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Ampilatwatja Walkoff - Aboriginal Australia today

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Published on Oct 25, 2009

"On July 14, 2009, we, Elders from the Ampilatwatja community, walked out of our houses and set up camp in the bush. We are fed up with the federal government's Northern Territory Intervention, controls and measures, visions and goals forced onto us from outside. We felt we were outcasts and isolated from all decision making -there has been no meaningful consultation... We therefore have no intention of going back there. We intend to stay here until our demands are met.

I would like to send a personal invitation to all our brothers and sisters, who are leaders and workers in their Aboriginal organisations to come together as one people. I would like to share with you the visions of our leaders and Elders and the path we have chosen to honour the lines of our country, mother Earth, our dreaming and spirituality. Brothers and sisters, we are one and we are part of you. We are all connected through mother Earth. This is the true line we must follow to unite and to bring all our white brothers and sisters on this journey with us. We have many struggles and journeys ahead. The time is now. It is vital that we come together to listen to each other and share our thoughts and ideas on the way forward. What will be the future for our aboriginal people across this country? I look forward to meeting many of you on the tour and hope to create lasting friendships and connections so that we can work towards creating a better future for our younger generations."

Richard Downs,
Alyawarra People, Ampilatwatja Community
Central Australia

During October '09, Ampilatwatja's spokesperson, Richard Downs, conducted a speaking-tour along the east coast of Australia, talking at Universities, Workers' Unions, Indigenous communities and at public rallies in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, raising awareness of the walk-off and appealing for funds to help the walkoff camp to remain self-sufficient.

Accompanying Richard, Warlpiri Elder, Harry Nelson, of the Yuendemu community talked about his own struggle to fight the Government's attempt to force communities in the Northern Territory to sign 40 year leases, thus handing over their lands to Government.

This video covers footage of Richard and Harry's speaking tour in Melbourne: 14-16 October.

Video of Richard and Harry talking at Melbourne University:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVQKgt...

Intervention Walkoff's Blog (keep up to date on latest events regarding the walkoff):
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress....

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