Michael Anderson, Darwin, 3 September 2012
In our discussions Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, George Gaymarani Pascoe and I agreed that a Sovereign Union of Nations is inevitable, but it needs to grow from the grassroots. We agreed its success can only be achieved if our people want it.
The Sovereign Union is about building a protective shelter while our people go through the hard, long process of organising from the community level up. Each of the sovereign nations’ sovereign independence dictates that they make their own rules about their own governance, while the Sovereign Union National Unity government deals with national and international political agenda items that will be dictated to by the individual sovereign nations.
Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, Spokesperson for the Yolgnu Nations Assembly, said that the sovereignty movement is about educating our people about three things:
George Gaymarani Pascoe argues that it is imperative that we teach our children and youth our sovereign rights, which we inherit through our law. He said it is about educating people at the grassroots to have the ability to say “No” to developers and government who, through history, have shown that their strategies are always aimed at assimilation and taking away what is ours. At the same time he emphasised he is not a British subject, nor an Australian subject. He is Yolngu.
I explained that the people in the NT must realise that the NT Emergency Response law derives its existence from the ability of the federal government to use a military law at the time of national emergencies, natural disasters, for the imposition of martial law. All such decrees are administered by the military forces. In the case of the NT Intervention the enabling of federal police to have a role provides a front for the government to hide behind and thereby argue that civil law applies and not military law, but under the NT Emergency Response appointed military personnel are the governors and this is tantamount to a dictatorship by a military junta, the head of which is Jenny Macklin and her colleagues in the executive government.
Our discussion also centred on our impoverished communities.
The federal government is denying our right of self-determination when it denies us the right to have administrative responsibility over our ‘indigenous estate’. If we were able to control this without government regulations ruling it, then we could apply the wealth for benefit of all our people throughout the continent and enable our people to free themselves from absolute poverty and welfare dependency.
George Pascoe said he was devastated when he realised that Minister Jenny Macklin had raided the Aboriginal-owned treasure chest of royalties in order to fund her Stronger Futures program, but through their military junta demanded that Aboriginal people sign head lease agreements for 40 years before they agreed to fund housing projects or any other infrastructure projects that are so necessary.
Dr Djiniyini Gondarra agreed that we now work towards building alliances with our nations right across this continent under our law. He said that when we feel we have achieved this we should all walk to the centre of Australia, Uluru, the Rock, in order for us to become a collective One and thereby showing our national unity.