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Camp Sovereignty rejects eviction notice April 10, 2006

Posted by campsovereignty in Press Statements.

Camp Sovereignty today announced that they were planing on defying the Melbourne City Council Notice to Comply on the grounds that the MCC has no legal jurisdiction over the Camp.

"The Camp was established as a site operating under Aboriginal Sovereign Traditional Law. We recognise this law as having supreme jurisdictional authority over this land. Until the Melbourne City Council can prove they have consent from Aboriginal people to have jurisdiction over this land, we will continue to operate this site under our law; the superior, spiritual law, the law of this land" said Camp Sovereignty spokesperson Robbie Thorpe today.

"The Highest Court of Australia has been unable to prove jurisdiction over this land, so how can the Melbourne City Council claim a legal authority that they do not have?

"This issue boils down to the fundamental legal issues of ending Genocide, acknowledging Sovereignty and negotiating for Treaty. We have been willing to discuss these issues with the Melbourne City Council and the State Government but they have been unable to understand the basics of what we are talking about here. How can they negotiate with us if they are coming to the negotiating table with preconceived objectives of removing our rights to practice our religious traditions; rights which are enshrined within their own Constitution?

"The Sacred Fire that is burning here is representative of the oldest known cultural ceremony on this planet. It is essential that the fire is managed in a traditional way in a site that is of spiritual significance to Aboriginal people.

"We welcome the invitation by John So and Gavin Jennings to discuss ways in which this site can recognise cultural heritage on this site. But what he needs to understand is that if it is to be true culture, it can't be packaged up and commodified; like what governments have been doing to our culture for the last 200 years. What people are seeing and experiencing here is true Aboriginal culture, right in the heart of Melbourne.

"We will continue to protect the Sacred Fire that is burning on this site. If the Melbourne City Council wants to participate in religious persecution then that is up to them. They need to realise that we have very strong support from within the community that they are claiming to represent to be here and doing this business; to resolve the fundamental, unresolved legal issues of Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty."



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