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ice queen

FFS

Alana just asked me: "Riley, is it normal that when I ask people if they're going to the rally against the Intervention that everyone says, 'What intervention?'?" .... I suggested referring to it as the 'Northern Territory Intervention', but she said she did, at the initial lack of recognition, and it didn't help matters. WTF, people?!?! Today is the second anniversary of the Intervention. I know it's not widely talked about, but it is in the news from time to time. For those outside of Australia, the Intervention is the previous government's brilliant idea for dealing with the alcohol and child sex abuse problems in the Northern Territory. Well, in the Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory, anyway. The current government has maintained the intervention, too - don't get me wrong, this is not a political disagreement. Basically, what has been done is that the government moved in and made all these communities alcohol-free zones. They also withheld a portion of everyone's welfare benefits, so that the money can't be used to buy alcohol - that portion can only be spent on food and the like. They also shut down all government-sponsored projects which employed members of these communities - throwing all Aborigines who worked on them onto benefits, so the government could control how their money is spent. There is no proper infrastructure set up out there. The people affected by this intervention have to spend hundreds on taxis to get to the approved stores to be able to collect the food their quarantined welfare benefits are allocated for. Oh my god, can you imagine trying to pull this shit in the white suburbs??? Every town has it's area - the butt of all jokes, noted for being full of bogans/white trash. I think in Melbourne it's Frankston. Can you imagine the government trying to do this in Frankston? In absolutely NO WAY would it be tolerated, but the way it is now, we have people going 'What intervention?'

Comments

asdjfhlakshjdfhlasdfa *flails hands* oh my GOD *facepalm*
Yep, that pretty much sums it up!

2nd year?

How is that even possible? The entire thing seems surreal.

Seems like they are going back in time 100 years.

As you said can you imagine if they tried to do this to any other member of society?

How was the rally?

Re: 2nd year?

Ah cool you tube strikes again. There are some clips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA7w8MSQyCc

Re: 2nd year?

Huh! Thanks for the link!

Re: 2nd year?

Ignorance, I guess. I had heard of the Intervention, but did not have a clear idea of what it was, nor the impact on those affected until I saw a 4 Corners documentary on the ABC one night a few months ago. Alana and I were absolutely horrified, really shaken, that this was going on.

It is just so blindingly obviously racist, I'm staggered.

The rally was quite depressing. It was tiny, and very badly organised and promoted. I had to google a few times to actually find information on the event. I'd heard it was the 2nd anniversary and went looking for a protest to join. Not very easy to get information on the rally at all. Then, we turned up at the Bourke Street Mall where it was meant to be, and no one was there! We had no idea what was going on, so we had a coffee and jumped on a tram to go home. We'd gone three stops when Alana suddenly pointed out the window - they were out front of the State Library on Swanston Street, instead of where they'd announced they'd be. There were very few people there, under 200. The speakers were impassioned, but most were not good speakers, and didn't stay on topic very well. What is needed is a charismatic spokesperson, good slogans, and addressing one issue at a time. We could really do with a Martin Luther King-type figure, someone who represents the Aborigines as they want to be represented, and who also knows how to speak so the rest of the country listens and understands. Then we need to back them up with an organisation with good promotional and organisational skills.

I really don't see an end to the government's behaviour, and that depresses me more than anything.