The 12th to the 16th of November will see Brisbane playing host to the G20 Summit. Leaders from the world’s richest economies will be meeting on Jaggera country to discuss how best to control the world and destroy indigenous lands and resources for profit. Australia is among the 20, taking its place as one of the most economically rich countries in the world while the living conditions and quality of life for its First Nations people rank among the lowest in the world.
These are desperate and critical times for us as First Nations people. Our life expectancy is only 45 years, deaths in custody have almost doubled since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the stolen generations continue with almost 14000 of our children in out of home care, youth suicide rates are at an all time high, the NT Intervention has been extended for another 10 years and the land that was won back during the land rights movement is being taken again by a government that is refusing to build community housing and infrastructure unless 99 year leases are signed.
The 40th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy represented a coming together of several generations of aboriginal activists with non-aboriginal solidarity. The anniversary connected people in a way not seen since the 1982 Commonwealth Games protest. The G20 Summit is another chance for a week of Aboriginal unity. It is time for us to come together as a network of strong Aboriginal nations sharing ideas, perspectives and solutions to the myriad of struggles we face under colonisation.
“In 1972 the tent embassy really highlighted to me what sort of strength aboriginal people have got when we all come together in unity” Billy Craigie Jan 27 1992
Colonisation is not a thing of the past; the colonial power structure exists today. The majority of the people living in Australia are from the dominant colonialist culture and, whether consciously or unconsciously, exploit and benefit from our land and culture while conditions continue to deteriorate for our people. Decolonisation is the first step towards liberation, recognition of our sovereignty, and self determination.
The Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy will be boycotting the G20 Summit, which will be taking place on stolen aboriginal land. We want decolonisation to be recognised as a priority and added to the agenda as a political reality.
Decolonisation is a process for all Australians and provides a chance for all who live on this land to build a new society based on Aboriginal culture and values; a society ruled by social need and environmental sustainability, not one of greed and discrimination. A unique society with a definitive system of laws and customs to govern it, based on the world’s oldest living culture.
Musgrave Park has been declared a zone for peaceful protest during the G20 Summit. Prior to invasion, Musgrave was home to the Kalperum-Jaggin people and is a part of Kurilpa ‘place of the water rats’. The park has been an important meeting place for First Nations people since time began as it still is today. We ask all attendees to respect Jaggera Law in this historically significant meeting place and the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy sacred fire.
There will be a statement outlining appropriate protocols for all wishing to visit or camp in the park during G20. Respecting traditional protocols allows everyone an opportunity to actively practice decolonisation and have a better understanding of the relevance our laws have in the struggle of all peoples against oppression.
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together” Attributed to The Collective Aboriginal Voice
We welcome cooperation from the general community, activist groups, unions and elsewhere. We aspire to develop a united community front which fully recognises the need to decolonise.
For more information contact Wayne Wharton on 0408 064 900, Paul Spearim 0416 069 788 or Debbie Jones 0422 569 325
See http://brisbaneblacks.com for more info about Brisbane Blacks and the Sovereign Aboriginal Embassy in Brisbane.
3cr radio presenters, First Nations people and supporters are heading up from Melbourne to take part in Decolonisation Before Profit. For more info and fundraising events/info, see http://3cr.org.au
For events in Melbourne and interesting reading, see http://makebreakmelbourne.wordpress.com/