More than an apology needed

Submitted by AWL on 22 February, 2008 - 12:48

Kevin Rudd, the Blair-model new Labor prime minister of Australia, has made the long-awaited official apology from Australia’s government to the country’s Aboriginal peoples for mistreatment over the centuries.

Sam Watson, a Murri activist in Brisbane and a member of the Socialist Alliance, has commented:

“I propose that there should be a national monument erected in front of Parliament House to honor the victims...

“Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin still haven’t made any attempt to meet with the genuine leaders of the Aboriginal community. We endorse Macklin’s decision to close down the National Indigenous Advisory Council, which is only a handful of Howard’s puppets.

“However, the new government now needs to put into practice genuine consultation with the Aboriginal people, in order to make a real apology and to begin to right the wrongs of the past – including offering real compensation to the Stolen Generations.

“We must reject the invasion of the Northern Territory [an imposition of almost martial law in Aboriginal communities there] by the previous [conservative] government, and any attempt to extend this intervention to Queensland or other state. We need to seriously challenge Black deaths in custody, and continued discrimination against Indigenous people in all areas of society.

“We call on the Australian people to mobilize to defend human rights in all sectors of our country, as well as internationally. Australia needs to recognize that the wealth of this society was gained from the stolen land and resources of the Indigenous people.

“Now is the time to remember this history by negotiating a Treaty to truly recognize the rights of the original people of this country, and to provide fair compensation for the theft of their land and resources”.

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