Sovereign Aboriginal nations consider sanctuary for Julian Assange

14 September 2012

The Indigenous Social Justice Association

Media Statement

Several sovereign Aboriginal nations are considering giving Julian Assange refuge and sanctuary in their nations.

It was argued that as Julian is an Australian citizen he should be allowed to seek sanctuary in one of the sovereign Aboriginal nations in the lands known as Australia.

Whilst the federal government is held in thrall to the dictates of the US, we are not and are therefore quite free to support Julian in every way we possibly can. Offering safe refuge is but one way. Why should Julian be forced to seek refuge in a South American country and not his own?

Despite the ongoing protestations of the foreign affairs minister, Bob Carr, in reality the federal government is doing very little to assist Julian being press-ganged to the United States via Sweden. That is why Julian sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Our Welcome to Aboriginal Land Passport Ceremony will take place from 11am to 4pm at The Settlement, 17 Edward Street, Darlington on Saturday, September 15.

We are honoured to be able to present to Mamdouh Habib and John Shipton on behalf of his son, Julian Assange, the Aboriginal Nations Passport for travel through the Aboriginal nations.

There will be musicians, dancers, poets from several countries plus bush-tucker and other foods.

Ray Jackson holds a passport
(Rachel Evans GLW)

To the very large number of others wishing to receive a passport you will each need to sign the pledge that allows you to show respect to the true sovereign owners of the Aboriginal nations and to not allow the parliaments of Australia any legitimacy from the theft of Aboriginal lands.

Personal details will be given to those filling out the passports, the placement of a passport-sized photo and $10 to help in covering costs. Then you will receive your own passport to use as you travel through the sovereign Aboriginal nations.

But the passport must be recognised for far more than that. As the pledge written by Rihab Charida states:

“The receiving of the Aboriginal passports is not intended to make its holders complacent. Rather, it’s an active commitment to respect and protect the land spanning the entire continent as well as a commitment to changing the current conditions. This includes speaking out and acting against the unabated murder of Indigenous people in various Australian institutions, as well as the continual theft of Aboriginal land by large corporations with the protection of the Australian government.

"Also, the passport ceremony is not intended to be a feel-good event. As migrants that have come to live and be privileged by a colonial occupation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands, we believe that it is our duty to respect the people, the stories and the land, if we chose to continue living here."

All involved in this event see it as being of great significance towards a real multicultural and pluralistic reconciliation.

The first step on a long, long journey of mutual respect and social justice for all in this country. Including our asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and non-Aborigines.

[Edward Street is a fully residential street and parking is at a minimum. Parking can be obtained, however, around the area. For further information please contact Ray Jackson on 0450 651 063, Rihab Charida on 0405 760 929, Linda Pearson on 0401 511 588 or Anne Picot 0404 090 710.]

Source: Green Left Weekly Issue 937