Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ampilatwatja walk-off update

I've posted about the Ampilatwatja walk-off before.

The article below is by Richard Downs, spokesperson for the Ampilatwatja walk-off against the Northern Territory intervention.
"The government business manager (GBM) for Ampilatwatja and a representative of department of indigenous affairs were told to leave the Ampilatwatja protest camp on February 14 as they were not invited.
The agents turned up at our meeting with the APY lands people without notice. The GBM was informed we no longer have any relationship and they were not welcome.
The GBM's excuse was that he had to inform me that minister Jenny Macklin has now given approval for us to bring the condemned tin houses from Ampilatwatja to put up at our camp. But he was aware we had already been given approval by the people and Barkley Shire to take them as they were going to be demolished.
Previously, the GBM had stated we were to return the buildings and to first get approval to remove them. Our reply to him was: “Take whatever action you desire as we were not returning them.”
At the meeting, they asked if it was okay to take photos of the building. They were both told clearly to leave and not take any photos of the house as it had nothing to do with them. But on our way back to the camp both were seen wandering into the house. I informed them both they were arrogant, ignorant and had shown no respect to the people. They were both informed with colourful language to remove themselves from the site. They were slow in doing so until I requested the cameras be focused on them. Then they hurried off.
This clearly shows the attitude of the federal government agents. On behalf of the minister they try to intimidate people to show they have the power and authority to go wherever without notice.
I also advised him to personally apologise to Banjo Morton, who was about 20 yards away. The GBM arrogantly turned and walked away, with out showing respect to our 84-year-old leader.
How can conflicts be resolved when they show no respect. Truth is, it will be difficult to resolve and the team that is not showing respect knows that, and that is why they are doing it.

Hat tip Green Left Online

No comments: