A proper Occupy

There isn’t much that Australian’s credit Aborigine for achieving. One thing they can credit them with though is running an “Occupy” for 40 years, before “Occupy” was even cool with the kids:

For some it’s a Canberra eyesore, for others a curiosity, but on the eve of its 40th anniversary the Aboriginal Tent Embassy is still in place – an icon of indigenous struggle for generations of Australians.

Four Aboriginal men – Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams and Tony Coorey – set up the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, opposite Old Parliament House in Canberra, at 1am on January 27, 1972.

The foursome camped underneath a beach umbrella in protest of the McMahon Liberal government’s refusal to recognise Aboriginal land rights.

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Over the years the issues of sovereignty became central to the embassy’s ongoing protest.

Its early days were marred by violent clashes between activists and police, and despite attempts by numerous governments to have it evicted, the embassy will celebrate 40 years with three-day “Corroboree for Sovereignty” celebration.

Thousands of indigenous people from across Australia are making the pilgrimage to mark the milestone.

“It’s a celebration of our survival,” said Isabell Coe, whose late husband Mr Craigie was one of the founders.

People who can’t attend will be sending messages; not just supporters around Australia but also other indigenous people across the world, Ms Coe said.

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  • Peter Wilson

    At least they know what they’re protesting about.

  • jay cee

    that they have been camped there for  40 years shows just how far behind the times aussie is on this issue.