Nationwide gathering: Call to end the Intervention in July

National Aboriginal Customary Law and Culture Movement

Press Release

Monday 12th April 2010

Closing the gap Image source: SBS News

An historic nationwide gathering of Aboriginal peoples and supporters has been finalised for 6-9 July 2010 at the Alice Springs showgrounds.

The Alice Springs convergence, supported by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples from across Australia, will call on the Rudd federal Labor government to immediately end the intervention and unconditionally re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act.

The continued suspension of the RDA with the full consent of the Rudd government allows for the contentious and racially discriminatory aspects of the NTER intervention to continue unabated.

Alyawarr spokesman Richard Downs and his people walked-off their community in protest in July 2009. They're calling for all Australians to join together to rid Australia of racism and to ensure justice and equal recognition for Aboriginal peoples and the promotion of human rights for all.

"This is a struggle for our very survival as Aboriginal people" Mr Downs says.

"All control over our lives is being removed. The Communities Corporations and Associations built up over many years are being closed down, our infrastructure is being dismantled, our languages have been banned in schools and our law systems completely pushed aside. We're back to where we were 40 years ago."

Mr Downs says policies of assimilation have led to homelands being starved of jobs and resources, with Aboriginal people forced into towns as virtual refugees where they're vulnerable to drugs and alcohol.

"The measures are now targeting other states - lands are being taken away, long term leases are being enforced, and the basic card is destroying our independence. It's time to start fighting back to defend our rights our county and our culture. We are fighting for our future, and for our children's future" he says.

"We welcome everyone, all our brothers and sisters, to come and stand with us for four days in July. Let's send a clear message to the Rudd Labor Government and to all future government leaders that racism in all its forms will not be tolerated by Australian voters. We truly need to turn a new page in race relations in this country, end the intervention, and show respect to each other as human beings" Mr Downs says.

For further information please contact:
Alyawarr Spokesperson: Richard Downs Mobile: 0428 611 169. Email: Email Richard Downs Senior Pitjantjatjara Elder: Murray George Mobile: 0428 614 965 John Hartley, Yalanji: Mobile: 0424 943 990 Email: Email John Hartley

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