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Camp Sovereignty: The Fire Burns On May 10, 2006

Posted by campsovereignty in Camp News.

One hundred and fifty people this evening joined together at Kings Domain in Melbourne to celebrate the conclusion of one of the most successful demonstrations of Aboriginal Sovereignty in the history of resistance against the illegal occupation of Australia. Camp Sovereignty successfully reclaimed the traditional meeting grounds of the Kulin Nation people for 60 days and brought the worlds attention to the Unfinished Business of Australia; the issues of Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty.

"We have had tens of thousands of visitors through the Sacred Fire since we set up Camp on the 12th of March, including people from many different countries, celebrities, politicians and many, many forward-thinking Melburnians. And our heart felt thanks goes out to all the people from around Australia, particularly from within Black Australia for their letters email and phone calls of support during this campaign. We wouldn't be here now without that support." said Camp Sovereignty Spokesperson Robbie Thorpe this evening.

"While various self-serving forces have tried to divide and marginalise us, we have proven that our culture is still strong and the best weapon we have against the ills that have been inflicted on our people for the last 200 years. What we have experienced here has been real healing, for our people and for all the supporters that have gathered here."

Camp Sovereignty also this evening received a response from the Minister in relation to the application for ongoing protection for the site.

"We received a late response from Minister Jennings tonight in regards to our request for further protection for this site and not surprisingly this request has been rejected. The rejection was on the grounds that the Minister is unable to understand the evidence of the significance of this fire and this site for our people. It's bitterly ironic that a Minister who is a member of a Government who cannot even prove their own jurisdiction somehow believes he has the right to determine our culture" said Mr Thorpe.

"Minister Jennings has already shown that decisions on what is or isn't Aboriginal culture must fit within the Bracks led Labour Party definition of Aboriginal culture or they're dismissed. Even a whole group of community experts with decades of experience can be dismissed at the drop of a hat if one says something that is out of line with the Ministers uneducated views."

"Tonight the Sacred Fire will not be extinguished, we will leave it to burn out naturally and the ashes will be gathered to be spread to other parts of Victoria and the rest of the country, as has already been happening over the last couple of weeks.

"Our focus now is on continuing the constructive dialogue between Camp Sovereignty, Traditional Owners and the Melbourne City Council in regards to Treaty business. We've successfully initiated public dialogue on two of the unresolved issues for Australia. Now is the time to discuss the final unresolved issue which is Treaty. The Government of Australia, in all of its manifestations cannot sustain an illegal undeclared war forever without international law catching up with them. We congratulate the Melbourne City Council, in particular John So, Fraser Brindley and David Wilson for recognising this fact and taking steps towards true reconciliation."

"The fire will always burn," spokesman Gary Murray said today.

"The physical appearance of it is important to us but the fire is a moral thing, it's a cultural thing, it's a spiritual thing, it's a legal thing too and it's time people in Australia and people in Victoria realise that. It's for the good of us all."



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