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Sovereign Union Letter to United Nations - SOS Forced closure of Aboriginal homeland communities in WA

Thousands of people are protesting the closure of Aboriginal Homeland communities from all corners of Australia - On the 19th March a mass rally across the country included individuals, communities, small towns, all cities and a massive online participation though social media. In another national rally only one week ago we saw a crowd in Melbourne so big that it closed the CBD down.

OPEN LETTER

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of UN General Assembly
New York, NY 10017 USA
212-963-5012 fax: 212-963-7055
Email: ecu@un.org

20 March 2015

Forwarded by email:

Your Excellency,

Re: SOS - Forced closure of Aboriginal homeland communities in Western Australia
 

I write this letter as a matter of urgency. Despite a national day of protest across the whole of the Australian continent on 19 March 2015 against the forced closures of Aboriginal homeland communities in Western Australia and South Australia, the governments have arrogantly ignored our protests and continue unabated. The mainstream media in Australia are blacking out any attention as if the forced closures are not happening.

We draw your attention to our website www.sovereignunion.mobi and in particular our Facebook page which records the Global Day of Action against the forced closure of homeland communities in Western and South Australia:
[https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sovereign-Union/340478969357448?ref=hl]

This is a cry for help as our communities do not have the resources to stave off the Australian assault on Aboriginal Peoples and their lands. We humbly make this plea to you as the Secretary-General of the United Nations to make a formal diplomatic approach to the Australian government to remind them of their international obligations in respect to the Human Rights covenants Australia has ratified.

Moreover, we ask that you remind the Australian government that they have in fact incorporated the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, Economic and Social Rights, Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination etc. by incorporating them into the domestic law through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Act 2005.

We understand the international protocols associated with international diplomacy, however, the current extenuating circumstances that have now arisen in Australia, with respect to government assaults against Aboriginal Peoples and their communities, can no longer be overlooked by the international community as an internal domestic matter.

We are now witnessing tyrannical state governments laying siege to our communities through the elimination of basic essential services with the sole aim of forcibly removing the people from their Country and their homes, in order to clear the land of the traditional owners, so as to make way for major mining and other development without any form of compensatory measures being applied or offered.

More importantly, our Peoples' connections to Country are more important than any form of monetary recompense. These forced removals are a direct assault upon our Peoples' humanity. Removing the Peoples from their homelands leads to a total cultural and spiritual demise, which in turn does more mental harm to the group, from which there is no recovery.

The colonial history of Australia clearly reveals a human catastrophe, which is now represented in national statistics that show a horrifying disintegration of humanity within the communities, the symptoms of which are measurable in the national statistics and Australia's current 'Closing the Gap' report and the 'Productivity Commission Report'. Aboriginal children have become a commodity of exchange in order to de-Aboriginalise them. This is being done under the guise of improving the educational opportunities, but governments in Australia refuse to improve the delivery of quality education within our schools on the homelands.

The consequences of the closures have and will continue to have dire consequences. Already we are witnessing from the closures of Aboriginal communities in the past two years, massive overcrowding in homes beyond their Country. Others are left homeless living in parks, on streets and on riverbanks with no proper shelter or any form of public ablution areas for the people to wash, eat etc.

The State of Western Australia has a law and order policy that sees Aboriginal people being jailed for disobeying police orders to move on. The problem with this is that the people have no where else to go. This then gives reason for police to arrest people. This further massively increases detention in prisons, for public disorder misdemeanours that no non-Aboriginal person would be jailed for.

In the past 48 hours of today's date we have seen three Aboriginal communities in danger of being shut down. By this we mean the communities' water supplies are under threat of being cut by the government. These communities do not have alternative methods to supply their communities with water. In this regard their plight is a gross violation of their fundamental Human Rights.

The communities that we speak of are: Yandeyirra with a population of 100 residents and 22 houses recorded in the 2011 census; Jigalong with a population of 325 people and 44 households recorded in the 2011 census; and Cotton Creek.

It has been brought to our attention today by community members in Western Australia that the homeland community of Warralong, south of Port Hedland has been threatened with imminent military intervention if the people fail to leave their homeland voluntarily.

The Australian government has no regard for international law and defies the United Nations by hiding behind their Federal system of governance, crying always that the Commonwealth government under the Constitutional arrangement does not involve itself in State and Territory governance. We argue, however, that the Commonwealth government does have a constitutional right to demand compliance from State and Territory governments with all humanitarian and Human Rights laws that they have imported into the Australian common law jurisdiction. But the will of the national government is lacking, because State and Territory governments have become almost totally dependent upon the extraction of our enormous mineral wealth, which unfortunately for our people sits beneath land that our Peoples own.

Having cognisance of the United Nations's limited capacities to demand compliance from the Australian government, we do appeal, however, to the United Nations to send in observers and investigators as a matter of urgency to assist in the provision of protection and humanitarian aid for our people thereby permitting people to stay on Country. Without this they have no protection against police intervention and/or military intervention.

I make this compassionate plea for and on behalf of our Peoples who stand to loose everything, which will result in increased incarceration, greater numbers of children being removed and death of many people. This is an humanitarian crisis for the international community to respond to immediately.

Sincerely

Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic
ghillar29@gmail.com 0427 292 492 www.sovereignunion.mobi

cc: H.E. Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of UN General Assembly

This man was one of the last few remaining residents at Oombulgurri remote Homelands community in the North Eastern Kimberley, Western Australia, which was closed down last year in the same manner that the state government threatens up to 150 more communities in the state. 'Cobber' and the others who stayed on their 'sacred country' without electricity and some other services has since been forcibly removed, and recent reports suggest that the whole community area has been bulldozed to the ground.