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Legacy or Larceny? March 22, 2006

Posted by campsovereignty in Analysis.
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Some of you may have read the opinion piece in the Herald Sun by Paul Gray entitled "Just Who's Money Is It?" While we don't agree with most of it, at least the debate is happening! Below is a response to Paul's article written by one of the younger participants down at Camp Sovereignty. It's a good response, enjoy…

Legacy or Larceny?

As the youth contingent of the Black GST campaign we would like to respond to Paul Grey's article ("Just Who's Money Is It?" Herald Sun, 20/03).

Grey's interpretation of a summed up Australia has more than a few shortcomings. In his perspective of the Black GST Stolenwealth campaign is completely off. He claims to understand the plight of Indigenous Australia and the hardship faced by them, even to the point of being sympathetic. However, he fails to see how the theft of 'common wealth' is relevant to the terms Genocide Sovereignty and Treaty.

There are a number of issues which are conveniently absent from Grey's argument. An alarming fact, given he is a social columnist for a major news establishment. For example, the idea that [we] "have not developed the resources of what we own to create any wealth for ourselves or others" is absolute rubbish. Wealth can be defined in many forms. Land is wealth; however, how you use that land in terms of economic resource is a cultural speculation.

But what is more relevant in this case is that Grey has absolutely no understanding that social inheritance received by non-Indigenous Australia is not the same as Aboriginal Australia, in this era. Nor has it ever been.

Heard of the Stolen Wages campaign? If Indigenous Australia had received these wages we will be experiencing the same middle-class prosperity as other Australians. If land had been acquired through legal means, as was instructed by the British Monarch, our social inheritance would be flourishing today. Wages were not awarded, purely based upon racial supremacy, and land was acquired by the same means. Then there is the stolen children, stolen land, stolen identity and other cultural exploitations. The list goes on and it all spells Stolen Wealth.

The Commonwealth has only ever acquired wealth through unlawful dispossession. It has committed genocide against sovereign people and done so against the request of its own authority.

For those of you who, like Grey, have been confused by historical inaccuracies, the Monarch did indeed request a treaty be made with the people occupying these lands and this remains unfinished business to this day.

Thankfully, however, many people do understand the unresolved fundamental legal issues and are working to support the Black GST for a future based on consent, respect and honour for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia.

Aletha Penrith – on behalf of the Youth Contingent of the Black GST

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