Draft resolution on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights

Draft resolution on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights

Prepared by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights working group.

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The Socialist Alliance acknowledges the important historical role socialists have played in major struggles for Aboriginal rights throughout the last century. Through our new Charter, we commit ourselves to continuing in this tradition, supporting and championing Aboriginal self-determination and Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs, while linking Aboriginal struggles to other movements, especially the trade union movement.

Aboriginal affairs a moral weakness of Rudd Labor. It is crucial we continue to build a movement demanding full justice for the first people, especially now as the federal government comes under more and more fire for its expansion and continuation of racist policies of the previous Coalition government. This includes growing international criticism of the NT intervention, including from the UN human rights rapporteur.

The Labor government has hand-picked a new "representative body" for Aboriginal Australia, but the powers of this body will be incredibly limited, and Labor has already proved it does not listen to the majority voice of Aboriginal Australia, as the NT intervention shows.

A new new national Aboriginal leadership is emerging, especially through the campaign against the NT intervention. Aboriginal people across the NT and across the country have come together to condemn the intervention. This new leadership is slowly consolidating: the Ampilatwatja walk-off is an example of a new leadership. We recognise the need for this to be supported and given space and resources to develop.

Proposals for Socialist Alliance's work

Aboriginal Rights Coalitions

We will assess city by city whether we have the resources to participate and build them.

Trade union work

We recognise the importance of the union movement becoming more involved in the Aboriginal rights movement, and will use our presence in many unions and on many union bodies to help facilitate this growing relationship. The interest unions have displayed in the Ampilatwatja walk-off, for example, also gives us an opportunity to get in touch with, or work closer with, unions and unionists we weren't otherwise working with.

International solidarity

Through Green Left Weekly, and our contacts among the international left, we will seek to establish links between Aboriginal people involved in the various campaigns and revolutionaries and Indigenous activists around the world, especially across Latin America.

New book and policy charter

Use the new book by Terry Townsend, The Aboriginal Struggle and the Left, and Socialist Alliance's policy Charter, as an opportunity for educationals and discussion through organising launches, with guest speakers, of these  publications  (where it hasn't already been done)

Campaign priorities

End the intervention

The NT intervention continues to be the pointy end of Rudd Labor's Aboriginal affairs policy: in fact it is Labor's policy- the measures introduced as part of the intervention as slowly, quietly being rolled out across the country.

For this reason, SA sees the campaign to end the intervention as crucial, and we will continue to prioritise it.

We will:

  1. Build and participate in Feb 13 NDA, June 21 NDA and any other mobilisations
  2. Continue to support and publicise the Ampilatwatja walk-off and protest house project, through taking motions of solidarity and pledges for donations to unions, talking it up in our publications, websites etc, building any future national speaking tours and other publicity events
  3. Help strengthen union union opposition to the NT intervention through taking motions to meetings, actively seeking union endorsement for and participation in any mobilisations, getting articles into union journals etc

Deaths in Custody campaign

Continue our involvement in the campaigns demanding justice for Mr Ward, Mulrunji and other Aboriginal people who have died in police custody.

  1. Continue to demand for the immediate implementation of all the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody
  2. Be ready to respond, through actions, articles and statements, should any more Aboriginal people die at the hands of police

Stolen wages

[This section still needs to be worked on.]

Continue to demand compensation for the stolen wages, supporting any campaigns that may arise.