The Other Side of the Coin

Call for police citizens review boards - another rally in Sydney

Our successful rally on Tuesday 24 April showed the police and the government quite clearly where the blame belonged but also where the proper solutions must be found. It is within their jurisdiction that change must be made. Changes at the social level, whilst undoubtedly helpful, will not stop police violence by itself. We must accept however that we do have fractured families, along with many other non-Aboriginal families, and we have fractured youth of all persuasions.

However, no amount of white-washing by the police or the government removes their responsibility. - Ray Jackson writes

Audio File  AUDIO:  Ray Jackson Indigenous Social Justice Association (SBS News)

Barnett trying to further disempower WA's Originals

The Western Australian Government plans to overhaul the Aboriginal Heritage Act, pandering to the mining sector by making it easier for companies to disrupt sacred sites.

Although both developers and Aboriginal groups say the laws are clunky and unworkable, the changes appear to further disempower the State's 'Original' peoples.

Greens' MLC Robin Chapple says the new laws will make it even harder for Aboriginal people to protect sites.

After Mabo, What About Aboriginal Sovereignty?

In their judgment on the Mabo case the Justices of the High Court told a new story about Australian history. To understand the significance of this retelling we need to recall the old story and its concomitant doctrine of terra nullius. It followed from this that Australia had been, prior to 1788, a legal desert.

The Crown, therefore, became the first proprietor and possessor of the land as well as the first sovereign. The title to Australia was, consequentially, the original title rather than a derivative one. Annexation was effected by occupation rather than by conquest or cession.

... So much for the old story. What about the new one? - Professor Henry Reynolds

Protest Rally calls for independent inquiry into police brutality

More than 150 people gathered outside the New South Wales Parliament to protest against the police shooting of two Aboriginal teenagers in Sydney's Kings Cross on the weekend.

Police have also been accused of brutality, after video emerged showing an officers punching and dragging one of the teens while arresting him.

Ray Jackson, said there should be an independent inquiry into the shootings. "We don't want police investigating themselves. That's never worked in the past, that's not going to work this time."

Audio File  AUDIO:  Minister defends police action (ABC Report) - DOWNLOAD mp3

Is there more behind 21 years of spiralling Indigenous incarceration rates?

21 years since the culmination of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the most extensive inquiry in Australian history into Indigenous people’s overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, little has changed.

The Commission made 339 recommendations to address Indigenous over-incarceration and $400m was pledged by the Commonwealth to implement the recommendations.

Emma Purdy provides us with some outstanding insights into affected peoples lives and the government's remarkable apathy which demonstrates why patience is wearing thin.

'Originals' claim sovereignty over Murray-Darling rivers'


Fred Hooper NBAN Chairperson

A group of 21 'Original' nations are demanding that all water licences be revoked and that the rivers' water be dealt with from a base of Aboriginal sovereignty, dominion and ultimate title.

The Northern Murray Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) call on all state and federal governments involved in the rivers system to allocate 100% of all environmental flows in the northern basin as cultural flows.

Fred Hooper, NBAN Chairperson states that the 21 nations in the group "have never ceded or acquiesced sovereignty, dominion or ultimate title over the lands, subsurface, all waters, natural resources and airspace within the northern Murray-Darling Basin".

Litigating the Boundaries of Sovereignty - Symposium

National unity government has now released details of the first day of the 2012 Inaugural Assembly in Wollongong.

23rd May: The Legal Intersections Research Centre at the University of Wollongong and the School of Law and Justice of Southern Cross University are jointly organising a one-day workshop to explore the legal and political implications of the articulated claim to the continuity of Aboriginal sovereignty in Australia.

The workshop will specifically focus on discussing the complexities of litigating claims of Aboriginal sovereignty on three case studies.

Sovereign Union - The national unity government  www.nationalunitygovernment.org

The desecration of sacred sites is an ongoing catastrophe

The sacred site, known as 'Two Women Sitting Down', was made unstable due to mining practises by the OM Mining company.

The sacred site is located less than 10m from the edge of the pit and despite being aware of the site's imminent collapse, OM Mining is believed to have deliberately set off an explosion near the base of the site at a depth of 26m below ground level.

The blast directly led to the destruction of the rocky outcrop containing the site, which collapsed the following day, splitting the site in half. - 'The Australian' report + UK 'Guardian' Burrup article

Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars - Anzac Day 25th April 2012

Michael Anderson has called for Aboriginal sovereigns and their supporters to continue with the 'Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars' that was started last year in Canberra on Anzac Day.

"We have commenced a process to highlight the wars fought on Australian soil since 1788, when our country was taken by superior force, at gunpoint, and those who stood in the way were shot," he said.

"What we need to do now is to keep identifying that there has been warfare; that blood has been spilt on the wattle; and there is an ongoing war of attrition against Aboriginal Peoples to this day".

Olympic Dam expansion challenged in Federal High Court

Aboriginal elder and anti-nuclear campaigner Kevin Buzzacott is challenging the Government's approval of the $30 billion project.

Uncle Kev's representative challenged the claim the radioactive impact of the waste could be acceptably managed, and there was also a failure to consider the impact of earthquakes and erosion.

A number of the conditions within the Government's approval, numbering more than 100, were described as "vague" and there was no requirement to consider the environmental impact of the uranium once it was exported overseas. (2 Press reports)