aboriginals

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vicent
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May 15 2013 11:02
aboriginals

can anyone recommend some good articles/books on the aboriginal situation in australia? i know very little about it, .does john pilgers stuff seems a bit shallow? and gary foley seems like a badass but i cant actually find any of his material. and the australian doesnt seem to give a very balanced view

also if anyone wants to give me some facts here that'd be great !
thanks

kuro
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May 15 2013 11:35

Gary Foley's work can be found here http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/indexb.html
Robbie Thorpe's also worth checking out: http://treatyrepublic.net/
Brisbane Embassy's paper: http://brisbaneblacksmonthly.weebly.com/
Pilger's secret country video is ok: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j_r0Wgg0T0
Also highly recommended are Deborah Bird Rose, Margaret Kemarre Turner, Djambatj Mala, Henry Reynolds
On the intevention Chris Graham does a pretty good talk which he has presented around the country for the past few years: http://stoptheintervention.org/Gathering-in-Alice-Springs-July-2010/raci.... Also check out stuff from the Ampilatwatja walk off.
The 'Homelands' movement is also worth looking at.
'How the West was Lost' is an excellent doco but unfortunately not online.

vicent
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May 15 2013 11:24

thanks kuro! ill read up
you seem to know alot about this subject, why is it that they have such a poor life? is the government trying to take their land for mining? what were the motives for the intervention? many people blame their culture is this partly true?
thanks

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boozemonarchy
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May 15 2013 20:20
Quote:
why is it that they have such a poor life?

Land and way of life that is known to of developed over 50,000 years nearly completely uprooted. Racist white colonizing society intentionally sought to destroy the vestige of that way of life with the usual tools. Racism still persists in Australia. It is important for the protection of the colonizing society to economically and socially marginalize the uprooted. Blaming their culture is stomach churning.

vicent
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May 16 2013 13:28

i know the main reason is that that they have had had to deal with probably the worst genocide in history, and that the intervention has driven up suicides and homelessness astronomically but i was wondering if the intervention was economically motivated or just racist, i cant find any evidence that mining has increased on their land after the intervention even though thats what 'our generation' suggests

thanks

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Lumpen
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May 16 2013 14:29

The Intervention has varying levels of support and opposition within and amongst different aboriginal communities. From what I understand, there's broad support for the recommendations from the Little Children Are Sacred report that were implemented (not that many of them were) and general opposition to the things that were tacked onto it with zero consultation.

I'm really not that knowledgable though.

Ablokeimet
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May 23 2013 06:03
vicent wrote:
why is it that they have such a poor life?

Basically, Aboriginal identity is tied inextricably to the land and is fundamentally incompatible with capitalist real estate. Because of this, there is no way that the land can be "sold" by Aboriginal people. The invading British colonists could only, therefore, get hold of the land by warfare and genocide. And this has continued since then. Aboriginal identity is also, however, highly diverse, with specific Aboriginal peoples having ties to specific areas of land. This leads them to be vulnerable to "divide and rule" strategies, which have been used ruthlessly by governments past and present.

Aboriginal people are subject to persecution in Australia for two reasons. Most obviously, it is because the theft of their land is not yet complete and many Aboriginal peoples are struggling for the return of stolen land. Secondly, however, it is because the existence of Aboriginal people is a standing reminder of Australia's original sin - the fact that this country is built on stolen land. That Aboriginal people have survived is a public reproach to the colonising peoples for the crimes of war, theft and genocide. In order not to succumb to guilt, the colonisers must engage in emotional projection and blame Aboriginal people for their own plight.

When Aboriginal people are forcibly incorporated into capitalist social relations (e.g. as part of the NT Intervention), the fundamental incompatibility between Aboriginal identity and capitalism (particularly capitalist real estate) results in social breakdown. Basically, the State is forcing Aboriginal people to act in ways that are considered fundamentally immoral in Aboriginal society. It is only to be expected, therefore, that this would result in dysfunctional social relations and the spread of anti-social behaviour.

There is no going back to 1787 - and I have never seen an Aboriginal person arguing for that. What is necessary, however, is Aboriginal self-determination. Aboriginal people have to decide for themselves how to pick up the broken pieces of their culture and build something viable, incorporating as much or as little of the cultures of the colonising peoples as they find appropriate. This will take political struggle, which will itself entail changes to traditional Aboriginal society, so that the differences between the various Aboriginal peoples are not used again and again as lines of cleavage along which to split them - and these changes themselves have to be evolved by Aboriginal people, in the course of the struggle.

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Lugius
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May 31 2013 03:06

Could we try 'Indigenous'? It would include the TSI

Here's more worth looking at:

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=1067

http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/509/Talkin

Lillian Holt is from Cherbourg and I think Aileen Moreton-Robinson is originally from Straddy.(Queensland)

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Noah Fence
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May 31 2013 16:42

Slightly O/T but look at this piece of filth that arrived in my inbox from one of my father's friends:

She Did It Again!

Australia says NO -- Second Time she has done this!

She sure isn't backing down on her hard line stance and one has to appreciate her belief in the rights of her native countrymen.

A breath of fresh air to see someone lead. Australian Prime Minister does it again!!

The whole world needs a leader like this!

Prime Minister Julia Gillard - Australia
Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.'

'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!'

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU were accepted by.'
NOTE: IF we circulate this amongst ourselves in UK, Canada & USA , WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.

If you agree please SEND THIS ON and ON, to as many people as you know. [/b]

'NATIVE PEOPLE', 'THIS IS OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, OUR LIFESTYLE'.

LOL! Fuuucking hell, people actucually believe this shit! The mind boggles. I sent a response to everyone on the address list but of course no one responded back.

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Auld-bod
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May 31 2013 17:54

Read this some years ago ‘The Fatal Shore Australia 1787-1868’ (1987) by Robert Hughes. It is a very ‘readable’ book. Remember it took the Europeans fifty years to wipe out the entire native people in Tasmania. Literally formed lines and swept it ‘clean’. The last survivor was taken to the UK to meet Queen Victoria.

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Lugius
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May 31 2013 23:11

Auld-bod wrote:

Quote:
The last survivor was taken to the UK to meet Queen Victoria.

????? What do you mean by survivor? There are many descendants of the indigenous people of Tasmania. I believe they comprise the majority of people on King Island.

You may be thinking of Truganini who is famed for being the last 'full-blood' Tasmanian that could speak the language but I don't think she ever went to the UK.

Not a few indigenous Tasmanians ended up on the mainland as they were forcibly removed.

I think is a problem with this notion of 'genuine aborigines', about which much has been written. In my view, it is reflective of shallow understanding of indigenous struggle even within the anarchist scene.

There was a thread on this forum a few years ago that was good example.

vicent
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Jun 1 2013 01:07

yeah im pretty ashamed of what my knowledge of indigenous australians was now that im reading up on it. i can thank howard and windshuttle for that

bastarx
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Jun 1 2013 03:34
Ablokeimet wrote:
vicent wrote:
why is it that they have such a poor life?

Basically, Aboriginal identity is tied inextricably to the land and is fundamentally incompatible with capitalist real estate. Because of this, there is no way that the land can be "sold" by Aboriginal people. The invading British colonists could only, therefore, get hold of the land by warfare and genocide. And this has continued since then. Aboriginal identity is also, however, highly diverse, with specific Aboriginal peoples having ties to specific areas of land. This leads them to be vulnerable to "divide and rule" strategies, which have been used ruthlessly by governments past and present.

Aboriginal people are subject to persecution in Australia for two reasons. Most obviously, it is because the theft of their land is not yet complete and many Aboriginal peoples are struggling for the return of stolen land. Secondly, however, it is because the existence of Aboriginal people is a standing reminder of Australia's original sin - the fact that this country is built on stolen land. That Aboriginal people have survived is a public reproach to the colonising peoples for the crimes of war, theft and genocide. In order not to succumb to guilt, the colonisers must engage in emotional projection and blame Aboriginal people for their own plight.

When Aboriginal people are forcibly incorporated into capitalist social relations (e.g. as part of the NT Intervention), the fundamental incompatibility between Aboriginal identity and capitalism (particularly capitalist real estate) results in social breakdown. Basically, the State is forcing Aboriginal people to act in ways that are considered fundamentally immoral in Aboriginal society. It is only to be expected, therefore, that this would result in dysfunctional social relations and the spread of anti-social behaviour.

There is no going back to 1787 - and I have never seen an Aboriginal person arguing for that. What is necessary, however, is Aboriginal self-determination. Aboriginal people have to decide for themselves how to pick up the broken pieces of their culture and build something viable, incorporating as much or as little of the cultures of the colonising peoples as they find appropriate. This will take political struggle, which will itself entail changes to traditional Aboriginal society, so that the differences between the various Aboriginal peoples are not used again and again as lines of cleavage along which to split them - and these changes themselves have to be evolved by Aboriginal people, in the course of the struggle.

Bloke, I agree with much of your post however I think you miss a big part of the reason for the persecution of indigenous Australians which is the ongoing inability to integrate them into the wonderful world of work.This I think is the point of the intervention, to break up the rural slums and throw their inhabitants onto the bottom rungs of the labour market.

Instead of being workers indigenous Australians make up a vastly disproportionate percentage of the lumpenproletariat. This AFAIK has been the fate of all indigenous peoples who went straight from classless societies to capitalist colonisation.* The Maori on the other hand with their pre-existing class society have been integrated fairly well into the labour market both in their native New Zealand and as immigrants to Australia.

*In northwestern Australia there were a large number of Aboriginal stockmen (ie cowboys) but following the 9 year long Wave Hill strike (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurindji_Strike) living labour was largely replaced by dead labour with cattle mustering by helicopter and suchlike.

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Auld-bod
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Jun 1 2013 07:24

Lugius #11
You may be thinking of Truganini who is famed for being the last 'full-blood' Tasmanian that could speak the language but I don't think she ever went to the UK.

You are correct I was misremembering what I had read. I no longer have Hughes book to check up ‘the facts’. Sad to say though she may never have visited the UK in person some body parts did:

…Body parts and ornaments are still being returned from collections today, with the Royal College of Surgeons of England returning samples of Truganini's skin and hair (in 2002); and the British Museum returning ashes to two descendants in 2007.[39]

There was a Victoria connection with Tasmania Aborigines:

In March 1847 six Aboriginals at Wybalenna presented a petition to Queen Victoria, the first petition to a reigning monarch from any Aboriginal group in Australia, requesting that the promises made to them be honoured. [37] In October 1847, the 47 survivors were transferred to their final settlement at Oyster Cove station. [4]: pp 270-295 Only 44 survived the trip (11 couples, 12 single men and 10 children) and the children were immediately sent to the orphan school in Hobart. [31] Although the housing and food was better than Wybalenna, the station was a former convict station that had been abandoned earlier that year due to health issues as it was located on inadequately drained mudflats. According to the guards, the Aboriginal people developed "too much independence" by trying to continue their culture which they considered "recklessness" and "rank ingratitude." Their numbers continued to diminish, being estimated in 1859 at around a dozen and, by 1869, there was only one, who died in 1876.
Commenting in 1899 on Robinson's claims of success, anthropologist Henry Ling Roth wrote:
While Robinson and others were doing their best to make them into a civilised people, the poor blacks had given up the struggle, and were solving the difficult problem by dying. The very efforts made for their welfare only served to hasten on their inevitable doom. The white man's civilisation proved scarcely less fatal than the white man's musket. [29]…

While I agree I may have a ‘shallow understanding of indigenous struggle’, exactly what constitutes someone being a ‘genuine Aborigine’, some considered debatable:

…During the 20th century, the absence of "full blood" Aboriginals and a general unawareness of the surviving populations, mean many non-Aboriginals assumed they were extinct, after the death of Truganini in 1876. Since the mid-1970s Tasmanian Aboriginal activists such as Michael Mansell have sought to broaden awareness and identification of Aboriginal descent.
A dispute exists within the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, however, over what constitutes Aboriginality. Since splitting from the Lia Pootahin 1996, the Palawa minority were given the power to decide who is of Tasmanian Aboriginal descent at the state level (entitlement to government Aboriginal services). Palawa recognise only descendants of the Bass Strait Island community as Aboriginal and do not consider as Aboriginal the Lia Pootah, who claim descent, based on oral traditions, from Tasmanian mainland Aboriginal communities. The Lia Pootah feel that the Palawa controlled Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre does not represent them politically. [40][41] Since 2007 there have been initiatives to introduce DNA testing to establish family history in descendant subgroups. This is strongly opposed by the Palawa and has drawn an angry reaction from some quarters, as some have claimed "spiritual connection" with aboriginality distinct from, but not as important as the existence of a genetic link. The Lia Pootah object to the current test used to prove Aboriginality as they believe it favours the Palawa, a DNA test would circumvent barriers to Lia Pootah recognition, or disprove their claims to Aboriginality. [42]

This matter of ‘blood’ is obviously considered important to some people, though why I find puzzling.

Having used Wikipedia in this post I’d like to say that though I consider it a useful resource it can sometimes be far from accurate. I doubt if there will ever be a true historical panoptic on any matter though things have moved on since Hughes wrote his book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aboriginal_Tasmanian

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Lugius
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Jun 1 2013 12:20

I think you may have thinking about Bennelong. He and his cousin Colbee was kidnapped by Gov. Philip's men. Bennelong was the first indigenous Australian to speak and write in English and the first to visit the UK in 1792.

Philip and Bennelong became friends and he had a house built for Bennelong on the point that bears his name (now the site of the Sydney Opera House). They remained friends even after Bennelong set Philip up while out riding together when Colbee appeared from behind a tree a speared Philip (It took him months to recover)

Conservative commentators attack so-called 'white aborigines' for not being black enough i.e. not a 'real aborigine'. But in my limited experience, indigenous people consider people indigenous based on family relationships regardless of any western concept of 'inter-breeding'.

There are many people living in Australia today who have what was once called 'a touch of the tar brush' but do not identify as indigenous and are not regarded as such by indigenous people.

Unfortunately, there many on the left in Australia who share with the conservative side of politics the idea that to be a 'real aborigine' you have to be living a traditional lifestyle. This is why the NT intervention is such a big deal.

I had met a person who was born indigenous in the NT but taken from his mother as a baby and adopted and raised by Italian migrants in Melbourne. He regarded himself as Italian.

StueySubvert
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Aug 23 2013 19:33

My family run a property in central-western qld where we happily give right of passage and the ability to use it to the local indigenous folk (I've tried to think of a better way to say that for the last 20 minutes to no avail, 'we let them use their own land' is what it reads like to me.. which wasn't what I was going for..). To the extent that they'll just rock up for walk about (or just to get out of dead-fuck Charleville - I don't blame 'em really), either find us whilst we're out tending to the cattle or rock up to the home paddock to let us know they'll be around.
Our relationship with them has grown to the point where they'll refer to us as black (despite the fact that we've got absolutely no 'black'-blood in us whatsoever). I guess my point here is, that whilst many can talk about genetics and who does or doesn't practice the 'old' culture, for a lot of indigenous that I've encountered over the years, skin colour or descent has very little to do with 'aboriginality'. It's got more to do with the practice of respect for one another and self-determination.

Mike S.
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Aug 24 2013 08:14

Accumulation by dispossession. It happened in Europe with the rise of the market system and it continues (globally) to this day in order to help expand never ending profits. The dispossessed, no mater which race, have historically been blamed for their own plight before, during and after dispossession has taken place. There's still a bunch of modern day Jeremy Bentham's running around, people who have to dehumanize others in order to excuse their profit making schemes. Be it the "white mans burden", enclosure laws or 'vagrancy' laws it all has the same goal and if people continue to not enthusiastically accept dispossession and all it's wonderful side effects then there must be something fundamentally wrong with them....right? They're probably even genetically inferior (so says the capitalist "philosopher")!