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Camp Sovereignty E-Bulletin April 9, 2006

Posted by campsovereignty in Camp News.

As many of you will have seen on tonights news, negotiations with the government to make Camp Sovereignty a permanent healing & cultural site have broken down. The Melbourne City Council has given us until 4pm this Monday to leave the Kings Domain (under Activities Local Law 1999). Camp Sovereignty Elders Robbie Thorpe, Robbie Corowa & Uncle Kevin Buzzacott are inviting all supporters to the camp to uphold aboriginal sovereignty in a peaceful manner.

Tomorrows timeline is:

11am – Press Conference
2pm – Sovereignty Workshop – hear why indigenous sovereignty is so important in the present cultural climate.
4pm – Notice to Comply Eviction deadline expires.

How will this play out in the media? What last minute maneuvers do Robbie and crew have in mind? Of course they all sound interesting! Will your smiling face be part of it? We hope so…..how long will it be until Victorians (& Australians) have a better opportunity to make the Gov realise how much this haunts our conscience?

Looking through the entries from the Visitors Book we made a guess that between 10,000 -15,000 people have visited Camp Sovereignty so far. For many it was the first occasion to be Traditionally welcomed into this country and see indigenous culture at work in a practical way. Of the colourful characters who have visited, many came with a specific purpose – to touch on indigenous sirituality through the Sacred Fire, drink Sovereign-Tea or hear the grassroots stories of indigenous people. Others had direct skills to offer; some were street lawyers, others were architects offering to design the Cultural Centre and office portables in an eco-friendly way. Local Police reported a reduction in street incidents as the presence of traditional law in the region felt there was recognintion in their law and culture brought a sense of reasoning amongst the indigenous community. 100's of tourists got to visit and experience indigenous culture in a realistic, unstaged manner, getting an insight into the natural flows of indigenous life – sure to inspire stories for years to come. We even had State Ministers, City Councilors and Mr John So (he's our bro!) visiting camp. So, Where the Bloody Hell Are Ya Bracks?

With all these positives the government must look at the big picture. How many reports, how many committees and inquiries does the government need to make on Indigenous Issues? When will they realise that *land is the only medicine*? Here is a claim for indigenous sovereignty over a central piece of land. This would deliver only the 4th site aboriginal people have had returned in Victoria. The other 3 are all in remote areas that cost time and money to get to. Here is a perfect way for the non-indigenous to make an offer of substance. The Victorian Government should be desperate to reverse the fact that Victorian Aboriginals were recently judged by the UN as having the 2nd worst quality of life in the entire world. This is an issue that must be resolved.

Now that ATSIC has been culled, ANTaR has lost its funding and the future of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy (Canberra) is uncertain,
indigenous people desperately need an uncompromising voice. With over 50 different International newspapers, TV stations and radio stations having covered the Stolenwealth Games & the Black GST issues, this campaign has been an overwhelming success. We hope you can stay involved as the ongoing campaign for Genocide to be stopped, Sovereignty to be recognised and Treaty to be made continues.

If you cant make it, see if you can adapt the attached 'Sovereignty Support letter' and send it to any of the politicians listed.

This Friday sees the expiry of the 28 day notice to the Queen to address these issues. Let's see how that one pans out!

Finally, for those of you who can't make it to Camp but are bursting to do something to help. We've copied a letter at the bottom of this email which you can forward on to all the relevant politicians. Please send it in!

we hope to see you tomorrow
Camp Sovereignty

To: lordmayor@melbourne.vic.gov.au, frabri@melbourne.vic.gov.au,
petecla@melbourne.vic.gov.au, carjet@melbourne.vic.gov.au,
cathng@melbourne.vic.gov.au, fiosne@melbourne.vic.gov.au,
davwil@melbourne.vic.gov.au, premier@dpc.vic.gov.au, gavin.jennings@parliament.vic.gov.au

Honourable representatives,

Please recognise this correspondence in support of Camp Sovereignity and its maintenance at its current location.

The indigenous people of Australia has suffered extraordinary crimes at the hands of their occupiers, of which I am sure most of you are well aware. Today, because of their dispossession of land and resources, their life expectancy, health, education and employment are at levels unbecoming for an advanced industrial nation such as ours.

The camp in its current location is merely a gentle reminder and a symbolic claim to an equitable share of land and resources to the
original custodians of this land. Do not dishonour the City of Melbourne by forcible removing people who have every right to remind us of their claims to justice.

Yours sincerely,



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