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An Injustice anywhere (follow up)

Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: Ras KebreAB Sent: 8/26/2007 8:36:52 PM

This a little follow up to this post about the Aboriginie problems with alcohol and child abuse and such

seen, so babylon do them things

Australia's Senate overwhelmingly
approved a package of bills Friday to fight what the government
says is rampant child sexual abuse among Aborigines,
clearing the last hurdle for a plan condemned by critics
as a racist attack on indigenous rights.

The government plans to seize some of the powers of the
Northern Territory government in response to an
officially commissioned report that found child abuse
was widespread in indigenous communities on Australia's
tropical northern frontier.

Traditional owners will also lose their veto power over who
enters Aboriginal-owned land in the Northern Territory,
an area the size of Texas but populated by only 40,000 people.

Labor Sen. Ruth Webber told the Senate during debate this week
that she was critical of the government for failing to consult
with Aboriginal people over the plan.

Sen. Bob Brown, leader of the Greens party, called the
legislation racist and discriminatory because of being exempt
from the anti-discrimination laws that protect every other
ethnic group in Australia.

Aborigines are an impoverished minority of 450,000 within
Australia's population of 21 million. They have the highest
rates of unemployment, imprisonment and infant mortality of
any ethnic group.

Aborigines on Tuesday said the government was trying to steal their land under the guise of responding to a crisis that Prime Minister John Howard has labelled Australia's own Hurricane Katrina.

Canberra began deploying police and soldiers to the Northern Territory outback this week under a controversial plan to combat widespread child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities.

Indigenous leaders presented a letter bearing more than 90 signatures to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough on Tuesday condemning the plan, which involves Canberra taking control of leases on Aboriginal land for five years.

Pat Turner, who was once Australia's most senior Aboriginal bureaucrat, said Howard's conservative government was trying to reverse hard-fought indigenous land rights.

"We believe that this government is using child sexual abuse as the Trojan horse to resume total control of our land," she told reporters.

"No compensation will ever, ever replace our land-ownership rights."

The crackdown -- including bans on alcohol and pornography, as well as medical check-ups for all children under the age of 16 -- follows a damning government report into child abuse in indigenous communities.

Pat Turner, a member of the Combined Aboriginal Organisations (CAO) and chief executive of the new National Indigenous Television (NITV) service, told the crowd that a six-month emergency intervention to tackle child abuse would be acceptable.

But it had to be done in partnership with local Aborigines and be followed up with a fully-funded long-term strategy to provide services.

"We'll show you how to do it properly,'' she said.

"Leave the police at home, leave the soldiers at home, and let the real workers come in.''

Ms Turner said Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory had endured a long, hard struggle to win land rights in 1975 and were not about to give them up.

"We will not say yes to removing the permit system and we will never agree to the removal of inalienable freehold title,'' she said. ""


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Haile Selassie I