debate whether Indigenous peoples should be “recognised” in Australia’s Constitution.

Viewers are told at the outset that they will be asked to vote in a referendum on constitutional reform. The program claims this referendum “could unite or divide our nation” and asks: “How will you vote?”

United States: Stand-off at Standing Rock

Intervention from the White House and a court order have temporarily halted construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline 20 miles (32km) on either side of Oahe Lake, part of the Missouri River in North and South Dakota.

The temporary restraining order halts construction along this 40-mile stretch. But pipeline construction continues apace elsewhere.

In post-coup Honduras, liberation far from realised

Protesters demand justice for murdered Indigenous environmentalist leader, Berta Caceres.

Honduras marked 195 years since winning its independence from Spain on September 15, but the small Central American country remains deprived of true independence. It is stuck under ongoing domination of wealthy local oligarchs, foreign corporations, and US imperialism.

Argentina: Indigenous community launches anti-fracking fight


Fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves.

Mapuche Indigenous communities in the Argentine Patagonian province of Neuquen have denounced fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves, which they claim are contaminating their land and groundwater, killing their livestock.

Ecuadoreans go to Canada to collect Chevron compensation

Ecuadorean indigenous groups’ years-long court battle to force oil giant Chevron to pay US$9.5 billion in damages for the environmental disaster known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” began a new phase on September 12 — this time in Canada.

Plaintiffs from Ecuador have been trying for years to collect damages it won in its 2011 lawsuit against Chevron in a court in Ecuador, where the multinational oil giant no longer has assets that can be seized.

Dakota pipeline struggle: Native Americans versus fossil fuels

“Thousands of Native Americans at Standing Rock in North Dakota are protesting a pipeline project that puts their water supply at risk, threatens to plow up their sacred sites, and would worsen climate change,” Chuck Collins wrote at Common Dreams on September 14.

17-year-olds out of Queensland adult prisons

THE Queensland government announced on September 7 that it will move all 17-year-olds out of adult prisons within 12 months of new laws being passed.

It plans to pass legislation in the Parliament by the end of this year to facilitate the change.

There were 48 17-year-olds in the state's adult prisons at the time of the announcement.

The move means 17-year-olds will no longer be viewed as adults by the courts. However, 17-year-olds currently before the courts would be placed in adult prisons, if sentenced to jail time, until the laws officially change.

Aboriginal people file class action for stolen wages

About 300 Aboriginal people have joined a class action filed in the Federal Court on September 12 to recover wages they say were stolen by the Queensland government more than half a century ago.

The claim is for unpaid wages held in government trust accounts under Queensland’s Aboriginal Protection and Preservation Act 1939, which allowed the government to control the earnings of Aboriginal people until 1972. Much of the money was lost or stolen.

Gamilaraay people fight for their songlines, country in epic anti-CSG fight

Gamilaraay people are engaged in an epic fight for country against coal and gas giants supported by state and federal governments. For Raymond “Bubbly” Weatherall, from the Gunu Gunu clan and the Biridja clan, the fight is about totems — “our water, the environment and the land itself”.

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman faces arrest over anti-pipeline protest coverage

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Amy Goodman at the Dakota Access protest.

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