Thursday, July 26, 2007

July Darlington Review: Uranium Mining and Land Rights

Over 30 people came to see our June 23 screening of A Hard Rain, a compelling anti-uranium mining/nuclear power documentary. The issues presented in the film caused a wide-ranging discussion where links were made with recent events.

Just before the film showing the federal government announced its sudden interest in saving Aboriginal children from neglect. Indigenous NT landowners successfully campaigned against the Jabiluka uranium mine and have refused to allow nuclear waste to be dumped on their land. The plan to “save Aboriginal children” shifts overall control of communities away from Aboriginal land councils to the federal government, which will be given five-year leases of their townships.

Will landowners who prevent mining now be found to be in need of extra police and army troops in their communities? Will families that object to radioactive waste dumps find their children taken away?

After consistently refusing to address the $450 million deficit in Indigenous health funding, the federal government has suddenly found funds to introduce compulsory health checks for Indigenous children. The “health checks” are linked to families being subject to surveillance and punitive sanctions that would never be tolerated in the broader community. Australia has seen all this before. The Bringing Them Home report into the stolen generations described it in heart-breaking detail.

How many times will fraudulent concern over children be used in Australian elections? The fake “children overboard” incident was manufactured to cast refugees in a subhuman light. White Australians are now being encouraged to see Aboriginal Australians in the same way.

Australia now has a police state attitude towards refugees, police state anti-terrorism laws that have been directed against Muslim citizens, police state laws targeted against construction workers and now a police state for Aborigines. Who will be next?
July’s event will be a screening and discussion of An Inconvenient Truth on Sat 21st at 4pm in St Cuthbert’s Meeting Room.