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Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 01:49:58 CDT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: NY Transfer News Collective <nyt@blythe.org>
Subject: Campaign for Justice for Indigenous Australians/GL Weekly

Campaign for justice for indigenous Australians

By Nigel D'Souza, in Green Left Weekly
#233 (29 May 1996)

MELBOURNE - The election of the Howard government has had an inauspicious start for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

The recent attacks against Aboriginal organisations under the rubric of "accountability" have a great deal more to do with the ideological motivation of this government than with the proper expenditure of funds in Aboriginal affairs.

After a period of relative advancement in indigenous rights in this country, we are seeing the early signs of a government undoing these, based on an apparent erosion in support for indigenous rights.

The Howard government has another agenda behind its ostensible concern for the "accountability of taxpayers' funds", one that is closely linked with its aim of retracting native title gains, land rights and other indigenous rights. It may also be associated with its policy of abandoning restrictions on uranium mining.

Attacks on a group of its own citizens by the federal government is an extraordinary event that should be a serious concern for all fair-minded Australians.

Justice For Indigenous Australians is a group that has been formed to defend gains in indigenous rights, support the advancement of indigenous people through organising public events such as meetings, and produce and distribute educational information that counters the negative publicity that has been generated about indigenous people. It plans, for example, to produce a booklet and pamphlets that debunk some of the myths about the "privileged status" of indigenous people and the supposed corruption in their organisations.

Justice For Indigenous Australians will be launched on June 3 - the fourth anniversary of the High Court's native title judgment, also known as "Mabo Day" - at 1pm at the Uniting Church Building, 130 Little Collins St, Melbourne. Regular organising committee meetings will be held every Thursday at 7.30pm at 171 Smith St, Fitzroy. For further information phone 9417 6744 or 9489 2543.

Six-month airmail subscriptions (22 issues) to Green Left Weekly are available for A$80 (North America) and A$90 (South America, Europe & Africa) from PO Box 394, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia http://www.peg.apc.org/~greenleft/ e-mail: greenleft@peg.apc.org