Police again smash Aboriginal protest camp in Perth

Police again smash Aboriginal protest camp in Perth

Dozens of riot police and City of Perth rangers have dismantled an Aboriginal camp at Heirisson Island made up mostly of homeless people. In the dawn raid they pulled down and confiscated tents as well as residents’ belongings and issued move on notices. Pro-Aboriginal activist Gerry Georgatis said it was one of the worst scenes he’d seen in 30 years of social justice activism. The smashing of the homeless-friendly precinct, a safe space of 41 tents, moved the homeless back to the congested alleyways, condemned squats and lonely outskirts of the city centre - exposing the homeless once again not only to the elements but also making them vulnerable to all forms of violence.


Despite several aggressive police raids on the Tent Embassy at Matagarup, the Aboriginal name for Heirisson Island in the Swan River opposite the Perth city centre, the Nyungah people whose ancestral land it is are determined to stay there to protest against the planned closure of remote Aboriginal communities across Western Australia.


Three arrests were made during the raids including Elder Bella Bropho who has been at the camp from the beginning.

Amid the angry clashes and arrests, there were accusations that some officers were being heavy handed.


Aboriginal elder Mingli Wanjurri Nungala said she was pushed hard by police. "We saw the police coming, there seemed to be 100 or more, all the vans came, and they came in riot stuff ... and they went to pull the tents down," she said.


"One police woman was trying to push me away, and then suddenly, this big policeman came like a bull and grabbed me by my shoulder.


"They're the violent ones, they are the criminals. I don't want our people hurt, it's wrong. This is our land - when I was a young girl I used to come prawning along here."


The camp was attacked hours before the "SOSBlakAustralia" started global May Day protests to stop Australian governments forcibly removing Aborigines from hundreds of communities on remote ancestral lands.

Citing “a heavy police presence” on the island, Labor Senator Sue Lines said in a matter of minutes she witnessed police issue move on notices. "And they had arrested old people for not moving on. Now that is a blatant misuse, in my view, of the intent of move on orders."

Occupants at the Tent Embassy have been there for months attempting to deal with their own land rights issues as well as protesting the closure of hundreds of remote Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia.

City of Perth chief executive, Gary Stevenson, claimed the Nyoongar protesters left the island some time ago and the remaining people are not associated with them. This was contradicted by activist Gerry Georgatos who said there were 100 people on the island, including families. "This is an indictment on the city of Perth.”


WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA

(last updated: 3 May 2015)

WGAR Background to the Aboriginal Sovereignty Movement

(last updated: 2 May 2015)


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Western Australiens Nyungahr People rufen nach deutscher Unterstuetzung

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert
No to Western Australian Remote Community ClosuresNational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council, the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory body to the Catholic Church in Australia, has grave concerns about the closure threat and is calling for signatories to a petition to the Western Australian government.

NATSICC writes: "Whilst in many cases these communities are not perfect, their foundations are deeply rooted in the Cultural and Spiritual links that Aboriginal people have to the land which they have cared for and walked upon for thousands of years. They are symbols of the self-determination and tenacity of Aboriginal people in this country.


"The results of dispossession of Aboriginal people is evident today in the abysmal health, socio economic and incarceration rates that our first people endure in contemporary Australia. The proposed closures will result in generational trauma and erode any progress of self-determination made in the last 20 years."