16 December 2010

Update: Defending Melbourne's Aboriginal School

Dear MAIC supporters,

We have been supporting the campaign to defend Ballerrt Mooroop College because we think a great injustice is occurring. The imposition of this non-Indigenous school on Aboriginal land is an attack on the idea of educating in a cultural way. Simply put, it is an extension of cultural genocide against Aboriginal people. 
What we see in the Northern Territory under the Intervention, we see happening in Melbourne. Will not give up the the fight to defend Aboriginal self-determination. We will fight to save this school!

The demonstration on Wednesday night in Bourke Street mall was a fantastic showing of supporters around the school. Over a hundred people gathered to listen to speeches from prominent activists such as Gary Foley and Robbie Thorpe, and educators around the school. We also heard from Greens MP Sue Pennecuik and had John Leemans in the Northern Territory address the rally by phone to offer solidarity from those fighting against the NT Intervention.

We chanted "education and land, goes hand in hand!" and "always was, always will be Aboriginal land", and got many signatures for the petition. A great show of support for Aboriginal education!

On our publicity material we passed on notice that the bulldozers were scheduled to roll in to the school grounds to demolish the gymnasium THIS FRIDAY. As a result of our ongoing campaign, it appears that the bulldozer has been called off... for now. This is a great victory for us, and all those that have supported the campaign should be very excited that we are having an impact!

The community around the school has asked that supporters still come to the school THIS FRIDAY to offer their solidarity and to join in discussions about where the campaign is at. This is their message:

Gathering: Friday, 17 December 2010
Come down at 9am for a brief on where the school stands with the government and building blockage. We need your support.
Come for breaky – bacon and eggs. Come and be ceremonially smoked at our ceremonial grounds. Sausage sizzle lunch. 
Last day of the school year!!!!

If we want to preserve what we have made for ourselves here for all the years to come please come and show how much you want Ballerrt Mooroop College and this land on which it stands.