Rallies will be held throughout Australia to protest against the federal government’s decision to end funding to remote Indigenous communities.
The rallies are the culmination of a grass-roots campaign started by a group of women from the Kimberlies.
Layangali Bieundurry is from Wangkatjungka, a remote Indigenous community with a population of approximately 200 people. She told ABC News the campaign grew from Facebook posts between members of her extended family.
“Other communities started to jump on Facebook and started realising what the government [was] going to do to us in the remote communities,” Ms Bieundurry said.
Writing for feminist website Destroy the Joint Ebony Allen, a Kamilaroi and Dharug woman, discussed the matrilineal nature of many Indigenous communities. She called on all women to support the protest against the forced closure of remote communities because of the impact the decision will have on women and children in particular.
“Despite what you may think, many of the First Nations tribes in Australia are matrilineal,” Ms Allen wrote.
“Women are the backbone of their society and are seen to be as, or more invaluable, than their male counterparts. They have a unique place within their communities that is respected, valued and acknowledged.
“The land and our spiritual relationship to where we are from, from time immemorial, has a huge impact on our physical health and wellbeing.
“Forcibly removing these women and their families from their traditional lands, uprooting them without their consent from everything that they’ve ever known is on the cards.”
The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) has described the forced closure of remote communities as “an indefensible attack on the human rights of Aboriginal people”.
A video featuring UAICC national youth committee members calls on people from throughout the Uniting Church to support rallies and protests against the forced closure of remote communities.
For more information go to: www.amnesty.org.au/indigenous-rights/comments/37100/
Image from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance – WAR’s post in MELBOURNE – rally and march against the forced closures of Aboriginal communities