Three members of the Australian "black power" movement, a new Australian aborigine group, are staging a protest "sit in" outside Parliament House n Canberra.
Three members of the Australian "black power" movement, a new Australian aborigine group, are staging a protest "sit in" outside Parliament House n Canberra. The group plans to see the Government with an Ultimatum to meet demands on aboriginal ownership of traditional native land. They are protesting against a policy statement by Australian Prime Minister William McMahon in which new style land leases for aborigines were announced. However to qualify for leases, aborigines will have to sow that they intend, and are able, to make reasonable economic and social use of the land. The new definitions of policy arise from ruling by the Northern Territory Supreme Court that Australian law did not recognise aboriginal title to land.
The "black power" supporters see up their "embassy" outside Parliament House and will be joined by other group members this week. Mr Mike Anderson, the leader of the protestors, said he was sue every aborigine in Australian was disgusted at the fact that the government had failed to grant ownership of native reserve land. He said the movement demanded immediate ownership of reserves, compensation for loss of land and preservation of sacred sites. The protest will continue until Feb 22, by which time about 100 aborigines are expected to be camping at the "embassy".
Aborigine leaders say that they would be subject to legal action if they destroyed land on which white men have built churches and cathedrals. Yet the white man as destroying areas held sacred by the aborigines in their age-old worship of nature.
Members of the Northern Territory Gurindji tribe will join the protest group on Thursday. The Gurindjis are seeking laid rights for areas taken over for mining purposes.