Sovereignty Announced - No volence on Invasion Day

Sovereignty Announcement - 27th January 2012 - TR Transcript

Michael Anderson, Last remaining Foundation Member of the First Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972

Media Conference
Aboriginal Tent Embassy
27th January, 2012
Extended Footage
(YouTube Sky News)

"Ladies and Gentlemen, We've decided, from all the States, that now, as a result of our meetings and gathering ... in 1992 there was a takeover of Parliament House - Old Parliament House - where Paul Coe and the Aboriginal Embassy presented to the government and through Robert Tickner, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs our assertion of Aboriginal sovereignty ... and today, delegates will talk about some of the issues, that we now assert our sovereignty over Australia as Aboriginal people - as the Original and First Nations of the country and we will take whatever measures are necessary and make the government talk to us, and we will locate solutions ... "

I will hand it (microphone) over to my colleague ...

Paul Coe, Member of the First Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972

"Well, the resolution that was given to the minister 20 years ago - 20 years ago today - was a re-affirmation of Aboriginal Sovereignty. It's not something we invented, we've always had it and we've never lost it ... despite the lies of the high court, we have never lost our sovereignty - and we wish the Australian people here sharing our land with us, that we have to think, we have to work our strategies as peoples about the terms in which we co-exist in the future. For our children and our grandchildren, for your children and your grandchildren. You don't have the arrogance of sovereignty over us, you've never had it, we've always had the sovereignty. It is now up to you whether you want to treat us as your equals."

Michael Anderson - Press Conference 27th January 2012

Paul Coe - Press Conference 27th January 2012

Barbara Shaw - Press Conference 27th January 2012

Aboriginal Tent Embassy protesters say: 'We did nothing wrong'

Patrick Lion Daily Telegraph 27th January 2012

Protesters at the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra have fronted an emotional press conference to defend their actions during yesterday's protest.

Embassy founder Michael Anderson, Selina Davey-Newry of the north-east Kimberley, Wiradjuri Nation spokesperson Paul Coe and former political candidate Barbara Shaw stood in front of a smoking fire with about 3000 fellow protesters around a sovereignty sign at the embassy.

The protesters have insisted that they did nothing wrong yesterday and there was no violence.

Mr Anderson said the group has decided to reclaim their sovereignty over Australia.

"We will take the steps necessary to make that issue and make the government talk to us," Mr Anderson said.

After the press conference, a thousand protesters left the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and marched toward Parliament House.

Led by a man with a megaphone, the crowd was chanting: "Who owned the land? We did. Who stole the land? They did. What do we want? Sovereignty. When do we want it? Now. What have we we got? F--k all,".

Ms Shaw denied she was tipped off to Tony Abbott's whereabouts nearby by a member of the Prime Minister's office - saying instead it was a "member of the public".
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says claims a member of her office contacted the tent embassy in Canberra to tell protesters the location of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott minutes before a scuffle broke out are news to her.

"This is complete news to me," she told reporters in Flowerdale, Victoria, this morning.

"I haven't had time to look at the matter, or anything like that.

"I would just like to make the comment that a lot of things do get said on radio.''

The claims were made on Macquarie Radio on Friday by broadcaster Ray Hadley.

He told listeners he had information a member of Ms Gillard's staff contacted tent embassy representative Barbara Shaw to tell her what Mr Abbott said earlier on Thursday about the site.

"She (Ms Shaw) was also told Mr Abbott was across the road, 'maybe you can give them a bit of a liven up'," Mr Hadley said.

Mr Hadley also said he had the name of the staff member and would be happy to pass it on to the prime minister in private.

Comments made yesterday by Mr Abbott sparked a protest by aboriginal activists who bailed up him and Ms Gillard in a restaurant near the tent embassy, which was set up outside Old Parliament House 40 years ago.

The protesters believed Mr Abbott had suggested it was time to move on from the embassy.

In extraordinary scenes, the coalition leader and Ms Gillard were forced to run a gauntlet of protesters after police and security feared for their safety and advised them to leave the venue.

Ms Gillard said violent protests should be condemned,

"I've got no troubles with peaceful protests," she said.

"Generally, the tent embassy has been a peaceful protest."

"What I utterly condemn is when protests turn violent, the way we saw the violence yesterday, and particularly disrupting an event which was to honour some extraordinary Australians did leave me very angry.

"For myself I was very confident in the abilities of police, I knew I'd be fine and I was fine.''
Ms Gillard said she didn't believe the events on Thursday would hamper progress toward the recognition of
Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

"We are a country on a journey to genuine reconciliation," she said.