Assemble at Tent Embassy at 11.30am for a 12.00pm march to Parliament
Speakers from 12.30-2.00pm
Kimberley Aboriginal communities have declared a GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION to stop the forced closure of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia amidst the growing campaign by state and federal governments to withdraw their support and remove Aboriginal people from their traditional homelands.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has whipped up a great amount of fear, anxiety and doubt among the already marginalised First Peoples when he said that, “What we can’t do, is endlessly subsidise choices, if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have”. Abbott’s statement was in support of the declarations made by Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, in a press statement released on 12 November 2014 which suggested that the state could no longer support 150 Aboriginal communities and flagging the prospective removal of services to these communities by the end of 2015.
We who live in the remoter areas of Australia do not believe it is a lifestyle choice but an intrinsic fundamental human right to live in our own communities and our own country. We hold significant cultural obligations to our ancestors to maintain sovereign ties to our lands. After successive breaches of human rights conventions and the forced removal of the Aboriginal community of Oombulgurri in 2014, we maintain a vote of no confidence in both the incumbent state and federal governments in their actions toward Aboriginal people.
On Thursday 19 March 2015, Australians across the nation are being asked by governments to acknowledge ‘Close the Gap’ Day – but for many of our countrymen the ‘gap’ has been significantly widened, placing increasing pressure and trauma on our people. Starting in the Kimberley at 10am, we will march not for this government agenda, but instead to show our objection to the threatened proposed closures to Aboriginal communities. We stand in solidarity with all other regions in Western Australia and South Australia who have the veil of threatened remote community closures hanging over their lives. We understand that the precedent for a national attack by government toward Aboriginal people living on their homelands, has already been set in the Oombulgurri closure. We ask the national and international community to stand with us in this action, and the subsequent actions that will ensue as we mobilise effective campaigns to secure our cultural rights and entitlements.
Canberra media enquiries:
Amy McQuire: 0487 427 207
Alice Haines: 0447 097 659
Graham Merritt: 0406 470 343
Official hashtags: #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA #NOconsent #Lifestylechoice