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(en) Sydney - Aborigianl Tent Embassy / Refugee Solidarity / Aboriginal Sacred Walk - Treaty call

From dr wooo <vornman@excite.com>
Date Thu, 27 Jul 2000 04:41:27 -0400

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

From:	"Keepers of Lake Eyre" <wagtail@picknowl.com.au> 
Keepers of Lake Eyre 
Walking the Land- for Our Ancient Right 

Thursday July 27, 2000 

Adelaide, South Australia 

In this update: 

1. Walking the Land- for Our Ancient Right 
- now in Moree, NSW 

2. ( removed b/c of Int'l relevance )**Melbourne benefit gig for walk
tomorrow (Friday July 28) 

3. 26/7/00: Sydney Morning Herald article on Sydney Aboriginal Tent 
- City Council getting tough 
- sounds like Genocide Corner all over again! 

4. 25/7/00: Grass roots briefing on Sydney Aboriginal Tent Embassy 
and City Council problem. 
   + 150 Riot Police storm Villawood Refugee Detention centre. 

5. Adelaide candle light peace walk Friday August 4, 8pm. 
- Genocide Corner, Cnr King William St and North Terace. 

6. assorted media coverage- WMC: 

- “Mining giant wants trespass reviewed in pastoral areas” 
- “Mining giant drops lawsuit against protesters” 
- “Big end of town wines and dines Djerrkura” 
- including WMC 


1. Walking the Land- for Our Ancient Right 
- now in Moree 

** report from walk due soon- keep posted. 

Walking the Land has arrived in Moree, in north eastern New South Wales, 
to a traditional welcome. 

They will leave for Narrabri on Saturday (July 29), heading south, and are
in Dubbo 1/2 August. 

1620 km has been walked so far, 47 days after leaving the Arabunna Going
at Lake Eyre South, in South Australia. 

Due in Canberra by 21 August, Sydney by 3 September, 2000 

Quick route and date check: 

JULY 27; Moree 
JULY 30; Narrabri 
AUG 1; Coonabarabran 
AUG 3; Dubbo 
AUG 6; Wellington 
AUG 8; Orange 
AUG 11; Bathurst 
To BE CONFIRMED; Oberon, Taralga, Bungendore, 
AUG 21; Canberra 
SEPT 3; Sydney 

Don't take these dates as gospel, coming up here and 
following the Darling was a change of plan thanks to 
the invitation of Robbie from the Kamilaroi people. If 
you head out to join us for a day, or a weekend or for 
the whole trip you can call the Keepers of Lake Eyre 
where this walk started on (08) 8232 8595 or email; 
lakeeyre@microsuxx.com. Check the website at: 


3. 26/7/00: Sydney Morning Herald article on Sydney Aboriginal Tent Embassy 
- City Council getting tough 
- sounds like Genocide Corner all over again! 

The Sydney Morning Herald 
Council pegs back Aboriginal tent embassy 

Date: 26/07/2000 
South Sydney Council yesterday formally notified leaders of the growing 
20-tent Aboriginal tent embassy now occupying Victoria Park 
for the Olympics that it must shrink to one tent, contain its campfire in 
a metal drum and take out $10 million in public risk insurance. 
Describing the council's move as an attempt to create a "concentration 
camp" like the Cowra mission on which she grew up, Ms Isabell 
Coe said yesterday the embassy protesters were determined to stay in 
numbers and that the camp was bound to grow. 
There was no money to pay for insurance, said Ms Coe, an embassy 
co-ordinator whom the newly elected Mayor, Councillor John 
Fowler, and other council members have arranged to meet this morning in an 
attempt to negotiate a deal. 
The protesters would not "imprison" the "fire for peace and justice", 
which had been lit ceremonially from ashes brought from Canberra 
as part of sacred rites more "real" and ancient than the Olympic torch 
"It's a ceremonial fire. They have no respect," Ms Coe said. "You can't 
put it in a drum." 
The embassy, an offshoot of the 28-year-old Canberra hub of indigenous 
protest, has occupied a corner of the park for the past 12 days. 
It now has two furnished public marquees and about 18 small living tents. 
In the letter signed by the general manager, Mr John Bourke, and delivered 
yesterday, the council told Ms Coe that the occupation was 
unlawful, but said occupation may be approved with 11 conditions. These 
include occupying only 100 square metres with one tent, 
allowing a maximum of four people to stay overnight, moving vehicles 
off-site and banning drugs and alcohol. 
Ms Coe said that as a ceremonial centre, there was already a ban on drugs 
and alcohol, but because of the nature of the tent embassy, 
which was set up to tell Olympics visitors and media about indigenous 
oppression, it could not be contained to 100 square metres. 
"I can't give numbers on the Aboriginal tent embassy. Today it could be 
four people, tomorrow it could be 500,000. That's the way it 
grows," she said. 
South Sydney Council was supposed to be one of the most progressive 
councils but the letter revealed that it may be among the most 
racist, she said. 
Cr Fowler said councillors intended no disrespect and were "not trying to 
put a fence around them. However, we remain concerned at 
the broader motives of other participants." He said the council had legal 
responsibilities includingpublic safety, noise complaints from 
locals, park damage from speeding vehicles and the loss of amenity for 
daily park users. 
Debra Jopson 

4. 25/7/00: Grass roots briefing on Sydney Aboriginal Tent Embassy 
and City Council problem. 

From: "Natasha Verco" <tashverco@hotmail.com> 
Subject: Briefing on tent embassy and refugees 
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 08:22:07 GMT 


The Aboriginal Tent Embassy has been set up to assert Aboriginal 
Sovereignty and in particular highlight how the Aboriginal people are 
regarded as "aliens" in our own land. We call upon the Australian community 
to respect our universal right to life. 

We welcome the dialogue that has transpired between the Aboriginal Tent 
Embassy and the South Sydney Council and call for full co-operation in 
achieving a peaceful coexistence whilst the Aboriginal Tent Embassy carries 
on our aims and objectives which are safeguarded by the United Nations Human

Rights Instruments. The Tent Embassy believes that common sense can only 
prevail in this regard. 

For the last two mornings the Mayor of South Sydney Council and the 
Newtown Police had arranged meetings with representatives of the Embassy at 
10 am each day. The Mayor and representatives of the Police did not show up 
for these meetings and this morning the Council sent a couple of minor 
representatives around to deliver a letter that outlined the conditions of 
agreement for occupation of Victoria Park. This seems unusual to us since 
we have been here from Friday 14 July, the 28th anniversary of the 
Aboriginal Tent Embassy. We are enclosing a copy of this letter. 

The EmbassyÕs responses to the conditions imposed are listed 

1. "only one tent and caretakers accommodation may be set up in the 100 
square meters defined by council" This condition reinforces past policies 
and interferes with our ancient right to assemble and have a corroboree. 

2. "the site must e vacated within one week of the Olympics" That decision 
will be decided at the time. 

3. "A maximum number of four people specifically nominated by name occupying

the campsite overnight" This interferes with the camp function as a 
community and it is not safe to have a Maximum number of 4 people. 

4. "the business of the campsite be only conducted during sunrise to sunset"

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy since its inception in 1972 as always operated 
on a 24 hour, 7 day a week basis. 

5. "No vehicles being parked in the campsite or driven on the park" 
Interferes with supply vehicles and the function of the Embassy. 

6. "the campsite fire being contained within a metal drum" The campfire is a

ceremonial fire and the spirit of the fire cannot be imprisoned in a metal

7. "A porta-Loo being provided and maintained for the use of the occupants 
of the campsite" Not applicable as the Sydney University has provided more 
hygienic and cleaner facilities for us to use. 

8 "That no public address system or amplification equipment shall be used." 
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy uses these facilities to get our message across 
and to welcome people to the site. 

9 " No alcohol or drugs being consumed" This is Embassy Policy. 

10 " offensive behavior of persons not being tolerated by the campsite 
personnel" This is Embassy Policy. 

11 " That the council and Minister for conservation shall be indemnified 
against any claims for injury to persons or damage to property arising out 
of such approval and such indemnity shall be expressed in the form of public

risk insurance policy in the minimum amount of $10,000,000 for any 
individual claim" This is legal jargon and has nothing whatsoever to do with

Aboriginal Sovereignty. 

Isabell Coe said "The document from South Sydney Council reminds me of the 
past genocidal policies of the Aboriginal Welfare & Protection Board". And 
we invite all press to the meeting with South Sydney Council tomorrow 
morning Wednesday at 10 am. 

For more information contact Laura Lee at Sydney Uni on 96605222 
There is a forum + food + videos at the Tent Embassy in Victoria Park 5:30 
This Wednesday 26th July. 
Refugee Update 
150 Riot Police storm Villawood Refugee Detention centre. 

Villawood Refugees yesterday embarked on a hunger strike to free themselves 
and all refugees coming to Australia from inhumane conditions and mandatory 

Aproximately 60 refugees have commited to not eating "until they die" in a 
desperate attempt to get the Australian government to stop breaching our 
international human rights obligations to asylum seekers. 

Just before 9:30 this morning, in response to the hunger strike, riot police

were sent into the Villawood detention centre. Verbal threats were issued to

the detainees that force would be used to break up the hunger strike. 

The refugees convened a meeting to discuss their response and were 
surrounded by walls of riot police. There are also riot police circling all 
sides of the detention center. 

"This gross act of intimidation will not be tolerated." said Natasha Verco 
of the Refugee Action Collective. 

The refugees in Villawood have signaled their determination to continue with

their protest. And the Refugee Action Collective re- affirms our support of 
their action. The refugee community is convening emergency meetings to 
discuss their response. 

For more information call Sultan (inside the detention center) on 96443411, 
or Cyrus on 0413 486 231 or Natasha Verco at Sydney Uni SRC 96605222 or 0407


Thanks heaps luv tashxoxoxo 

5. Adelaide candle light peace walk Friday August 4, 8pm. 

Subject: Justice & Peace Candlit Walk(inc.stop any nuclear 
waste dump):Government House, Nth Tce, Adelaide - 8PM 

Support the Justice and Peace Candlelight Walk at 8PM on FRIDAY 4 AUGUST 
2000 around Government House, Adelaide. 

Supporters are welcome to gather with candles from 7PM before walking 
at 8PM. 

Mark this date in your diary-organiser NOW ! Come along and show you 
support a Treaty with Australia's original Indigenous 
peoples. Let's stand together and walk carrying candles alight for 
justice and peace advocating a Treaty. This will protect 
Ngarrindjeri culture, spiritual beliefs, lands and waters, and to stop 
any nuclear waste dump on traditional lands which affects the 
unique Australian environment and wetlands. 

There will be further ongoing Justice and Peace Candlelight Walks around 
Government House, Adelaide, assembling with candles at 7PM to walk at 8PM on

the first Friday of every month throughjout the year. 

For further information contact the organisers. To get a flyer register 
your fax number or e-mail address. 

Ngarrindjeri Contacts: 

Victor Wilson - Kalparrin Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Farm at Murray 
Bridge - email: kalparrin@lm.net.au 
{W} 85 324 940 / FAX 85 325 511 / mob. 040 718 2353; 

Pastor Ken Sumner - Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress - 
{W} 8212 4066 / {H} 8396 3934; 

Tom Trevorrow - Narrindjeri Land and Progress Association - e-mail: 
{W} 85 751 557|657 / FAX 85 751 448 / mob. 040 996 1933. 


LOBBY - lobby the pollies - get your local MP to participate & ask for 
the use of her/his office to lobby MP's 

GET INFORMED - see or speak to Ngarrindjeri contacts 

SPREAD THE WORD - tell the world how much Australia needs Justice and 
Peace - Spread this email 

PROMOTE THE WALK - flyers are available now to be plastered 


(cut & paste, 
customise if you prefer; don't use the fwd button - we don't want people 
mistaking this for a virus). 
There's no reason why we can't achieve a better result than our last 
five walks if we make a stand together. 

Even if you have received this previously pass it on, this way everyone is
informed and less will forget!!!!! 

6. assorted media coverage- WMC: 

- “Mining giant wants trespass reviewed in pastoral areas” 
- “Mining giant drops lawsuit against protesters” 
- “Big end of town wines and dines Djerrkura” 

Sat, 22 Jul 2000 18:00 CST 

Mining giant wants trespass reviewed in pastoral areas 

Mining giant WMC Resources will approach the State Government with 
concerns about problems in carrying out trespass orders in remote parts 
of the state. 

The company yesterday withdrew an application for an order to remove 
trespassers on a pastoral lease 100 kilometres north of its Olympic Dam 

WMC Spokesman Richard Yeeles says the order was withdrawn as the group 
who had been camped on the land had moved on. 

But he says the process highlights difficulties in dealing with 
trespass issues in isolated pastoral areas. 

"It is clear that there are problems for police in dealing with these 
issues in isolated areas," he said. 

"There are problems with interpretation of current laws in relation to 
who has the right under current law to be on pastoral leases." 

"We would like to review these issues with relevant government 

© 2000 Aust'n Broadcasting Corp. 


Fri, 21 Jul 2000 12:17 CST 

Mining giant drops lawsuit against protesters 

Mining company WMC has withdrawn a Supreme Court action aimed at 
removing protesters it claimed were camped on its pastoral lease in 
South Australia's north. 

WMC claimed the protesters were trespassing on the land, 100 kilometres 
north of its Olympic Dam site. 

It also claimed there had been attacks on its security officers and 
vandalism of its property. 

But the company withdrew the action this morning, saying the 
individuals involved had now left the lease, and the proceedings had 
therefore achieved their objective. 

© 2000 Aust'n Broadcasting Corp. 

Saturday, July 22, 2000 

Big end of town wines and dines Djerrkura 


Gatjil Djerrkura might have been unceremoniously dumped last year by 
his fellow ATSIC board members, but recently he has been assiduously 
wooed by leaders of the corporate and political worlds. 

The chief executive officer of the mining giant WMC, Mr Hugh Morgan, 
took him to dinner on Melbourne's South Bank and, over a good red, 
persuaded him to join the company's external community advisory 

Mr Morgan's executive group had suggested Mr Djerrkura's name. It had 
proposed writing to him. But Mr Morgan thought a letter was not good 

"I said, 'I need to meet him.' There was a meeting of ATSIC in 
Melbourne about a month ago. I arranged to have dinner," Mr Morgan said 
last night. 


This week Mr Djerrkura, after announcing he was quitting the ATSIC 
board, revealed he was considering standing for Country Liberal Party 
preselection for Nhulunbuy. He also attended his first meeting of the 
WMC advisory committee in Melbourne. 


When he went to dinner with Mr Morgan, Mr Djerrkura took with him the 
acting general manager of ATSIC's economic division, Mr Colin Plowman. 

He consulted Mr Plowman on the WMC offer, and confirmed it was a 
request to him personally, rather than in his position as an ATSIC 
board member. 

The advisory committee deals with environment, health, safety and 
community matters. Other members include Ms Tricia Caswell, with a long 
record in the environmental and union movements, Professor Ian Lowe, 
prominent on greenhouse issues, Mr Alister Maitland, formerly of the 
ANZ Bank, Mr Francis Grey, a green economist, and Mr John Hyde, former 
Federal Liberal politician. 

Members of the committee are paid $1,200 a day, plus expenses. The 
groups meets at least four times a year, sometimes for two days, and 
tours sites. 

Over dinner, Mr Djerrkura said he liked the idea of joining the 
committee. Mr Morgan said Djerrkura had told him"it seems right". 

He left the dinner with a written offer from Mr Morgan. He still does 
not have a contract but has agreed in principle to membership. 

He took an active part in this week's meeting and attended the dinner 
on Wednesday night, which was addressed by the former Labor environment 
minister Ms Ros Kelly. 

"We expect the advisory group to be challenging to us," said Mr Morgan. 
" Gatjil was impressed with what we've done. We've never done anything 
but seek to have the most proper and encouraging relationships with 
those who have traditional responsibilities." 

© 2000. SMH 

Keepers of Lake Eyre, in South Australia: 

Web: www.come.to/lakeeyre Email: lakeeyre@microsuxx.com 

Tel: (08) 8340 4401 / Fax. (08) 8232 2490 

Post: C/- Conservation Council, 120 Wakefield St, Adelaide, S.A. 5000 

***you are on the Keepers of Lake Eyre email list. To get off the list- 
write us a note at: lakeeyre@microsuxx.com 

Do you want to be added to the list? Write to: lakeeyre@microsuxx.com

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