Australia: Massive March For Indigenous Rights

Hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people in Australia and
their supporters turned out for the Dec. 3 “Walk for
Aboriginal Reconciliation.” The quasi-official event marks
an effort to commemorate the massive social harm down to the
Aborigines since European settlers began to arrive on the
island continent in the 18th Century.

Hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people in Australia and
their supporters turned out for the Dec. 3 “Walk for
Aboriginal Reconciliation.” The quasi-official event marks
an effort to commemorate the massive social harm down to the
Aborigines since European settlers began to arrive on the
island continent in the 18th Century.

Over 400,000 marched in the southern city of Melbourne
alone. Tens of thousands also took to the streets in western
Perth. The demonstrations had the support of all the main
political parties, the Australian Confederation of
Trade Unions, Aboriginal rights groups, environmentalists
and others.

Notable for his absence was right-wing Prime Minister John
Howard. “It seems to me that when a prime minister of our
country … can’t walk in solidarity with Australia’s
Indigenous people, then there’s something very sick about a
government that would pit people in Australia against each
other,” noted ACTU president Sharan Burrow.

There are less than 400,000 Aborigines left on the continent
out of a population of 19 million. The life expectancy for
Aboriginal people is 20 years less than for white
Australians. Poverty and incarceration rates for Aborigines
are far above those for whites.

Author: Deirdre Griswold

News Service: Workers World News Service

URL: http://www.workers.org/ww/2000/briefs1221.html