Converge on Canberra – Public forum 2 Feb 09. Funds needed

Public Forum: The NT Intervention – Living with a Racist Policy
7pm Monday February 2 2009
Albert Hall, Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla, Canberra

Speakers:

Barbara Shaw – Mt Nancy Town Camp, Mparntwe – Alice Springs
Harry Jakamarra Nelson – Yuendumu community
Elaine Peckham – Iwupataka Land Trust
Irene Fisher – Sunrise Health Service, Katherine
George Newhouse – Human Rights Lawyer
Jon Altman – Australian National University
And other residents from NT Intervention ‘prescribed communities’

See http://stoptheintervention.org/ for more info or visit
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/support-the-campaign/
to donate badly needed funds to help bring the NT contingent down to Canberra.

This is a public forum about the NT Intervention featuring speakers from ‘prescribed areas’. This event is part of the ‘Convergence on Canberra’ for Aboriginal Rights and against the NT Intervention.

Workshops will also be held at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy
February 1 – 2 and a demonstration will march to the Federal Parliament for its opening session on Tuesday February 3.

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The Racial Discrimination Act remains suspended to allow the operation of the Northern Territory Intervention in Aboriginal communities, despite the recommendations of the government appointed Review Board.

One year since Kevin Rudd’s apology, which promised to “never repeat past wrongs”, many people from areas ‘prescribed’ under the Intervention talk about a feeling of return to the ‘ration days’ and ‘welfare board days’, as they suffer tight controls and discriminatory restrictions.

Far from improving child or community welfare, the Intervention is driving communities into further poverty as people struggle to negotiate the Income Management system and unemployment increases with cuts to the Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP).

And there have been many new challenges to community life since the Intervention – a serious withdrawal of resources from outstations and homelands is planned, bi-lingual schools are being told to stop teaching in Aboriginal languages, only 16 of the 73 ‘prescribed communities’ are being offered any new housing and told they must give up control of their land for between 40-90 years if they are
to receive anything.

The past year has also seen a strengthening of a campaign led by people from ‘prescribed areas’ calling for an end to the government’s racism.

Come along to this forum to hear the strong voices of people living under a racist policy – and demanding change.

These speakers will be supported by Jon Altman, from the Australian National University, who will share his analysis of recent policy changes that are taking place alongside the Intervention in the NT.

Also speaking will be George Newhouse, a human rights lawyer who is assisting people from Prescribed Areas take their case before the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

For more information about the forum please contact:

Barbara Shaw: 0401 291 166
Ellie Gilbert: 0421 795 639
Paddy Gibson: 0415 800 586

http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com
http://stoptheintervention.org

Organised by:
Intervention Rollback Action Group (Mparntwe-Alice Springs)
and Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Canberra)

Hosted by:
ANU Food Co-operative