Indigenous rights

Chile’s new president, Sebastian Pinera, of the right-wing party National Renewal (RN), has announced that he plans to “modernise” the country’s Anti-Terror Law.

“This is not a conflict over elections. It’s the Honduran people rejecting the policies of plundering, death and violence of the state”, said Berta Zuniga Caceres, the daughter of murdered indigenous rights leader Berta Caceres and coordinator of the Civic Council of People’s and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH).

Two hundred people marched in Kalgoorlie on February 24 to protest the possible parole of a man who deliberately ran down and killed 14-year-old Elijah Doughty in August 2016. The man had pursued Doughty in a four-wheel-drive through bushland in Boulder, 600 kilometres east of Perth, because he believed the motorbike Doughty was riding had been stolen from his home.

About 20 people attended the launch on February 15 of a campaign aimed at countering the "law and order race to the bottom" in the lead-up to Victoria's state election in November.

The "Stop failing our kids" campaign, initiated by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA), aims to get thousands of people to send postcards to Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews.

About 200 relatives and supporters of the late Patrick Fisher gathered on February 11 to commemorate his life and hold a march calling for justice.

Fisher died on February 7 while fleeing from police who had kicked down the door of his girlfriend's home. He was wanted on outstanding warrants for minor stealing offences.

Police claim he slipped while trying to climb down to another unit and fell from the thirteenth floor balcony of the Joseph Banks Tower in the Waterloo public housing estate.

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) traditional owners of the land on which Adani has approval to build its Carmichael coalmine are concerned that the Queensland government will act to extinguish their native title rights prior to a Federal Court hearing scheduled for March 12–15.

This follows the decision by the Federal Court to not extend an interim injunction, which had been in place since December 18, restraining the Queensland government from extinguishing native title under the terms of the purported Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA).

For almost 14 years we have repeated the same sad story of the death of TJ Hickey.

The young Kamilaroi man was happily riding his bike in Waterloo on February 14, 2004, totally unaware of the tragedy that was to come. A police car driven by then Constable Hollingsworth, started to pursue him. On the corner of Phillip and George streets, a police vehicle hit the bike and TJ was catapulted and impaled on the spiked iron fence.

Socialist Alliance’s Indigenous Rights spokesperson Sam Watson considers there has been “a definite strengthening and expansion of the Black political struggle”. Watson was referring to the record-breaking attendance of tens of thousands of people at Invasion Day rallies around the country on January 26.

“You can't really pinpoint this phenomenon geographically or by age or gender,” he said.

The New Year is in full swing, and if there is one thing I am really looking forward to in 2018, it is the long overdue introduction of “rank socialism” in this nation.

This appears to be on the agenda to go by the dark warnings offered up last year by former prime minister, jogger and war-criminal-at-large John Howard on the matter of a royal commission into the banking sector.

[The following is an abridged version of Gary Foley’s speech to the huge Melbourne Invasion Day on January 26.]

Look at this! This takes me back a long way. I think you’ve certainly outdone last year. This is a great crowd and I congratulate those who organised it. I haven’t seen a crowd like this since the 1970s in the heyday of the Aboriginal political movement.


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