Voice wording and new details still leave it a powerless advisory body
Anthony Albanese has unveiled proposed constitutional changes to introduce an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, as well as “design principles” for the body itself.
Queensland Labor set to throw more Indigenous kids in prison
Queensland’s Labor government has passed new right-wing law and order measures that will increase already disgraceful levels of Indigenous over-imprisonment.
History repeating—the series of Indigenous advisory voices that governments ignored
An Indigenous Voice to Parliament would only be the latest in a succession of Indigenous advisory bodies that have all been ignored and then scrapped, writes Jasmine Ali.
Lidia Thorpe raises dissent over Voice to Parliament
Lidia Thorpe’s resignation from The Greens has exposed the limits of the party’s radicalism and invigorated the debate about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Intervention-style bans back in Alice Springs as governments still not listening to Indigenous people
The reintroduction of blanket alcohol bans on NT town camps and communities heralds the return of racist Intervention-era controls over Aboriginal people.
Veronica Nelson a victim of racist law and order agenda
On 30 January, coroner Simon McGregor handed down his report into the death of Gunditjmara, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman Veronica Nelson in Melbourne’s Dame Phyllis Frost prison.
How the plan for a token advisory Voice was hatched
The plan for an Indigenous Voice to parliament was a result of the government-funded push for constitutional recognition that would deny any real rights, argues Paddy Gibson.
Voice to parliament won’t stop racist injustice—grassroots movement needed to win change
It is already clear enough what the Voice would look like—a powerless advisory body that could be ignored the minute it raised any real demands for change.
Racist native title system approves Santos’ destruction of Gomeroi land
On 19 December last year, President John Dowsett from the national Native Title Tribunal shamefully ruled in favour of gas giant Santos against Gomeroi native title applicants.
Indigenous activists speak out: Why the Voice won’t do anything to end racist injustice
Many Indigenous people are sceptical about the planned Voice to parliament, despite the media focus on its support. Solidarity spoke to Indigenous activists Callum Clayton-Dixon, Suellyn Tighe and Michael Mansell about the problems with the proposal.
When the Wiradyuri fought colonial capitalist land theft
Stephen Gapps’ book Gudyarra is a compelling account of the opening phase of the genocidal invasion of Wiradyuri lands by British imperialism and the fierce anti-colonial insurgency waged by Wiradyuri people.
Reject the smears: stand with Lidia Thorpe
An unholy alliance of Labor and Coalition politicians, media, pro-Voice Aboriginal activists and Greens insiders is trying to drive Djab Wurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman, Senator Lidia Thorpe, out of the Greens and potentially out of parliament.
Kumanjayi inquest reveals foul police racism
Evidence submitted to the ongoing coronial inquest into Kumanjayi’s death is revealing the systemic racism of the NT police.
Cashless Debit Card to go, but racist controls on NT Aboriginal communities continue
Labor is abolishing the draconian Cashless Debit Card, but currently has no timetable to free more than 22,000 people still on the BasicsCard, another form of welfare quarantining
Indigenous Voice a hollow advisory body, Labor confirms
Anthony Albanese has outlined Labor’s proposed constitutional reform to enshrine an Indigenous “Voice to Parliament”. The details confirm that the planned referendum will offer no constitutional rights to Indigenous people and ensure the Voice has no enshrined powers.
Community protests keep Redfern’s National Centre for Indigenous Excellence open for now
A week of protests has won a reprieve for Redfern’s National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, after plans to shut the centre were announced suddenly last week.
‘An alliance in support of the Tent Embassy and land rights’: The Black Moratorium marches 50 years on
Bob Makinson was involved in organising meetings for the Black Moratorium in Sydney as a high school student. He spoke to Solidarity about the marches and their part in the history of the Aboriginal rights movement.
Protests support call from Yuendumu: ‘no more police guns in communities’
A nationwide day of protest was held on 18 June calling for an end to police guns in remote Indigenous communities.
Thirty years since the Mabo decision—why Native Title hasn’t delivered
Thirty years ago the High Court recognised Native Title in the Mabo judgment. But it has failed to deliver anything like the compensation for dispossession demanded in the original calls for land rights.
After 15 years of racism—chance to tear out the NT Intervention by the roots
This June marks 15 years since the Howard government began the NT Intervention, mobilising the army and introducing a wide swathe of racist, draconian controls over Aboriginal people and their lands.
Racist neglect caused Indigenous woman’s death in Melbourne prison
An inquest into the death in custody of Indigenous woman Veronica Nelson has revealed criminal negligence and racism in Victoria’s prisons.
No Guns! Warlpiri vow to step up fight for justice after killer-cop Rolfe acquitted
On 11 March, a NT Supreme Court jury found Police Constable Zach Rolfe not guilty of murder and two lesser charges.
Gomeroi reject agreement with Santos—step up the fight against the Pilliga coal-seam gas project
In a historic vote, Gomeroi people overwhelmingly rejected an agreement proposed by gas giant Santos at a Native Title meeting in Tamworth yesterday.
Ned Hargraves: ‘No more guns in our communities. It must never happen again’
Walpiri elder from Yuendumu, Ned Jampijinpa Hargraves, issued this statement after the acquittal of NT police officer Zachary Rolfe today over the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker.
Morrison and Santos drive gas-fired dispossession and climate disaster
Australian oil and gas giant Santos has applied to the Native Title Tribunal to impose its Narrabri coal-seam gas project against consistent opposition from Gomeroi traditional owners.
Fifty years on—Aboriginal Tent Embassy showed ‘we will fight for what is ours’
The establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on Invasion Day in 1972 was one of the high points of the Aboriginal rights movement. It showed how protest could put Aboriginal rights on the agenda and win real changes.
Racist cops gun down more Aboriginal people
On Tuesday 9 November, NSW police shot dead Gomeroi man Stanley Russell in his Aunt Pam’s house in Western Sydney. Stanley was 46, a father and a grandfather.
Racism and neglect drives COVID outbreak in Wilcannia
Paddy Gibson from Solidarity spoke with Monica Kerwin, a Barkindji woman and community spokesperson, and Lizzie Jarrett, a Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung and Dunghutti activist based in Sydney.
Aboriginal people hit hard by homelessness crisis
Recent weeks have seen a series of homeless people die on the streets of Perth. Last year there were at least 56 deaths.
Prison killed Wayne Fella Morrison, now prison guards derail inquiry
A coronial inquest has revealed a string of efforts by prison guards to obstruct investigations into the death of Wayne Fella Morrison.
Rally calls for justice after police kill Gamilaroi man in Gunnedah
More than 100 family and friends of Gamilaroi man Michael Peachey rallied in Gunnedah. Michael was killed by NSW police. As his grandmother said: “No one wants to help us. Why? Is it because we’re Black? Is it because we’re poor?”
The Pilbara strike—how Aboriginal workers defied forced labour and exploitation
A historic strike by Aboriginal workers in Western Australia 75 years ago against brutal oppression and forced labour won dignity and improved conditions writes Paddy Gibson
‘He was treated like a dog’: Bailey Mackander’s father on his son’s death in custody
Solidarity spoke with Bailey’s father David Mackander on the first day of the inquest into Bailey’s death held at the Lidcombe Coroner’s Court
Kevin Cook—from BLF unionist to land rights activist
After starting as an organiser in the militant BLF construction union, Kevin Cook went on to play a key role in Indigenous education and the fight for land rights, writes Niko Chlopicki
Nathan Reynolds’ inquest shows still no justice for Black deaths in custody
On 10 March, the findings of a coronial inquest into the death of Nathan Reynolds were handed down in the Lidcombe Coroner’s Court.
Pearl Gibbs—women, workers and the fight for Aboriginal rights
Pearl Gibbs’ experiences of Depression-era unemployment and segregation helped inspire her fight against racist discrimination, writes Matilda Fay
Injustice never ended as racist policing and imprisonment grows
The overpolicing, imprisonment and poverty Indigenous people face is growing far worse.
Chicka Dixon—Unionist and mentor to a generation of Aboriginal radicals
Tom Orsag examines the life of Aboriginal activist Chicka Dixon, a wharfie, unionist, and bridge between the activists of the 1930s generation and the 1970s radicals
Andrews government pushes on with attack on Djap Wurrung
On the day Victoria’s COVID restrictions eased, the Andrews government escalated their attack on the Djap Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy.
Bill Ferguson—Unions, Aboriginal rights and the racist protection system
Luke Ottavi continues our series on key Indigenous activists with a look at Bill Ferguson, who fought racist laws in NSW against Aboriginal people to demand equal rights
William Cooper—activist who helped found the Aboriginal rights movement
Aboriginal activist William Cooper led one of the earliest Aboriginal political organisations to fight against discrimination and racism, writes Feiyi Zhang
Anger hits the streets after another Black death in custody
Aunty Sherry is the fifth Indigenous person to die in custody since June, a situation the national Aboriginal Legal Services’ peak body has branded a “national emergency”.
Racist government policies fuel deaths in custody
Paddy Gibson examines how racist government policies have led to the surge in Indigenous imprisonment and deaths in custody
‘The video of George Floyd took me back to when I saw my uncle’s death’
Paul Silva, whose uncle David Dungay Jr died in custody in disturbingly similar circumstances to George Floyd in Minneapolis, sends a message of solidarity to the uprising in the US.
Captain Cook—rotten crook?
The 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing in April will see him defended as a great navigator and explorer. But he was part of the imperialist scramble to colonise the world, writes James Supple
Injustice ongoing as Indigenous people jailed and killed
This year began with another shocking Aboriginal death in custody, the product of an injustice system set up to criminalise, jail and kill.
Vale Sam Watson: warrior, socialist, comrade
It is with great sadness that Solidarity comrades have learned that comrade Sam Watson has passed away, in Brisbane, on 27 November. Sam has been a giant on...
Outrage at police killing in Yuendumu forces murder charge
A wave of outrage and protest has forced murder charges against police officer Zachary Rolfe, after he shot 19-year-old Warlpiri man, Kumanjayi Walker.
‘It was murder. We want justice’—Outrage at police killing in Yuendumu
As word has spread of the police killing of 19-year-old Warlpiri man, Kumanjayi Walker, so has the outrage.
Indigenous families fight deaths in custody and police failures
On 21 August hundreds protested in Sydney in an outpouring of support for Indigenous families in NSW who have lost relatives in police custody, or in suspicious circumstances where police failed to investigate.
A dream betrayed by racism and exclusion
The Australian Dream is a powerful documentary on racism in Australia, but it misses an opportunity to also expose the racist nature of Australian nationalism.
Players are right to boycott the national anthem
Indigenous players caused a storm by refusing to sing the Australian national anthem during the opening State of Origin rugby league game in Brisbane in early June.
More Black deaths in custody as police inflict brutal trauma
In April, the family of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day led a vigil to mark 26 years since the release of the landmark report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Unions and Aboriginal people unite to save Deebing Creek
A developer has backed down and allowed the protest camp at Deebing Creek to remain after unionists and Aboriginal people united to hold off police
Aboriginal communities demand water to save the rivers
On 3 March, Aboriginal people led demonstrations across Western NSW, demanding urgent action as rivers forming the Murray Darling system are killed by corporate greed.
Toothless ‘Voice to parliament’ will change nothing for Aboriginal people
Bill Shorten has reaffirmed Labor’s support for a new Aboriginal “Voice to parliament”. This is another piece of symbolism that will do nothing to address ongoing oppression and racist government policies.
Socialists and the fight to end the frontier massacres
Paddy Gibson explains the key role unions and the Communist Party played in preventing the punitive expedition planned in Arnhem Land in 1933
Forced adoptions will worsen racist child removals
On 22 November, the NSW Liberal Government passed new laws designed to fast track children from the “out of home care” system into forced adoptions.
Forced adoptions will rip apart Aboriginal families
The NSW Liberal Government has tabled an outrageous new bill to allow forced adoptions of children in foster care.
Deaths in custody: Killed by a racist state
Aboriginal people are being locked up and killed in custody in increasing numbers, as government policies become more brutal and repressive, writes Jasmine Ali
Labor promises treaties, but attacks continue on Aboriginal rights
Across the country, the Labor Party is making commitments to negotiate treaties with Aboriginal people.
After the Apology—Aboriginal communities fight back against continuing Stolen Generations
Larissa Behrendt’s film, After the Apology, explores the consequences of intergenerational trauma caused by forced removal and the fightback from Grandmothers Against Removals—women campaigning to get their kids back from the child protection system.
Ten years since Rudd’s Apology, more black children are being stolen than ever before
Events on 13 February commemorated ten years since Rudd's Apology. But Aboriginal families broken up by “child protection” agencies have pushed continuing forced removals into the spotlight.
Changing the date won’t give us anything to celebrate
The move to change the date of “Australia Day” is gaining momentum. But no matter what date Australia Day was held, there still would be nothing to celebrate.
The war for Sydney—genocide and resistance
The British occupation of Sydney Cove in 1788, and the brutal tactics of settlers and the military, led to almost immediate Aboriginal resistance, writes Paddy Gibson
Toothless Indigenous referendum too much for Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull has refused to support a referendum on enshrining an Indigenous “voice to parliament” in the Australian constitution.
Unions fight racist work for welfare scheme
Campaigners from the First Nations Workers Alliance, including three MUA members from Port Botany in Sydney, visited Central Australia in October to campaign against the exploitative Community Development Program.
Tokenistic plan for Indigenous ‘voice to parliament’ stalls
In July, the government-appointed Referendum Council delivered their final report, following two years of consultation with Aboriginal people about “recognition” in the Australian constitution.
Shackled to a hospital bed, Indigenous man dies in custody
Eric Whittaker, a 35-year-old Gamilaroi man and father of five, died while shackled to his hospital bed on 4 July.
NT Intervention: a decade of racist brutality
In May, events were held to mark 50 years since the 1967 referendum, widely seen as winning full citizenship for Aboriginal people. But June is the ten-year anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention, a policy that has turned black people into second class citizens, once again.
Uluru Statement: Pearson’s advisory body will not bring real change
Noel Pearson’s plan to enshrine a toothless advisory body in the Constitution will change nothing for Aboriginal people, writes Paddy Gibson.
1967 referendum victory left hopes unfulfilled
The referendum victory in 1967 failed to deliver the improvements for Aboriginal people in health, employment and land rights that many expected, writes Lachlan Marshall
Fresh abuses show: it’s time to shut down youth prisons
More horrific abuses have been exposed through the Royal Commission examining juvenile detention and “child protection” in the Northern Territory.
Police still denying justice for Palm Island
Aboriginal people on Palm Island scored a small victory in December with a court finding police guilty of racial discrimination. But killer cop Chris Hurley has still not been brought to justice.
Dylan Voller still fighting for release from racist prison system
Dylan Voller, the youth infamously tortured at the Don Dale prison, has launched a searing indictment of the criminal justice system.
Coroner goes soft on cops in Ms Dhu killing
The coroner investigating the death of indigenous woman Ms Dhu in Western Australia has decided not to call for criminal charges against police and other officials involved in her killing.
Murder at Myall Creek—whitewashing the real history of the massacre
Because there were two trials of the men responsible for the Myall Creek massacre, it is perhaps the most well documented atrocity in the long, genocidal war against Aboriginal people that stretched into the 20th century.
Aboriginal child removals feeding profits and prisons
A Royal Commission into the “juvenile justice” and “child protection” systems in the Northern Territory, sparked by revelations of torture in the Don Dale detention centre, continues to reveal stories of horrendous abuse. Meanwhile, a further Four Corners investigation has shone the spotlight on violence kids are suffering in residential care.
NT Royal Commission—Fund Aboriginal services to stop abuse of kids
More shocking evidence of abuse of Aboriginal children at the hands of both the “juvenile justice” and “child protection” systems has emerged through Royal Commission hearings in the Northern Territory.
Kirra Voller speaks out: Dylan needed help, not prison
Images of Dylan Voller hooded and strapped to a chair in Don Dale juvenile detention centre stand as a symbol of the terrible abuse inflicted on Aboriginal children and youth in Australian prisons. Kirra Voller, Dylan’s sister, spoke to Solidarity about her family’s experiences and the need to continue the fight.
Kalgoorlie rages against racism after 14-year-old run down
The murder of 14-year-old Elijah Doughty in Kalgoorlie has shone another spotlight on the brutal racism inflicted on Aboriginal children in Australia.
Fifty years since the Gurindji strike: Unions and the fight for land rights
The Gurindji walk off, which launched the Land Rights movement, showed the potential for fusing trade union and anti-racist struggles, argues Paddy Gibson
WA government confirms plans to close communities
The WA government has confirmed plans to halt services to hundreds of remote Aboriginal communities and to force residents to move to larger towns.
Don Dale Kids—Victims of the NT Intervention
Skyrocketing rates of Aboriginal imprisonment, child removal and social catastrophe have been produced by resurgent assimilationist policies argues Paddy Gibson
Exposing a racist history but conflicted on solutions for today
Stan Grant’s book is a memoir, a conflicted memoir that sometimes reads like he is talking to himself, as much as he is talking to his country.
New nuclear waste dump fight begins in South Australia
South Australia is being targeted as the potential site for two new nuclear waste dumps.
Borroloola youth step up the fight for climate justice
Padraic Gibson spoke to three young leaders from Borroloola in the NT, Scott McDinny, Nathan Fitzpatrick and Conrad Rory, about the community's fight against the mining and gas fracking that is destroying their land
PI—a fighter for justice for his people
Solidarity was shocked to hear of the death of Gurindji man P. Inverway (PI) in Darwin in March. PI died of a heart attack at just 46 years of age.
Death in custody at police hands in NSW
The family of Aboriginal man David Dungay Hill, who died in custody in NSW’s Long Bay jail on 29 December, are demanding answers over the role of corrective services officers in his death.
Saying sorry means you won’t do it again—fighting the ongoing Stolen Generations
Australia-wide, there are currently more than 15,000 Aboriginal children in out of home care. This is more than one third of children in the child protection system, despite Aboriginal people making up less than 3 per cent of the population.
Bashed in custody: Justice now for 11-year-old Denzel
On 22 December three prison guards at Wacol Youth Detention Centre in Brisbane brutally bashed 11-year-old Aboriginal boy Denzel, leaving him hospitalised.
Inquest exposes brutal police contempt that killed Ms Dhu
On 23 November, a coronial inquest into the death of 22-year-old Aboriginal woman Julieka Dhu began in Perth. Dhu died from pneumonia and septic shock while in the custody of police. She was in police cells because of $3622 in outstanding fines.
Capitalism and Aboriginal oppression
Aboriginal dispossession served capitalist interests, argues Paddy Gibson, but Aboriginal people have remained a “problem” from the point of view of Australia’s rulers ever since
Redfern embassy wins on key housing demands
The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy has won an inspiring victory. After more than 15 months of maintaining a protest camp at the Block in Redfern, in late August RATE forced guarantees about the inclusion of Aboriginal housing in the major redevelopment plan.
Racist abuse of Goodes fanned from the top of society
The booing of Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes has exposed the faultline over racism in Australia. When the racist targeting drove Goodes to contemplate an early retirement, we saw a tidal wave of support for him from across the country.
Abbott’s cuts threaten Aboriginal medical service and community control
The Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney is fighting closure due to government funding cuts.
Union support grows for Aboriginal housing on The Block
For fourteen months, the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) has held up a commercial development on The Block, an historic patch of Aboriginal land in the heart of Sydney. As the possibility of eviction and development looms, activists are working on winning critical union support.
WA community closures: ‘Keep marching, keep up the pressure’
Solidarity spoke with Mitch Torres, one of the main organisers of a campaign group based in the Kimberley, known on social media as SOS Blak Australia, about the demonstrations against WA community closures and the current state of play.
Parnngurr community in WA says no to uranium mine
Martu people from the community of Parnngurr in the Pilbara region of WA are travelling to Sydney on a speaking tour in late June, building support for their fight against a uranium mine proposed on their traditional lands at Kintyre in WA.
Assimilation and the push to close communities
Paddy Gibson looks at the renewed push to close remote Aboriginal communities.
Vale Ray Jackson: tireless fighter for justice and Aboriginal rights
It is with deep sadness that Solidarity has learnt of the passing of Uncle Ray Jackson overnight. The news is a serious blow to the movement for Aboriginal freedom and to the struggle for socialism.
Abbott’s community cuts draw wave of protest
Tony Abbott’s “lifestyle choices” gaffe has drawn attention to the federal policy of defunding Aboriginal communities—and succeeded in sparking lively and large demonstrations around the country.
Redfern Tent Embassy stands strong against developers
The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy is currently standing strong against repeated threats of eviction from Aboriginal land at the Block in Redfern.
Aboriginal community closures: ‘This is an attempt to destroy our culture’
Meriki Onus, from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance and organiser of a rally of more than 1000 people against community closures, spoke to Solidarity about the agenda of assimilation.
Racism and Aboriginal rights: Fifty years since the Freedom Ride
The NSW Freedom Ride saw student activists tackle racist discrimination against Aboriginal people—a fight that continues today, writes Lachlan Marshall
Aboriginal ‘recognition’—a cover for Abbott’s assimilation
Constitutional recognition is a farce designed to divert attention from the decimation of Aboriginal life through funding cuts and the closure of communities, argues Paddy Gibson
Ms Dhu: another WA death in custody
Relatives of Julieka Dhu and other Aboriginal people who have lost family members in police and prison custody led a major protest at the G20 summit in Brisbane on...
Communities held to ransom by mining industry
Aboriginal people at Borroloola and the surrounding Gulf region in the Northern Territory have stepped up protests against Glencore Xstrata’s MacArthur River Mine (MRM), the largest open cut lead...
An outsider in his own country
Charlie’s country is a beautifully shot and brutally honest portrayal of life under apartheid in the Northern Territory.
Redfern Tent Embassy fights to save The Block
Aboriginal activists in Redfern have scored an initial victory, with plans to begin further bulldozing at The Block held off.
How Muckaty won against waste dump
Warlmanpa people fighting attempts to dump nuclear waste on their land at Muckaty in the Northern Territory are celebrating an historic victory.
Frontier wars: the wars that really forged the nation
Systematic frontier massacres to drive Aboriginal people off the land established the foundation for Australian ruling class wealth, writes Paddy Gibson
Racist policing reignites fight against Intervention in Alice Springs
On 28 March over 500 people, most of them Aboriginal, marched on the Alice Springs police station under the banner “say no to racist laws and racist policing”.
Aboriginal grandmothers fight to stop new Stolen Generation
On the sixth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology, a rally outside the NSW parliament demanded an end to what activists are calling a new Stolen Generation—removals by child protection departments.
Abbott’s attitude to Aboriginal people shows a new paternalism
The latest “Closing the Gap” report, released February 13, shows deteriorating conditions in Aboriginal communities across the country—a result of years of bipartisan support for assimilationist, pro-corporate policies such as the NT Intervention and attacks on Aboriginal organisations.
Assimilation and the Intervention: A Solidarity pamphlet
Solidarity has been involved in the fight against the NT Intervention since it was launched in 2007. This pamphlet brings together articles published over this period that report on resistance from Aboriginal communities and supporters to the policy and analyse the assimilationist aims behind it.
Abbott’s corporate agenda means Aboriginal assimilation
Not content with the devastation of six years of the NT intervention, Tony Abbott went to the election insisting he would be the “Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. He has wasted no time in launching a new wave of attacks on Aboriginal communities.
Aboriginal soldiers: rewarded with racism and discrimination
The supposed freedom and liberty fought for in both world wars was never extended to Aboriginal soldiers who sacrificed for Australia’s rulers, writes Tom Orsag.
Utopia: the Intervention exposed
John Pilger’s new film Utopia exposes the worsening conditions for Aboriginal people as a product of the return to assimilationist policies, writes Lucy Honan
Charity man Twiggy not as generous as he makes out
Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife Nicola were all over the national media in mid-October after donating $65 million to Western Australian universities, Australia’s single largest philanthropic gift.
Entrenching the NT Intervention: what happened to the resistance?
Paddy Gibson looks at how the ruthless imposition of Intervention measures in the NT has undermined resistance, and what this means for the future The NT Intervention (Northern Territory Intervention...
Aboriginal child removal rates skyrocket: a new Stolen Generation
One of the first acts of the Labor government in 2008 was to apologise to the Stolen Generations. Then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said “the injustices of the past...
Six years of shame: Aboriginal assimilation and the NT Intervention
Six years after Howard sent in the troops to Aboriginal communities to begin the Northern Territory Intervention, Paddy Gibson surveys the impact of assimilationist policies On June 21 2007, Liberal...
Income Management expansion in effort to break boycott
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has launched a further expansion of the Income Management system, sparking plans for protest. Income Management quarantines 50 per cent of Centrelink payments, so it...
“Captain’s pick” Nova Peris will make NT Labor’s problems worse
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has appointed Indigenous former-Olympian Nova Peris as the lead candidate on the Labor Party’s Northern Territory (NT) Senate ticket for the September federal election. This...
Taser deaths show why killer cops must face justice
The inquiry into the death of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti has thrown an international spotlight on the brutal use of tasers by the NSW Police. Curti was threatening...
More NT communities demand community control
A growing number of NT Aboriginal communities are pushing to reclaim control of their communities and assets, in the wake of the Country Liberals’ NT election victory promising to...
Justice for Kwementyaye means charges must be laid
Kwementyaye Briscoe’s family are demanding criminal charges against police over the young man’s death in the Alice Springs watch house in January. Family members led a demonstration of 100...
Aboriginal communities statement: “Shires out, stop the Intervention – community control now!”
Following the Northern Territory elections last month, a community meeting of Aboriginal residents and traditional owners from Kalkaringi, Dagaragu and Lajamanu are calling for an end to the hated...
Country Liberals cynically tap anger at Intervention to topple Labor in the NT
The Country Liberals (CLP) have swept to power in the Northern Territory elections, after 11 years of Labor rule. Aboriginal voters in remote NT electorates played the decisive role,...
The Sapphires: radical history shines strong amidst the glitz and glamour
The Sapphires Directed by Wayne Blair In cinemas now “Soul music is about loss. And they haven’t given up. So every note that passes through your lips should have the tone of...
1835—False hopes in fair governments won’t win Aboriginal rights
1835: The founding of Melbourne and the conquest of Australia By James Boyce $44.95, Black Inc 1835 was the year that Tasmanian pastoralists, hungry to expand their wealth through seizure of new...
Unions, Labor members say no more Income Management
A COMMITMENT to organising with unionists has paid off for the campaign against the NT Intervention and the rollout of Income Management into Bankstown. Child protection workers in the...
Intervention laws pass but support for fight in Bankstown builds
“The Government has shown absolute disregard for our wishes and our human rights”, Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, Yolngu Nations Assembly spokesperson, declared after “Stronger Futures” laws passed the Senate on...
How police killed Kwementyaye Briscoe
The full, shocking truth about the death of Kwementyaye Briscoe in Alice Springs has been exposed by a two-week coronial investigation. Kwementyaye was an Anmatjere man, and his death...
Locked up and killed for being Black: Racism, deaths in custody and the NT Intervention
On 28 September, 1983, off duty police officers in Roebourne, a remote town in WA, started racially abusing Aboriginal patrons at a hotel, sparking a brawl outside. A 16-year-old Aboriginal...
Gurindji People of Daguragu and Kalkarinji: “This Intervention must be abolished…”
The Gurindji people at Daguragu and Kalkaringi have been fighting the Intervention with protests, including strike action, since its introduction. Here we reprint a statement calling on the Labor...
Briscoe inquiry shows police to blame for death
A coronial inquiry into the death of Terrance Briscoe has revealed damning evidence of police brutality and gross negligence. Terrance Briscoe was an Anmatyere man who died on January 5...
Twenty years since Mabo: why Native Title hasn’t delivered
The 20th anniversary of the Mabo case, where the High Court recognised Native Title, has been celebrated by the government and the media as an historic step for Aboriginal...
Here we Joh again: Campbell Newman and the Queensland LNP
The use of over 200 police to brutally bust up Brisbane’s Aboriginal Tent Embassy demonstrated newly-elected Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s style of government. It’s back to the era of...
Kings Cross footage shows racist cops are the real criminals
The only regret from the New South Wales police over the Kings Cross shooting scandal seems to be that the incident was caught on camera. NSW Police Union Chief Scott...
Death in custody: ‘My nephew is a victim of the Intervention’
Paddy Gibson spoke to Patricia Morton-Thomas, the aunt of Aboriginal man Terrance Briscoe, who died in police custody in Alice Springs in January, about her nephew’s death and the...
Yolngu nations reignite opposition to leases and Intervention
The Yolngu Nations Assembly meeting in Ramingining has taken an important stand against the “Stronger Futures” legislation currently before the Senate. “Stronger Futures” would extend most racist Intervention powers...
‘Stand with us to fight this racist legislation’
Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra is a traditional owner from Elcho Island, in Northeast Arnhem Land. This is an exert of his speech to a rally in Darwin on April...
Bankstown BasicsCard campaign reaches out to unionists
The campaign to stop Income Management, first introduced as part of the racist NT Intervention, is reaching out to organised workers in an attempt to stop the policy in...
Chorus of opposition greets Macklin’s extended Intervention
On Monday February 27, in the afternoon following Labor’s leadership spill, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory legislation passed through the House of Representatives with Labor and Liberal support. These...
Terrance Briscoe: killed by police?
Eight years after the shocking deaths and police cover-ups of the killings of TJ Hickey in Redfern and Mulrunji Doomadgee on Palm Island, there are all the signs of...
Tent Embassy 1972: “Land rights or else”
The establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972 was one of the high points of the Aboriginal rights movement. Solidarity looks at what it achieved and its relevance today
Behind the media beat-up: Tent Embassy protesters have nothing to apologise for
Protests celebrating the anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy have been subject to a vicious and distorting media campaign, after a snap protest directed at Tony Abbott and Julia...
Punitive school attendance plan centrepiece of second Intervention
The federal government has moved to extend most major NT Intervention powers for 10 years beyond their July 2012 expiry, with new laws introduced into parliament in November. The...
Consultations whitewash Intervention’s failure
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has used sham consultations with Aboriginal communities to announce an extension of the failed NT Intervention beyond the current legislation’s “sunset clause” of July...
Bolt’s humiliation is cause to celebrate
The Federal Court has condemned Andrew Bolt’s journalism as dishonest and racist, over a series of articles he wrote in the Murdoch tabloid The Herald Sun. Bolt accused nine...
1971 Springbok tour: When campaigners scored a victory against racism
The campaign against the South African Springboks tour in 1971 is full of lessons for our campaigns against racism today, argues Tom Orsag
Aboriginal people stand up to sham Intervention consultations
The federal government is currently in the middle of a six week round of “consultations” with Aboriginal people on the future of the NT Intervention. This process is a...
Protests say: Alternative to Intervention needed
On June 21, hundreds of Aboriginal people and supporters marched in the biggest Aboriginal rights demonstration seen in Darwin since John Howard announced the Intervention in 2007. The demonstration...
Bankstown says no to Income Management
Local Aboriginal groups, migrant organisations and community workers are coming together in Bankstown to stand up against Income Management (IM), set to be introduced in the Western Sydney suburb...
‘They should not be able to have that power over us’
Aunty Carol Carter from the Bankstown area spoke to Solidarity about the decision to make it one of the new trial sites for Income Management What are some of your...
Four years too long—time to scrap Intervention laws
In July 2012, NT Intervention powers, such as compulsory 5-year leases and management powers over all assets and organisations within Aboriginal communities, will reach their sunset clause. Federal funding...
Welfare Quarantine spreads
Income Management (IM), first applied to Aboriginal communities through the NT Intervention, will be extended to five “disadvantaged areas” from July 2012 following an announcement in the May budget. The...
More Aboriginal people forced to work for BasicsCard
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has announced that more Aboriginal people will be forced to work for the BasicsCard as part of the government’s response to the growing social...
Miner’s bullying exposes contempt for Aboriginal people
Billionaire Andrew Forrest is in damage control after trying to bully Aboriginal native title holders into giving him control of their land. Solidarity spoke with Michael Woodley, CEO of...
A proud history of Aboriginal struggle on display
From Little Things Big Things Grow Exhibtion developed by National Museum of Australia, touring nationally see website for details From Little Things Big Things Grow gives a useful and engaging overview...
Speaking tour a boost for Jobs with Justice campaign
John Leemans, a Gurindji man and LHMU delegate from Kalkarindji, Northern Territory, travelled to Sydney and Brisbane to speak at worksites, union and community meetings in March. John is an...
From little things, big things grow: the first Gurundji strike
The 1966 Gurindji Strike (also known as the Wave Hill Walk-Off) was a defining moment in the struggle for Aboriginal rights. A protest that started demanding equal wages and...
Intervention’s strongest supporters abandon a failing policy
Like rats fleeing a sinking ship, many of the NT Intervention’s staunchest supporters are now admitting it has failed and distancing themselves from Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and...
Unions take up fight against Indigenous housing rort
The CFMEU, Unions NT and the Intervention Rollback Action Group have launched a joint petition demanding justice for Indigenous workers ripped off under the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure...
Obituary: Vale Mark Fordham, a fighter for Aboriginal workers
The trade union and Aboriginal rights movements have been shocked by news of Mark Fordham’s death on February 2. Mark, the proud father of two young sons, died of...
Racism widens the gap in Aboriginal education
Julia Gillard's annual speech on the progress of Labor’s “Close the Gap” policy demonstrated the poisonous growth of blame the victim politics in Aboriginal Affairs. “I see Closing the Gap as...
Aboriginal workers exploited by the Intervention win support
The fight against the racist NT Intervention has taken a step forward with the launch of new campaign demanding ‘Jobs with Justice’ for Aboriginal workers. In October, Mark Fordham,...
Gurundji stop work over NT Intervention
On October 20, more than 200 Gurindji people joined an 11am stop work meeting in Kalkaringi, 470kms South-West of Katherine, NT. The rally was attended by workers from across...
Racist police can’t be trusted with Tasers
Police in Western Australia have been caught on videotape tasering an Aboriginal man, Kevin Spratt, 13 times as he was held in an East Perth watch house. The Corruption...
WA Liberals grab Aboriginal land for Woodside
While Liberal leader Tony Abbott postures as the champion of Aboriginal land rights (see Wild Rivers article), Western Australian Liberal Premier Colin Barnett has begun proceedings to compulsorily acquire...
Cuts to CDEP slash jobs in Aboriginal communities
The Labor government’s ongoing assault on Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) is devastating Aboriginal communities across Australia. But Aboriginal people are fighting back—uniting with unions and activists in a...
Abbott and Wild Rivers: It’s all about big business not Aboriginal rights
Tony Abbott’s efforts to pose as a defender of land rights through his attack on the Wild Rivers legislation is motivated by mining interests, writes Paddy Gibson As Solidarity goes...
Anti-Intervention campaign builds Greens vote in NT
Large swings to the Greens in the Northern Territory have shown the anger at the NT Intervention and its continuation by Labor. But they are also evidence of the...
Macklin’s plan for individual home ownership a delusion
In June, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin released a government discussion paper, Indigenous Home Ownership Issues. The paper offers no strategy to adequately house the thousands of Aboriginal people...
Cops slammed over Palm Island cover up, but where’s the justice?
Queensland’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Crime and Misconduct Commission, has released a damning condemnation of police conduct over the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee in 2004. The ensuing political...
1972 Black Moratorium: How unions walked out for Aboriginal rights
The Black Moratorium marches in 1972 were amongst the most successful protests for Aboriginal rights ever in this country. Paddy Gibson explains how the unity between Aboriginal activists and...
Aboriginal communities say: ‘We need jobs and services not the Intervention’
Solidarity spoke to Mark Fordham, until recently the works manager for the Barkly Shire Council who service Ampilatwatja, a “prescribed community” under the NT Intervention, about the failure in providing basic...
Racism whitewashed in Alice Springs
Five men responsible for killing a young Aboriginal man, Kwementyaye Ryder, were recently given sentences of between 12 months and six years by an Alice Springs Court. The initial...
Where are the real jobs, Macklin?
In 2008, millionaire mining mogul Andrew Forrest launched a government-supported scheme to employ 50,000 Aboriginal people in mainstream jobs in two years. The Australian Employment Covenant (AEC) was built around...
Abbott to support the new Intervention laws
The man Jenny Macklin said had a “dark ages” view of women, the man who refuses to acknowledge Aboriginal custodianship at public events, has indicated his support for Labor’s...
Another black death in custody: no justice in the justice system
The death in custody of 18-year-old Aboriginal man Sheldon Currie has exposed the criminal neglect of Aboriginal prisoners in Australia. Currie’s death was the fourth in six weeks in Queensland’s...
Aboriginal people are working for rations
Unions are teaming up with anti-Intervention campaigners in the NT to demand proper jobs for Aboriginal people. Activists from the Intervention Rollback Action Group, based in Alice Springs, will tour remote...
Town camp takeover sets back Aboriginal control
After four years of struggle, the federal government has finally secured 40-year leases over the Aboriginal town camps in Alice Springs, represented by the Tangentyere Council. The takeover push started...
New laws will entrench Intervention’s racism
The continued suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) has acted as a lightning rod to the growing level of criticism against the Northern Territory Intervention. This clear symbol of...
Black and white unite to build protest house
A “protest house” built at the walk-off camp established by the Alyawarr people, is set to be opened on February 14. It will coincide with national demonstrations against the...
Govt figures prove ‘things are getting worse’
The federal government’s “Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory” monitoring report, released quietly in October, provides damning evidence of the failure of the NT Intervention. It compares statistics pre and post Intervention....
RDA still suspended, Macklin entrenches Intervention
Breaking clear promises, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has introduced legislation that will continue to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) until December 31, 2010. Reading her new bills into parliament,...
Macklin’s whitewash: special measures and the RDA
The suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA), stands as a blatant testament to the racism of the NT Intervention. Minister Jenny Macklin had made commitments Labor would reinstate the...
Speaking tour wins union support for Ampilatwatja
A national speaking tour has generated growing public and union support for the Ampilatwatja community walk-off, an ongoing protest camp against the NT Intervention involving hundreds of Aboriginal people. Richard Downs,...
Intervention motives more serious than mining
Opponents of the NT Intervention have long maintained that its initial, stated aim—to protect Aboriginal children from sexual abuse—was an emotive smokescreen. So what is the real agenda, asks...
Academic gloss for the new assimilation
Review: The Politics of Suffering By Peter Sutton, Melbourne University Press, $34.95 Peter Sutton has a substantial pedigree in anthropology. He is the author of 40 academic papers, has lived at...
Intervention fuels racist violence in Alice Springs
The bashing murder on July 25 of young Aboriginal man, Kwementyaye Ryder, by a group of five white men highlights the violent extremes of racism festering in Alice Springs. Police claim...
Punitive welfare won’t improve education
Conservative Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has used recent school attendance figures to trumpet the success of the punitive Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC). The FRC, designed by Pearson’s Cape York Institute,...
Unions back anti-Intervention lobby of ALP conference
The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney organised a strong lobby of the national ALP conference on Thursday July 30. About 150 people turned out to the lunchtime rally. George...
Cracks in the Intervention as opposition mounts
The cracks in the NT Intervention project can be clearly seen in the pages of the Intervention’s urger—The Australian newspaper. The Weekend Australian August 15-16 devoted seven pages to...
Walk-off protest still strong
The month old protest camp at Ampilatwatja is still going strong. Around 150 residents of the remote Central Australian community have vowed not to return to their homes until...
Walk off protest challenges intervention
Echoing the dramatic land rights struggle of the 1960s and 70s, elders at the Ampilatwatja community, 300 kms north-east of Alice Springs, have walked off their community demanding an end...
Hypocrisy and the UN Rights Declaration
ON APRIL 3 the Rudd government endorsed the United Nations (UN) declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, claims that it is...
Pearson postures over ‘wild rivers’
Noel Pearson has resigned as Director of the Cape York Institute (CYI), with much fanfare from his legion of supporters at The Australian. Pearson resigned after the Queensland state government,...
Speaking tour takes forward struggle against NT Intervention
The campaign against the Northern Territory Intervention is taking significant steps forward following a recent east-coast speaking tour by women from “prescribed” communities in the NT. The tour was timed...
The history of the Communist Party’s support for Aboriginal struggles
The role the early Communist Party of Australia (CPA) played in fighting for Aboriginal rights provides clear examples of the way that a joint “black and white” challenge to...
Deceit and hypocrisy–Rudd’s sorry reportcard
Following his apology to the Stolen Generation, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised to deliver an annual “report card” on the government’s progress in addressing Indigenous disadvantage. This report card...
Aboriginal employment sacrificed for big business
During his “report card” speech Kevin Rudd claimed his government had “driven reforms through employment programs to give more Indigenous peoples the skills they need to get and keep...
Convergence strengthens anti-Intervention campaign
Held at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Canberra Convergence was set to coincide with the opening of Federal Parliament for 2009. The Convergence brought together Indigenous rights activists and...
New push for uranium mines on Aboriginal land
Conservative Indigenous ALP political figure Warren Mundine has taken a position on the board of the Australian Uranium Association (AUA), the industry’s peak lobby group. He is also co-convener...
NT health worker: ‘We demand back our rights’
Irene Fisher is a Jawoyn woman, whose people live mainly around Katherine in the “top end” of the Northern Territory. She works as chief executive of Sunrise Health, a...
Luhrmann’s Australia a nationalist myth
Review: Australia, Directed by Baz Luhrmann, In cinemas nowBaz Luhrmann’s new epic film, Australia, is set in a mythologised Northern Territory in the late 1930s. The film makes an attempt...
Noonkanbah: when Aboriginal people and unionists united for land rights
Under the cover of the NT intervention, governments are once again trying to force Aboriginal people off their land. If history is a guide, they are in for a...
Plan to spread intervention
There are worrying signs from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) that policy measures associated with the NT intervention will soon be imposed on Indigenous communities around the country. Recently...
Nuke waste dump laws condemned
A strong community campaign involving Traditional Owners, health organisations, environment groups and the Central Land Council has called for immediate repeal of Howard-era legislation forcing a nuclear dump on...
Labor axes CDEP and steps up the NT intervention
In early October, the Federal Labor Government announced major changes to the CDEP (Community Development Employment Programs). The changes have been met with outrage from affected Aboriginal communities. While a...
Series exposes colonialism’s brutal history, but paints it as all in the past
Review: The First Australians Directed by Rachel Perkins Available on DVD soon The First Australians is a six part television documentary series which attempts to portray on a national scale the impacts...
Land rights not leases
A MAJOR investment program in Aboriginal housing in the NT is being used as a weapon to further break up community control, push people out of remote areas and...
Alice Springs opposes uranium exploration
On October 5 a community protest gathering of over 300 people was held in Alice Springs to voice opposition and outrage at the Northern Territory government’s consent to uranium...
Drop the charges against Lex Wotton
ON OCTOBER 6 Palm Island man Lex Wotton faced the Supreme Court in Queensland. He is charged with “riot involving damage or destruction of property”. If convicted he faces...
Return to ration days in NT
ANTI-INTERVENTION campaigners Barbara Shaw, Paddy Gibson and Nat Wasley recently traveled to Tennant Creek to find out about how the intervention is affecting people’s lives. They spoke to Margaret...