Keepers of Lake Eyre on 25 Jul 2000 02:23:27 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]


An update from an Aboriginal rights and environmentalism action in south eastern
Australia. The triangle of indigenous rights, environmentalism and social equity
is the most important Australia will face in the next 20 years, and it is one
it has been denying since 1788.

See for more details

****** Forwarded Message Follows *******

Keepers of Lake Eyre
Walking the Land- for Our Ancient Right

Sunday 23 July, 2000

***In this update:

1.  New Walk route, with dates, from Nicholas Szentkuti, 
	on the Walk- includes report from Nicholas.

2..Report on Walk from Honey, dated July 10, Broken Hill

3.  Rebecca Bear-Wingfield, Arabunna/Kokatha
	elder women, will be speaking in Melbourne-
	31 July to 4 August.

4.  Aboriginal Tent Embassy now open in Sydney.

5.  Sacred Run- to join with Walking the Land in Canberra,
	then on to Sydney.

6.  Keepers in need of legitimate computer software-
	-can you help?

1.  New Walk route, with dates, from Nicholas Szentkuti, 
	on the Walk- includes report from Nicholas.

Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 23:44:49 -0700 (PDT) 
  From: Nicholas Szentkuti <> 
  Subject: Peace Walk information 

  Hello again all my pals from Australia, Hungary and
  all over the world. 
I want to publicise this Peace Walk, Walking the Land
  for Our Ancient Right, taking the sacred Aboriginal
  fire to Sydney to show the world an alternative to the
  corporate flame of the olympic games. We need you all
  to join in walking, supporting and spreading the
  message about this walk to save our beautiful country,
  and the whole planet!!
  Friday 21st July nightcamp 30 odd kilometres out of
  Brewarrina (Kimm, get on down bruz!!) 
  JULY 22; Brewarrina
  JULY 24; Walgett
  JULY 25; Collarenebri
  JULY 27; Moree
  JULY 30; Narrabri
  AUG 1; Coonabarabran
  AUG 3; Dubbo
  AUG 6; Wellington
  AUG 8; Orange
  AUG 11; Bathurst
  To BE CONFIRMED; Oberon, Taralga, Bungendore,
  AUG 21; Canberra
  SEPT 3; Sydney
  Don't take these dates as gospel, coming up here and
  following the Darling was a change of plan thanks to
  the invitation of Robbie from the Kamilaroi people. If
  you head out to join us for a day, or a weekend or for
  the whole trip you can call the Keepers of Lake Eyre
  where this walk started on (08) 8232 8595 or email; Check the website at:
  Sydneysiders can walk in with us. We will be up
  against the olympic laws which forbid banners,
  leaflets or flags in designated olympic zones, have
  employed a vast crew of security guards who, with the
  police have the right to arrest anyone in an olympic
  zone without an explanation or identifying themselves.
  We hope to fly the landrights flag and bring our
  messages from the heart of Australia to the world's
  attention but of course we will come in peace.

  After sleeping out under the stars and walking 1000
  kilometres along old dreaming tracks it is becoming so
  clear how this great system of ours is fuelled by a
  deep destructive madness. Here in Australia our
  European culture continues the genocide of indigenous
  people, the eradication of native flora and fauna, to
  destroy the very land itself by mining and farming
  practises antithetical to the ancient and proper ways
  of this country. (Something as basic as having love
  and respect for the country you live in and not
  destroying it.)
  We are walking the land to feel its spirit - alive and
  blooming in this wonderful wet year which sees great
  Lake Eyre full of water. From Arabunna land around
  Lake Eyre, guardians of the fire and the its healing
  power. Into the Flinders and Adyamatana country
  (spelling?)through ancient hills. These nations face
  uranium mining on their lands, sinister South
  Australian special forces and the police protect these
  secretive and massive nuclear corporations, and have
  twisted the native title process with their massive
  budgets, to bribe, divide and conquer the rightful
  owners of this country. Our ancient grandmother land
  of Australia faces the poisoning of the great artesian
  basin by their nuclear mining and proposed waste dump.
  South Australia is a nightmare state whose small town
  redneck corruption has been coopted by the most
  powerful nuclear power corporations on the planet.
  Following the ancient path to the coast along the
  Darling river we see the destruction of this precious
  waterway by vast Dupont cotton fields. The Barkinji
  warriors of the Darling who remember the stockade
  outside Bourke where they bailed up the murderous
  explorers just 120 years ago are today initiated in
  the violence of jail. We have sat around the peace
  fire and heard their country and western songs, and
  met the local boys in the hood last night. It's all
  action here in Bourke.
  The great lie of our history is a front for the
  continued destructive exploitation of this land by old
  pastoral oppressors and massively powerful
  multinational corporations.

  I have a lot more to say about the peace fire, the
  symbolism of this walk, the way we come, the blessing
  we have to be invited by Kevin Buzzacott, an Arabunna
  elder to walk with him and carry the peace fire which
  contains ashes from the fire first kindled 27 years
  ago in Redfern and carried to the Aboriginal tent
  embassy in Canberra. We support the indigenous nations
  of this country and walk through their country the
  right way, with their invitation and guidance. This is
  a historic union of environmentalists and indigenous
  Australians, and all people of conscience in this
  world who are saying; Australia wake up and look at
  the destruction of your country. The time is now to
  say STOP. Lets say sorry, lets heal ourselves and our
  country. Let's learn from the wisdom of the ancient
  custodians of Australia who are showing us the way.
  There's room for everyone around the this wonderful
  peace fire.

2..Report on Walk from Honey, dated July 10, Broken Hill

  Hi again, here's a great article by our aviator, vet
  and surfer Honey Nelson which will fill you in on the
  walk. Please send it on, Love Nick

  Walking the Land
  for Our Ancient Right

  Broken Hill NSW, July 10

  Four weeks into the Walk!  -  since leaving Lake Eyre
  on June 10.  This is our first opportunity to send
  another message about the experience.  This follows on
  from earlier reports about the Lake Eyre Walk.

  This report is long.  So much has happened, relating
  to so many large issues.  You are invited to press on
  and read the whole story!

  Please circulate this story to others on your email. 
  We would be happy too for it to be published
  (unmodified) in any journal, without remuneration.

                                               Honey Nelson

  FOUR WEEKS OF WALKING,  and running, riding, catching
  up, resting, lighting camp fires, driving, picking up
  tail-enders, talking to passers-by, looking after the
  undying peace fire, singing, eating porridge, playing
  drums, crawling out of swags, expeditions to sacred
  places, running not to miss gorgeous vegan lunch-camp,
  doing funny street theatre, painting, shivering,
  besieging op shops for more blankets, getting cars
  bogged, grieving for the pain and losses we meet along
  our journey, fixing cars with bits of string, escaping
  the irate pastoralist's shotgun, loving the welcome we
  receive in Aboriginal communities, sharing delicious
  kangaroo barbecue.

  Walking for Peace, and for people's ancient right to
  Walk the Land.  This is the Walk.  Inspired and led by
  Aboriginal knowledge, dedication to old and proper
  ways, to restoration of once-beautiful and bountiful
  Land.  We carry smouldering sticks from the sacred
  Fire for Peace, lit at the shores of Lake Eyre, and
  fanned at nightly campsites.  We departed Lake Eyre in
  South Australia a month ago, amid chanting ceremony of
  sacred songs by the very old Arabunna women  -  the
  Kungka Tjuta   -  of Coober Pedy.  Arabunna elder
  Kevin Buzzacott and others from adjacent Adnyamathanha
  (north Flinders Ranges) land walked and rode out ahead
  across the satlbush dunes, carrying the Aboriginal
  flag, with a stream of thirty walkers.  We have now
  walked 600 km. through Marree to Copley and Nepabunna 
  in the Flinders, then south-east across the southern
  Strzlecki desert, followed the dingo fence which
  slices the continent in two, dared the no-go zones of
  vast pastoral leases and barricaded uranium mines,
  faced the numerous police sent out to track our
  whereabouts from the highest state authority, then
  stumbled out onto the hard noise of the Barrier
  Highway for the last stretch to Broken Hill.  Arrived
  tired, exhilarated, unwashed, swags full of dust and
  prickles  -  now scrubbed, blisters healing, feet
  toughened, eating ice cream, making theatre and
  banners and music, resting.  Numbers gathering  -  50
  walkers now.

  The Land.  Gorgeous dawn-to-dark horizons of fire-red
  and high streaming clouds, still and subtle gibber
  desert undulations, the wall-to-wall dazzle of salt
  lakes, tiny whispering empires of micro-creatures, the
  stately outlines or shadowed recesses of sacred
  places.  The offerings of exquisite oases amid red
  dust and stones, blue rushy pools and slow soaks
  tinkling with birds.  When your feet cross the
  distances, the stubby bushes and creekbeds become
  friends, the small claypans welcoming campsites.  Our
  little fires gleam to each other as they must have
  once glowed 200 years ago.  We came together for
  diverse reasons, we walkers;  but we are all united
  now in our understanding of the goodness, the
  kindness, the conscious giving of this ancient fragile
  Land:  understanding what the Aborigines mean by the
  sacredness of  the Land.

  The Aboriginal People.  The extraordinary welcome we
  receive, bridging 200 years, their kind hospitality
  and willing expeditions to show special places, reveal
  huge stories, their forgiveness for awful centuries,
  their relief to join hands with some of the boat
  people who grieve and act with them for their land and
  their children's future.  Their life-axioms are for
  the next generations;  this governs all their
  treatment of land and creatures.  Their losses are
  inconceivable to us:  a vast, esoteric spiritual
  culture dying like salt-waste gum-forest, as the old
  people fall away daily.  The young:  hopeless, inert,
  even suicidal;  or fiery, passionate, educating
  themselves fiercely in their spirit-land-culture.  Our
  contemptuous oversight of their beloved way of living,
  and their immeasurable life-sorrow, is our loss and
  our disgrace.

  The Walkers.  Mainly white, young, dreadlocked,
  toughened by their anti-logging and mining campaigns; 
  and some from city families, put their study on hold; 
   one or two middle-aged;  some more Aborigines joining
  us now.  Some walk a few days, some can stay longer. 
  The core of original supporters, who maintained the
  Lake Eyre camp against siege by Western Mining Corp.
  (Hugh Morgan/Roxby Downs uranium mine), are often
  known to us as 'ferals'  -  the unsung, often derided
  soldiers of environmental action, the cold muddied
  tree-sitters who struggle together to save our remnant
  forests, these dusty prickled and ragged warriors who
  stand calling for peace before the remote barbed
  uranium mines, and tumble unheard before the
  extraordinary, authorised assaults of police, security
  and special forces.

  The Pastoralists.  Their leases are absolutely huge: 
  vast areas of Australia easily defined on a small
  continental map, easily seen from satellite. 
  Bulldust-prickle-saltbush-claypan country, stripped by
  cattle, hopelessly unprofitable;  locked gates
  protecting the mines deep within their boundaries,
  providing income from lease-money and machinery
  contracts.  Hostile lease-holders have refused us
  permission to cross hundreds and hundreds of
  kilometres of open country, have threatened to shoot
  us, called the willing police, confronted Kevin
  Buzzacott with the most outrageous of racist insults. 
  It is only when you set foot across the 'free range'
  of Australia that you knock into the barricades
  surrounding our gracious outback.  (And it is, too,
  only when you take to the air to look down upon our
  lovely Land, that you crack into the bulletprooof
  glass walls blockading equally vast reaches of blue
  sky:  the prohibited airspace of huge military and
  exercise zones in every part of the country, of US
  installation zones, of mines, the immense exclusion of
  radioactive Woomera  -  geometric blots the size of
  small states.)

  The Mines.  Uranium, coal, magnesite, copper, silver,
  gold, lead, zinc....  These heavy metal and
  combustible minerals seem to provoke an aggressive
  hunt in people.  The coal mine at Copley, kilometres
  of open-cut tailing and troughs full of black water,
  will close before long;  with absolutely no
  requirement to rehabilitate a gross gaping ugliness: 
  this place of very big sacred stories about fire and
  punishment.  An open-cut magnesite mine is proposed in
  Flinders national park Weetootla Gorge, destined to
  knock down stark beautiful bluffs, and bulldoze a road
  through its delicate tillite creekbed.  The uranium
  industry is frightening:  drawing hundreds of millions
  of litres of precious ground-water daily, defaecating
  radioactive waste and sulphuric acid into deep
  unmapped strata, defended by mass security grunt
  within high barbed fences, and a no-trespass zone of
  purchased pastoral lease hundreds of km. in radius. 
  We have been tracked and confronted by police at
  remote places, at the highest level of state
  authorisation, their paddywagons, trucks and the shiny
  silver car of the top detectives;  our names and
  details demanded, warnings given, cars repeatedly
  'defected' (for minor windscreen rust) off the road  -
   for walking upon open inland Australia, carrying our
  small fire-embers, lighting a peace fire at the
  turn-offs to radioactive deposits.

  Ahead of us.  Wilcannia, then north to Bourke.  The
  cotton country.  More measureless land locked in to
  poisonous spraying, mass-irrigation, controlled by
  international industries stripping profit and topsoil
  and meaningful work from regional communities.  Like
  cattle and uranium and coal, cotton is one of the
  widest and most mass-destructive enterprises blighting
  the face of our land.  This Walk of the Land is a
  bitter revelation:  we who enjoy the illusion that we
  live in a free country, that we govern our own
  destinies and environs.  How much deeper the horror of
  Aboriginal people, who such a short time ago lived out
  their whole lives in motion with the seasonal
  movements of their vast country.  And who know their
  country to be a good and bountiful mother, who is
  honoured and cared for as all great mothers should be.
   They are crying out their shock to us,  at the sight
  of the poisoned waters and rampant excavations and
  imprisoned deserts.

  This Walk will arrive in Sydney in early September,
  before the Olympics.  By then we should be a river of
  people!  The firestick brings the world's most ancient
  ceremony, the fire ceremony;  and brings the message
  to sit down in peace, and to talk together, and to
  stop this state of siege and warfare upon people and
  country.  Such words are not excessive.  When you take
  up the privilege of walking properly upon the Land,
  and meeting eye to eye with the first people of the
  Land, then you can recognise the extremity of this
  relentless exploitation, spoilage, repression, and the
  ruthless dispossession of gentle people.  This naked
  greed has not stopped with previous generations. 
  'Sorry' means way back then, and means right now: 
  Sorry for the alive-and-well tradition of grabbing and
  profiting and hoarding and denial and secrecy.

  I am shocked at the maximum-security military-style
  barricading of uranium mines.  The barely-reported
  protest action outside the Beverly
  sulphuric-acid-leach mine east of Flinders drew
  riot-squad police ('star force' of SA), baton
  assaults, beatings, capsicum spray (including a
  child), a truck charge and impact, a lock-up inside a
  shipping container with a blast of mace, multiple
  arrests for non-violent action:  for banners and 
  singing protest, and an attempt by an Aboriginal elder
  to light a peace fire on his land.  I have an
  extraordinary video of this action:  whose extremity
  did not even make the national news.  Why are such
  violent, official, protective reprisals not reported? 
  Why?  Who do our governments and media work for:  we
  the people, or for huge multinational corporations? 
  How it is, that industries dealing in such
  life-threatening chemistry and geophysics are
  aggressively protected and encouraged, without
  national debate, to multiply and risk the future of
  all creatures and plants for thousands of generations?

  Southern Cross Resources (Beverley, Honeymoon, and
  three other proposed SA sites) do not even have a
  proper geological description of the (water) aquifers
  and adjacent radioactive dump-strata they are using. 
  We attended a public meeting with them at Cockburn. 
  Their answer to 'safety' for future water security, is
  to monitor peripheral water, teach occupational health
  and safety procedures to staff, and abide by the state
  construction code.  There are surface earthquakes
  measuring up to Richter 6.2 in the northern Flinders: 
  they rumble like dynamite for up to two minutes, and
  houses shake.  The Beverley mine is perhaps 40 km.

  I am shocked at the abandonment of our young people by
  we the senior generations, to face these forces alone.
   They are fighting for a survivable future for our own
  great-grandchildren, by songs and calls and peaceful
  resistance and witnessing and information-gathering. 
  These young people are utterly committed to retrieving
  some remnant decency from the clear-felled wastelands
  and toxic ashes of reckless engineering.

  It is a privilege to live amongst these  lean young
  people, with their difficult living, matted clothing,
  too-thin bedrolls, threadbare occasional vehicles,
  their shared porridge and lentils.  They are intense,
  clever, diversely talented, serious, selfless, brave,
  capable, funny, musical.  They remain mostly single,
  tribal, united in their affections and in a kind of
  ferocity to save some kind of secure happiness for the
  children of others.  These 'dregs of society' (as I
  have heard them called) are our own children, peace
  warriors gone out alone to struggle for the most
  dispossessed  -  for the Aborigines, for the wretched
  Land, for world poverty, and for our own speechless
  unborn descendants.  Unlike other battlefronts, we
  elders did not conscript them to slog out for us our
  bitter old vendettas.  They are self-appointed
  guardians.  They have to be:  for we older people, the
  generation of power, are the ones who actually
  construct and drive the huge politico-industries which
  risk and condemn our blighted forthcoming generations.

  They have no nurses, doctors.  Not enough money, some,
  for enough blankets, tooth care, or a few videotapes
  to record the quite shocking confrontations they
  endure without notice.  They are welcomed by
  Aborigines, 'the young greenies' offering action and
  help and art and muscle and voice to silenced
  suffering and loss.  Half are young women:  an
  accusation to our senior generations, that our girls
  must lie down before bulldozers and fall before batons
  to spare our own great-grandchildren.

  Where are the older people, we parents of young
  adults, grandparents of the little and infant?  Why
  are we not out there  -  out here  -  joining with our
  children, supporting them, helping them, braving their
  frontlines alongside them, to insist upon a safe and
  clean and secure future for our descendants?  How is
  it that we can support these terrible industries  - 
  by shrugs and inertia, or by active promotion  - 
  these engines of risk and destruction, uranium and
  coal and mass-desert-pastoralism, making radioactive
  ground-water, salt-poisoned and dust wastelands of our
  gorgeous continent?  

  These young, lonely people out here are world heroes. 
  Along with the Aborigines, they are the most serious
  people on Earth.  As individuals they have variously
  pained and happy backgrounds.  But as a group, they
  are the phenomenon of our collective societal
  sickness:  our very own abandoned children, their
  future happiness finally and actually wrecked by their
  self-absorbed senior generations.  

  Like us, they would like one day to have children of
  their own.  But unlike us, they are prepared to
  suffer, and to do without, and to live simply, and to
  stand high for high principle.  And to fight  - as we
  have not  -  for a parent's right to bring forth these
  children into a legacy of clear atmosphere, fresh
  water,  and a warm healthy planet.

3.  Rebecca Bear-Wingfield, Arabunna/Kokatha
	senior women, will be speaking in Melbourne-
	31 July to 4 August.

Rebecca Bear-Wingfield, a Kokatha/Arabunna senior woman and Kungka Tjuta
is being hosted in Melbourne by universitys, to do a speaking tour.  She will speak 
on Walking the Land, Keepers of Lake Eyre and the Arabunna Going Home Camp,
her families and her personal experience with radioactive contamination.

She will be at the following university’s:

31 July- Monash
1 August- Melbourne Uni.
2 August- RMIT
3 August- La Trobe.

Please contact the relevant Uni students association/union for more details.

4.  Aboriginal Tent Embassy now open in Sydney.

People from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra have opened
another Embassy at Victoria Park in Sydney’s inner, inner suburbs.

This Soveriegn Embassy stands in solidarity with Walking the Land- 
for Our Ancient Rights and awaits their arrival in Sydney.  
The new Embassy will stay throughout the Olympic Games, after that?

If you live in Sydney, go and check it out!

5.  Sacred Run- to join with Walking the Land in Canberra,
	then on to Sydney.

Sacred Run - Australia 2000

for earth and life - for future generations

The Sacred Run is inspired by the Native American tradition of running
great distances, even to the most distant villages, to spread messages, 
news and information.  Ceremony was always part of the runner’s lives.  
Before a runner left on a mission, the village medicine man would place 
“medicine” in the form of a tobacco pouch around the runner’s neck while
offering prayer to ensure the runner’s success.

Early June, in the year 2000 we will embark on an 88 day spiritual relay run
covering close to 11,000km starting in Sydney.  The purpose of this run 
is to connect with the Indigenous people of Australia, and together 
in a spiritual way, try to raise people’s awareness towards issues affecting 
not only indigenous communities but for our future generations and the fragile 
balance between humanity and the environment.

The time has come for us to look at these issues.  These are connected 
to our spirituality, the survival of humanity and all living things that share 
this planet we call Mother Earth.  We have to put an end to the greed, money
orientated society which has become the cause of the environmental destruction
and attempted genocide of the Indigenous people.

If you would like to participate or suppoert this event in any way, please contact
us at Sacred Run Foundation Australia:

Ph/Fax  (02) 9386 4693

The Sacred Runners are now in Alice Springs, having run there via the east coast
and Jabiluka.  They are due in Adelaide 1-2 August.  Melbourne 18-19 August.
Hobart 15 August.  Canberra 23-25 August (when Walking the Land will join 
with the runners).  Sydney 26 August.

Walking the Land is carrying a Sacred Staff, given by the Sacred Run Foundation.
This staff was carried from Los Angeles to Atlanta in 1996 (for the last Olympics).

6.  Keepers in need of legitimate computer software-
	-can you help?

We now have a 486DX4100 laptop with 32mb RAM.

As yet it has no software.  Can anyone donate Windows 95?,  Word7/97 (or earlier),
Photoshop, Publisher/ or other page-setting software, other software you think 
we could use

Hardware also welcome- external CD ROM.....

Thanks, Chris Littlejohn

Keepers of Lake Eyre, in South Australia:

Web:    Email:

Tel:   (08) 8340 4401   /  Fax.  (08) 8232 2490

Post:   C/- Conservation Council, 120 Wakefield St, Adelaide, S.A. 5000

***you are on the Keepers of Lake Eyre email list.  To get off the list- 
write us a note at:

Do you want to be added to the list?  Write to:

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: