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<nettime> The Solemn Promise of the New Captain Cooks.
martin hardie on Wed, 27 Jun 2007 15:09:01 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> The Solemn Promise of the New Captain Cooks.


*The Solemn Promise of the New Captain Cooks.*


 "*When the old Captain Cook died, other people started thinking they
could make Captain Cook another way. New people. Maybe all his sons
... Too many Captain Cooks. They started shooting people then. New
Captain Cook people. That was new. New people did that. .... they
didn't care, they didn't know, ... They are the ones who have been
stealing all the women and killing people. They have made war. War
makers, those New Captain Cooks."*


 *Paddy Wainburranga, 1987*


 Bob Gosford and Martin Hardie ....

 If Howard and Brough can follow through on their Solemn Promise to
the Australian People they will go down in history as either heroes,
or as the instigators of our age's most cynical government-mandated
abuse of children. >From what we could gather from Aboriginal families
in the days following the making of the Promise, these families were
not in any way inclined to allow their children to be subjected to any
Canberra Mandated Compulsory Corporal Examination.


 Whether Howard & Brough can follow through on their Promise might
depend on whether they can find enough doctors to do their dirty
work? Doctors who will be willing to perform Compulsory Corporal
Examinations which, as they and every first year law student knows,
will constitute assaults on the very sovereignty of each and every
Aboriginal child in the Northern Territory. Compulsory Corporal
Examinations mandated from Canberra, that nevertheless amount to
criminal assault.


 Whether Howard & Brough can follow through on their Promise might
well depend upon obtaining parental consent to these assaults? Crikey
spent three days this week driving from the deep south to the tropical
north of the N.T. and visited families along the way to gauge early
reaction to Howard and Brough's Promise to their children. From what
we saw parents are drawing their own lines in the sand ? and that
line is firmly set at their front gates. To a man and woman they say
that if Howard, Brough or anyone else mandated by Canberra turn up at
their houses to take their children away for a Compulsory Corporal
Examination they will resist to protect their children. And, if Howard
and Brough think they are just dumb blackfellas they've got another
think comin' - as they say around Katherine way, we've seen too many
of these Captain Cooks before .


 In last weekend's Northern Territory News, Associate Professor Helen
Milroy commented on the nature of the checks that Howard & Brough
propose to subject upon each and every Aboriginal child in the NT.
Milroy is a child psychiatrist with the Australian Indigenous Doctors'
Association and told the NT News: "Forcing children to submit to an
intrusive examination without good evidence or parental consent is
akin to abuse."

 Is there any "good evidence" sufficient to warrant the serial assault
of several generations of Aboriginal children? Manifestly not - there
is no material in the Wild/Anderson report (link) that warrants
the outrageous extremes in the Howard/Brough plan and, even taking
Howard & Brough's oft-repeated anecdotal evidence (which has not been
released for closer scrutiny) at its worst it cannot justify the
serial assaults they are planning.

 These parents don't mind their kids having general health check-ups
? they think it's a great idea and this could be done at their local
Aboriginal-run & owned clinics and health centres staffed by people
that they and their children know and respect. But they point out
what these cenre's need is real and sustainable resources and a plan
which includes them as part of the solution - and not a part of some
greater game. But they are firm in saying NO to Compulsory Corporal
Examinations by doctors that don't know their kids, that they and
their kids don't know, have never seen before, and in four months
time they might never see again. They worry what will happen to their
kid's medical reports and most of all, they worry about their kids
being subjected to these unnecessary and intrusive examinations by
strangers.


 Whether Howard and Brough can follow through on the Solemn Promise
might also depend not only on how they meet the resistance of
Australian families at their front gates? Aand maybe on the fact of
whether there is anyone home at all. Mutitjulu's Vince Forrester has
already today suggested that, in the face of these new Captain Cooks,
Aboriginal people might just take off into the bush. Or, heathen's
forbid, flee across the border to the safe havens of the Unoccupied
Aboriginal Lands of South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.


http://iafrica.com/news/worldnews/142448.htm AUSTRALIA Aussie govt
stealing Aboriginal land?

Tue, 26 Jun 2007

Aborigines on Tuesday said the government was trying to steal their
land under the guise of responding to a crisis that Prime Minister
John Howard has labelled Australia's own Hurricane Katrina.

Canberra began deploying police and soldiers to the Northern Territory
outback this week under a controversial plan to combat widespread
child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities.

Indigenous leaders presented a letter bearing more than 90 signatures
to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough on Tuesday condemning the
plan, which involves Canberra taking control of leases on Aboriginal
land for five years.

Pat Turner, who was once Australia's most senior Aboriginal
bureaucrat, said Howard's conservative government was trying to
reverse hard-fought indigenous land rights.

"We believe that this government is using child sexual abuse as the
Trojan horse to resume total control of our land," she told reporters.

"No compensation will ever, ever replace our land ownership rights."

The crackdown ? including bans on alcohol and pornography, as well as
medical check-ups for all children under the age of 16 ? follows a
damning government report into child abuse in indigenous communities.

*Strong action was needed*

While critics have branded it a paternalistic return to the past,
Howard said strong action was needed to address a national failure
comparable to Washington's botched response when Hurricane Katrina hit
New Orleans in 2005.

"Many Australians, myself included, looked aghast at the failure of
the American federal system of government to cope adequately with
Hurricane Katrina and the human misery and lawlessness that engulfed
New Orleans in 2005," Howard said in a speech late on Monday.

"We should have been more humble. We have our Katrina, here and now.

"That it has unfolded more slowly and absent the hand of God should
make us humbler still."

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2007/06/26/2003366917

Australian army, police move into Aboriginal zones CONTROVERSIAL:
Police and the military seized control of villages in the Northern
Territory, where they will enforce bans on alcohol and pornography

AFP, SYDNEY Tuesday, Jun 26, 2007, Page 5

Police and soldiers began deploying to outback Australia yesterday
as part of a radical plan to end child sex abuse in Aboriginal
communities, a move that has been criticized as a return to the
nation's paternalistic past.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard last week announced he would use
police backed by military logistics to seize control of indigenous
camps in the Northern Territory to protect women and children.

The controversial decision, which includes bans on alcohol and
pornography and medical check-ups for all children under the age of
16, was taken following a damning government report into child abuse
in indigenous communities.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough said 20 Australian Defence
Force personnel were already on the ground and their number would
be boosted in coming days as they prepared to deploy to remote
communities.

"Right now I'm trying to stabilize in the order of 70-odd towns in the
territory -- that is a massive undertaking," Brough said.

Federal police also began arriving in the Northern Territory capital,
Darwin, yesterday, along with those from several states, each of which
has been asked to contribute 10 officers.

But one of the most troubled communities, Mutitjulu, near Uluru, has
questioned what some of its leaders termed a military occupation.

"The fact that we hold this community together with no money, no help,
no doctor and no government support is a miracle," community leaders
Bob and Dorothea Randall said in a statement released by their lawyer.

"Police and the military are fine for logistics and coordination,
but healthcare, youth services, education and basic housing are more
essential," she said.

They also questioned whether children should undergo medical checks.

"Of course, any child that is vulnerable or at risk should be
immediately protected, but a wholesale intrusion into our women and
children's privacy is a violation of our human and sacred rights," the
Randalls said.

Former conservative prime minister Malcolm Fraser also criticized the
plan as a throwback to paternalistic practices of the past, such as
the removal of Aboriginal children from their families.

"People must be treated with respect, and in relation to this point
they have not been," Fraser told ABC.

"In relation to that, I said it was a throwback to past paternalism
because it clearly this time has been put in place, announced without
any consultation with the communities," he said.

Howard dismissed accusations of high-handedness over the plan, which
was devised without consultation with Northern Territory leaders.

"I have no doubt that the women and children of indigenous communities
will warmly welcome the federal government's actions," he said.

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