Upcoming NT Intervention Protests
19 June, 2009
We haven’t posted anything on the NT Intervention for some time but the issue is still very much alive. A report on SBS news last night included some interviews with Aboriginal women from Bagot, an urban community in Darwin, on their views of the intervention. Two key points stuck out for me based on those interviews:
- The prohibitions of alcohol use appear to be leading to new population movements as people attempt to escape regulatory mechanisms. This means that the effects of the Intervention are uneven, with problems being exacerbated rather than reduced in some areas.
- The paternalistic nature of the Intervention, with its enforced quarantining and management of all welfare income, means that “model” members of communities — those who are best able to manage their funds independently — are resentful about being treated as though they were not capable of looking after themselves. If the Government’s goals are pedagogical, i.e. aimed at producing new kinds of subjects closer to the bourgeois ideal of the self-managing individual, it’s problematic that those people most closely resembling that kind of subject are punished and feel disempowered. The predictable result of such a policy would be the increasing institutionalisation of welfare dependence.
Meanwhile, anti-Intervention protests have been organised for this weekend. Here are the details:
On June 20, marking two years of the Northern Territory Intervention, demonstrations will be held across the country in defense of Aboriginal Rights .See the Youtube promo atDarwin: 11am Raintree Park contact Dave 0407209520Sydney: 10:30 Belmore Park contact Monique on 0415410558Brisbane: 11.00am Queen’s park contact Rob 0424265730 or Sam 0401227443Melbourne: 12pm outside the State Library Cnr Swanston/La Trobe sts.Perth: 12 noon Wesley Church.This rally will have a focus on Aboriginal death’s in custody, demanding justice for Mr Ward.