So it’s Australia Day again…. Shame On You Australia

According to Wikipedia Australia Day is ” ..celebrated annually on 26 January, the date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland).”

For me (and many Australians, black or white) this is akin to Britains being asked to celebrate August 10th AD43 as “Brittania Day”, to commemorate the arrival of  general Aulus Plautius who served as first governor of Britannia.

Or, more recently, for Germans (Jew and Gentile alike) to be asked to celebrate  the evening of November 9th 1938 as “Kristallnacht”

Yesterday I am reliably informed, my Murree friends in Kuranda, Far North Queensand,  sitting peacefully in the public park (the only patch of their own country where they are still “tolerated”) were asked gently by the local sergeant to “move on now lads. We don’t want any trouble like last year…”

What happened last year down at the Australian Tent Embassy, Canberra beggars belief.

“The people who initiated those violent acts, the people who were involved in those violent acts are responsible for the violence that was there,” Julia Gillard told media the next day. Indeed they were, and we all look forward to the police officers responsible being charged, particularly this one : Australia Day Police Violence 2012

Read the full story here :  Tent Embassy – Fact vs Fiction

But, since last year, in this so called democratic country, the Racial Discrimination Act has been effectively repealed to make way for the $3.4 billion Stronger Futures Policy

These measures include:

  • Prohibition of consideration of Aboriginal customary law and cultural practice in criminal sentencing. This makes Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory the only group of people in Australia for whom the court cannot consider the cultural circumstances of an offence.
  • Blanket bans on alcohol on Aboriginal Land, despite consistent opposition from the Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the NT (APO NT) who have said, “The decision regarding alcohol restrictions should be for relevant residents to make… The principal effect of these widely flouted laws has been to further criminalise and alienate many residents”.
  • Increases in penalties for possession of alcohol on Aboriginal Land, including 6 months possible jail time for less than 1.35l of pure alcohol and 18 months for more than 1.35L of pure alcohol.
  • “Star Chamber” powers by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) for investigations in Aboriginal communities, including removal of the right to silence.
  • Special powers that allow police to enter houses and vehicles in Aboriginal communities without a warrant, on ‘suspicion’ of possession of alcohol.
  • Makes laws allowing for information to be transferred about an individual, to any Federal, State or Territory government department or agency, without an individual’s knowledge or consent.
  • Blanket bans on “sexually explicit or very violent material” on Aboriginal Land, making it a crime to possess pornography.
  • Commonwealth control over regulations in Community Living Areas and town camps.
  • Continued suspension of the permit system in Aboriginal townships, in direct contradiction of APO NT who have said that: “communities on Aboriginal Land feel as though they have lost control… the flow on effects are overwhelmingly seen as negative and counterproductive to community safety”.
  • An expansion of the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) means parents whose children miss school more than once a week will have their welfare payments slashed. This comes despite consistent concerns raised by Aboriginal families of inappropriate education in Aboriginal schools that is failing to engage their children.
  • The Stronger Futures “jobs package” includes 50 new ranger positions and 100 “traineeships”. But this will not compensate for the more than 2000 remaining waged Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) positions that the Government will cut by April 2012; the final attack on a vibrant program which was the lifeblood of many communities, employing upwards of 7500 people before the NT Intervention.
  • Proposed amendments to the Social Security Act will see further attacks on the rights of welfare recipients. These measures will initially be targeted at Aboriginal people in the NT, but have national implications, especially in areas such as Bankstown or Shepparton where Income Management is being rolled out from July 2012.

Shame on you Australia.