Tony Abbott believes that the Aboriginal Tent Embassy is no longer relevant.
Herald Sun hack David Penberthy thinks that the ‘politically useless eyesore’ has ‘served its purpose’.
Established exactly 40 years ago today, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy began as a protest sit-in under a makeshift beach umbrella, but since that date it has become formally recognised as the only site in Australia representing political struggle for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Identified objectives of the tent embassy are:
- Control of the Northern Territory as a State within the Commonwealth of Australia; the parliament in the Northern Territory to be predominantly Aboriginal with title and mining rights to all land within the Territory.
- Legal title and mining rights to all other presently existing reserve lands and settlements throughout Australia.
- The preservation of all sacred sites throughout Australia.
- Legal title and mining rights to areas in and around all Australian capital cities.
- Compensation money for lands not returnable to take the form of a down-payment of six billion dollars and an annual percentage of the gross national income.
Abbott and Penberthy believe that the Tent Embassy has served its purpose (ie achieved its social and political goals) and should now be ripped down because it is ugly. News flash fuckers – the plight of the Aboriginal people has never been pretty. The Northern Territory in 2012 sees Aboriginal people further isolated and dehumanised, and uranium mining continues to be a topic of hot debate. Legal native title and mining rights issues remain unresolved and any suggestion of compensation to victims of the stolen generation and those displaced from their homes is consistently rebuffed by generations of Governments. A never closing gap remains in education and healthcare and Aboriginal people are over-represented in custody.
Both Abbott and Penberthy decided to spark flames on Australia Day and the 40th anniversary of the Tent Embassy despite the fact that the day represents invasion for so many who are still waiting for reconciliation in more than just the form of a political apology.
Then there are these guys -Aaron Nelson Mathews and Scott Fulwood. To address Indigenous issues they propose burning down the Tent Embassy and shooting all of its occupiers.
To suggest that racism is not an issue in Australia is shambolic and an opinion formed in the depths of denial and misinformation. Yesterday was Australia Day, and our website was inundated with emails from people who found public examples of people making comments designed not to share the positivity of the day, but to express their desire for Australia’s migrant population to feel pain and loss.
We hope you are watching, ASIO and AFP.