Press Release - 20 January 2012
Michael Anderson - Goodooga, northwest NSW
This is a treasonous act and proposal against Aboriginal peoples, because it is not representative of Aboriginal interests across the nation. It fails to deal with the central and substantive issue of sovereignty and true land rights.
How can we take anything seriously or have confidence in a document coming from those key people who were on this so-called 'expert panel'. Take for example, [co-chairman] Pat Dodson, who gave us an absolute failed and flawed reconciliation strategy, with his greatest achievement being that people walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge together.
Then there is Marcia Langton, who together with the likes of Noel Pearson, gave us a failed and treasonous Native Title Act, and to add salt to the wounds, Noel Pearson publically states that Aboriginal disadvantages are their own doing. Then there is [co-chairman] Mark Leibler, who is an active supporter of the illegal occupation of the West Bank in Palestine.
When we look at the history of these people we do have reason for concern. Nothing in this constitutional amendment proposal offers anything that could effect serious change to the current Aboriginal position. This is not a time to deal with a feel-good arrangement. This is time for serious legal and political change. We must get the government away from thinking about us as a child-like race, who have to be continually 'protected'.
This is a country of many diverse Aboriginal nations speaking many languages and to establish a so-called 'expert panel' to write up a program of constitutional reform, while they themselves have no Aboriginal constituency to speak of, is an absolute insult of the highest order.
Community consultations around the country cannot and do not reflect Aboriginal interests in this matter. The community consultations in key centralised locations throughout Australia would have an Aboriginal input representing less than one percent of the Aboriginal population.
This proposed constitutional reform constitutes a serious fraud against the nation and Aboriginal nations in particular.
How in the world can we, as Aboriginal Peoples, support absolutely insulting language, such as "the original occupiers of this country" when clearly scientific evidence proves without a shadow of a doubt that we have been here for more than 100,000 years. Based on this the Peking and Java men were still evolving which gave us the European and Asian societies, at least this is what science tells us.
This is the greatest insult I have ever seen dished out to Aboriginal peoples and in the court of Aboriginal opinion Pat Dodson and Mark Leibler would be found guilty of treason, abuse of position and power. The true nature of Aboriginal people must be given voice at a national level, and that is our sovereignty.
The Fraser Liberal National party coalition government found merit that required proper negotiations for a treaty settlement - how have situations changed since then!
The question of Aboriginal sovereignty will be discussed at the Aboriginal Embassy 40th anniversary and we will take every possible step to assert our continuing sovereignty.
Australia's ambition to gain a seat on the UN Security Council will be placed at risk if they fail to talk with us and seek positive solutions. We don't want warm and fuzzy statements that falsely present to people that the constitutional amendments are real issues and will make a difference because they won't.
We have a right to be self-determining as sovereign nations and the governments around this country will hear this in 2012. We need to stop the Labor party and the National Liberal party coalition from being tyrannical towards Aboriginal peoples.
Our lives, our identity as a distinct race of people and the oldest living culture in the world are at risk right now. No type of constitutional reform can change who we are. We have a right to exist as distinct, identifiable peoples within Australia and the world and no amount of constitutional reform will take away our sovereignty and our dominion over our lands, waters, natural resources and biodiversity.
Right throughout Australia, right now, a war is going on in our communities, shielded by the Great Dividing Range. Police have become much more brutal, white rural populations have grown even more racist and are now demanding greater police presence to protect them from the growing Aboriginal populations; prisons are overflowing with Aboriginal inmates, who in the main are serving sentences for non-payment of fines and/or driving without a license and other social disobediences. Compared to the white population there can be no ratio markers to compare.
Australia has to take the sovereignty movement and the land rights movement seriously and if they fail to talk with us and continue to work with their Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican private school educated Blacks, Australia will get its bloody revolution. You can kick a dog only so many times before it bites and what I know of the grassroots Aboriginal communities around Australia, they are ready to bite.