Racial Discrimination Act to be restored for Northern Territory Aborigines

By Amnesty International Australia

It sounds too good to be true. The Australian government says it will next week start the process that will reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act in the Northern Territory and give Aboriginal people back the rights that non-Indigenous Australians enjoy -- and which they never should have been denied in the first place.

Yet there’s a sting in the tail: right now politicians are talking up loopholes that will allow the continuation of discriminatory and demeaning 'special measures' in the Northern Territory, such as the compulsory quarantining of welfare payments.

Racial discrimination cannot be partly removed -- add your name to stop discrimination against Indigenous Australians

Reports we’ve received from the Alyawarr homelands and in the Barkly region show that the blanket quarantining of welfare has created significant hardships, harming the vulnerable people it is designed to protect. Some have been unable to access food for up to two weeks, while others are forced to purchase food that arrives late and rotten. Young children, the elderly and those with health problems are the worst affected -- one elder told us he "black[ed] out from waiting for the tucker too long."

It’s really very simple. These draconian measures remove the rights of Indigenous people to manage their own money and their own lives. In August, when UN Representative for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya visited Australia, he found measures introduced as part of the Intervention to "overtly discriminate against Aboriginal peoples, infringe their right of self-determination and stigmatise already stigmatised communities."

Write your urgent email calling for full reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act, with no conditions and no excuses: http://www.amnesty.org.au/action/action/21865/&utm_source=int2009&utm_me...

Our Prime Minister is on the right track when he talks about 'closing the gap' and addressing Indigenous disadvantage in Australia, but this cannot be done with measures that threaten the futures of Aboriginal families and communities.

Leaders are judged by their actions, not by their words. If the Government thinks they can get away with this, then thousands of Australians united in opposition can make them think again: Please send your email right now.

With hope,

Sarah Marland
Campaign Coordinator
Amnesty International Australia



Ampilatwatja protest

Three months ago more than a hundred people walked out of a small Aboriginal community and refused to go back until the Australian federal government responded to their complaints about the lack of consultation and restrictions placed on them under the Northern Territory Emergency Response. Richard Downs, a spokesman for the Ampilatwatja community, explains their cause in a conversation with Phillip Adams on Radio National of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Dear AI
actually, it's really not "that simple", and Amnesty International risks being seen as a bunch of well meaning simpletons if they continue to take this kind of simplistic approach. The evidence proffered here in defence of the Amnesty stance is flimsy, and dependent on the flawed analysis being promoted by a small group of people with particular barrows to push. It should be noted that a well-known conman, who greatly enjoys the media spotlight, is at the centre of the promotion of these allegations from Alyawarr country.
If only life was as simple as Sarah believes .... Does she really believe that there is nothing more to it than whether or not some people get good food supplies on time every time they order (remembering that only a tiny percentage of people have to order their food), or that there weren't far worse problems effecting the vast majority of affected people before the intervention?
I suggest you send somebody with a bit of nous and common sense to do your evaluations in future.

Flimsy evidence? Are you suggesting that the 150 or so Aboriginal people who have walked off the government settlement do not have any valid "evidence" of the hardships created by the Intervention? Are you suggesting they do not have their own minds? You seem to be ignoring the evidence from countless communities across remote Australia. How about you reveal your name and interests. There is obviously something else on your agenda.

What about the countless "white" people who have presided over remote communities for decades. You know? The ones lining their pockets with "Aboriginal" money, taking over and running all the commercial ventures, interfering with community business, and in at least a few cases, interfering with children. Wasn't Senator Bob Collins being investigated for abuse of Aboriginal children in Arnhem Land? That was just before he died. From memory, the police dropped the case as soon as he passed on. Did the Australian Intervention Taskforce investigate any of his mates still residing in Arnhem Land to this day? Wouldn't it be prudent to at least have a look at his associates? Did they investigate or even question a single "white" person?

There are far too many holes in the Government line on this one, and the "evidence" of this resonates across this continent. The Intervention was never about protecting Aboriginal people. It is commercially driven, supported from the top down by the polititions of the day, and further enabled by the same insidious figures lurking around nearly every remote community in this country. Wake up Australia - the tyranny of distance is being broken down, and the people on the land are speaking. Time to listen to them.

The commercial/government/racist spin is loosing its momentum. Blatant lies always have a limited life. The government are responding with draconian measures to protect their interests. But they have no right. They are acting illegally. They have demonstrated a complete lack of Duty of Care, and a comprehensive incompetence in the governing of this country.

The only "gap" that has been closed in all of this is that between the Liberal and Labour parties. Enough. Party's over. Party politics IS inherently corrupt and it's day in Australia must come to an end. Fill the parliament with independents, and lets get some real government of, for, and by the people.

Do you really think these people don't know what they are doing? Please stop listening to racist rubbish and have a look for yourselves...


Im impressed. Youre truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Im saving this for future use.

Marks Web