Goodooga, northwest NSW, 17 April 2011
Michael Anderson, A NSW tribal leader convening an Aboriginal summit in Canberra says it will raise funds to challenge Australia's legitimacy in the International Court of Justice.
"This is Australia's greatest fear, because when we win, Australia will owe us more than they can ever imagine, and the cry ‘pay the rent' will be heard loud and clear across this great landscape,” writes Michael (Ghillar) Anderson in a media release ahead of the Easter summit in Canberra.
Michael leads the Euahlayi tribe of northwest NSW and southwest Queensland, is the last survivor of the four activists who set up the Aboriginal embassy in Canberra in 1972 and is active in other Aboriginal organisations.
Michael argues that Aborigines won't fight for their rights because they're afraid of losing their welfare cheques.
"Think about it, what would happen if the government cut off all your welfare and leave you high and dry if you stand out there and demand your rights as a people. It would become a major national scandal and one that would automatically bring the United Nations into play on our behalf. Australia is already on the watch list by the United Nations, and this is something that our people fail to recognize or understand.”
Michael calls upon all non-Aborigines who seek to correct history to join the summit "as all people are welcome to come and voice their thoughts and aspirations with us”.
Michael's statement in full:
I agree with Nelson Mandela's thought that once people overcome their fears of the dominant society, revolution will occur.
It is so unfortunate that because our people are so marginalized and welfare dependent they cannot think of change because they fear that should they support a stand to bring about change they will lose their welfare cheque.
Our people would rather continue to be slaves to the dominant society and their welfare cheque, than challenge for their inherent rights as the first Nations people of Australia.
My old people said to me at Walgett during the Black Power days of the late 60s and early 70s, "Son be careful, because our people are ‘Two Bob' blacks, that is, while the white man gives them a pay of two shillings a week, they will not support you, they will go to bat for the white man, because he is the one who writes the cheque. Our people will not support you because you are of his class and the white man will always be viewed as more superior than you”.
Our people cannot be convinced that they have the power within to bring about change, and that is exactly what the New Way Summit is all about.
Think about it, what would happen if the government cut off all your welfare and leave you high and dry if you stand out there and demand your rights as a people. It would become a major national scandal and one that would automatically bring the United Nations into play on our behalf. Australia is already on the watch list by the United Nations, and this is something that our people fail to recognize or understand.
The Northern Territory Intervention is a prime example of what the whites of this country are capable of. They think that they know best what we blackfullas want and we fail to get on the streets and reject it.
Our people can stand out in the streets and fight each other over domestic issues but are too ashamed to get out there and fight the white man the way we fight each other. Understanding and identifying the real enemy is sometimes very difficult, but I can assure my people that continuing to be our own enemy will not change our lives in any way shape or form.
I see within my own family the traumas of trying to survive and compete within the dominant society's world. We must break free or we are destined to lose everything. We are the oldest living civilization on the planet earth, yet we are sacrificing this for a welfare cheque, or in today's way, across Australia, with the promise from the Native Title Services we are signing away our lives and our inherent right for a sitting fee and free motel accommodation. We are that cheap. We give everything away just because we get recognized as someone important for a weekend and the white man says loudly look at these silly and ignorant blacks, offer them a sitting fee and a white lawyer to sell our product of nothing except recognition on a piece of paper and maybe a memorandum of understanding and we will have their free and informed consent without any trouble. This is how easy it is, my people. What do you get in the long term - NOTHING.
Our people do not understand how frightened of us the white man is of us challenging them in the international arena for our sovereignty as a people. For most of our grassroots people sovereignty is so hard to understand, but the white man understands very well the implications should we challenge in the international courts. It is they who stand to lose so much, not us.
The new Way Sovereignty movement will not stop and after this Easter's conference we will raise funds to go to the international arena to make the challenges that we have always spoken of. We understand that the government and all their Uncle Tom's and Aunt Mary's will stand on the government side, but we will not be deterred. We can already see how fast they are trying to circumvent our actions.
The Constitutional preamble statement, the making of more money available for the Native Title Services to send out their lawyers to spin us their lies and deceit and a promise of maybe a stock route that the whites don't want or a couple of town blocks that Minister Macklin will request to have a 40-90 years lease over it if you want houses built on them.
Our fight and struggles commenced from the time of the arrival of not the first fleet but the arrival of the first illegal boat people from England in 1788 and it took to 1994 for their own courts to recognize this fact.
It is now our time to take this to the next level and onto the International Court of Justice. This colonial Australian government of England will try very hard to fight against our right to be heard in the International Court. I know that this is Australia's greatest fear, because when we win, the compensation factor will create a situation where Australia will owe us more than they can ever imagine, and brother Dennis Walkers 1970s cry "Pay the rent will” will be heard loud and clear across this great landscape.
After the Easter New Way Summit we will be seeking from all good Australian people who know we are right to support us in our endeavours to correct history once and for all. It is now time to take a stand with us so that we can unite this country in the way that it should be.
I call upon all non-Aborigines who seek to correct history to come and be part of history in the making at this Easter's Summit, as all people are welcome to come and voice their thoughts and aspirations with us, for together we can overcome and become the great nation that we are and take our rightful place in the international community, rather than a second class colonial nation state whose only recognition is through our signatories to the peace treaty and the United Nations Charter.
Michael Anderson can be contacted at 02 68296355 landline, 04272 92 492 mobile, 02 68296375 fax, email@example.com