John Hutnyk (by way of fokky) on Sun, 4 Oct 1998 04:09:27 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Kumarangk Legal Defense Fund

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 07:12:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: KLDF - <>
Subject: Don't let them silence us!

--please circulate--
--apologies for dublicates--

The Kumarangk Legal Defense Fund Inc. has been established to support
Aboriginal women defending a sacred site near Adelaide, Australia.
The website for the group was originally housed in Australia but was
closed by legal action from the developers of a bridge to the sacred
site at Hindmarsh Island.
A second website was established in the UK, however this has just been
closed following legal threats to the service provider.
Space must be 100% secure with the server owners agreed to house the
site despite legal threats from the bridge developers. We don't want
to close the site a third time!
The site will be one of a very few ways in which we can now get out
the information about what's happening at Hindmarsh. The actions of
the developers are aimed at silencing us.
The Kumarangk Legal Defense Fund has been formed to assist in the
organisation of financial, moral and legal support for the people and
organisations who are being sued for defamation in connection with the
campaign to stop the building of the bridge to Hindmarsh Island.
The merits of the individual cases will be decided eventually by the
courts, but what is of particular concern is the effect of the cases
on political rights.
The use of civil litigation against public protest is widespread in
the United States. It appears to be on the increase in Australia.
Similar patterns of litigation have been called by American legal
academics, George Pring and Penelope Canan, SLAPPs (Strategic
Litigation Against Public Participation). 'The Adelaide Advertiser'
has described previous litigation by the developers of the marina on
Hindmarsh Island as SLAPPs.
Regardless of the motivation of the plaintiffs or the merit of
individual cases, Pring and Canan argue that the overall effect is to
silence some people and organisations. This can be seen to represent a
curtailment of the basic civil rights of freedom of speech and the
freedom to lobby government to change its policies.
A number of people and groups associated with the Ngarrindjeri people
and the anti-bridge campaign have already stated that they have felt
constrained from expressing their opinion or taking part in the
In these Hindmarsh Island cases the defendants claim that their
statements were justified, but fighting legal cases is expensive and
time consuming. Unfortunately legal aid is not available for such
civil cases
The KLDF is asking for financial assistance for costs associated with
legal research, court and legal fees.
The KLDF is only providing support for those individuals and community
organisations who oppose the building of the bridge, (not commercial
media organisations which are also being sued).
The KLDF is not affiliated to or a member of any other organisation,
group or political campaign. You can be sure your money will only be
used to support the defendants.
Donations to support the defense of these cases can be sent to the
address below. (Please nominate if you wish your donation to be used
for one particular case).

The Kumarangk Legal Defence Fund Inc.
PO Box 3168
Rundle Mall
SA 5000
Cheques should be made payable to the "Kumarangk Legal Defense Fund"

Further information on the Hindmarsh Island case can be found at the
following web locations:
'The secret history of Hindmarsh Island' ABC Radio 'Background
Briefing' story
Hindmarsh Island: An Australian Democrat Issue Sheet
Indigenous people's Law-Ways: Survival against the colonialist state'
by Irene Watson - the true story of Hindmarsh

The Kumarangk Legal Defence Fund Inc.
PO Box 3168, Rundle Mall SA 5000, AUSTRALIA

John Hutnyk
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