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Wedge politics? What wedge politics?

Theres' been a major restructuring in play for some time in regard to indigenous affairs with the abolition of ATSIC being dovetailed with the promotion of the ideological positions both Noel Peason AND ( ex ALP federal pres) Warren Mundine embrace. The jacky jackies and maries have been promoted very keenly both by all state ALP governments and the federal one.

Here in Queensland this restructure has not only included an off hand dismissal of any further progress in regard to stolen indigenous wages but while backing killer cops the separate indigenous affairs ministry has been abolished and now the independence of all Aboriginal communities in Queensland and Torress Strait is being rolled back with council amalgamations.At stake for instance, to give you how the scam works -- Palm Island could be subsumed into the city of Townsville.

This is as Howard is doing, except without the military and without the shock! horror! headlines. So is, state premier, Peter Beattie any different from Howard on this point?...not by very much at all. This explains why after the Hurley acquittal Queensland Murris have no option but to move on to the next battle that bears down on them.

I'm told that in South West Qld several indigenous indentity groups are no longer recognised by the land courts because they are deemed no longer to exist.(It's like the Tuurbul here in northern Brisbane where I live(and they apparently don't!) and like the old myth that Tasmanian aborigines died out with Truganini )

So the wedge that is developing is building big time within the indigenous community where jacky jackies are being called out for what they are. At stake is-- as the GLW headings calls out: Howard (and the ALP) take control of aboriginal identity ... [and the land that goes with it.]

Murris here familiar with land rights issues(at last Friday's community meeting here) see that Howard is going to wedge the states on this by forcing them to tag along with the same push and redraft the land use map of Australia.

While there has already been moves to talk up this sort of paternalism in regard to welfare payments among the white community thats' primarily about making the best use of the moment. Because if Howard` plays that card too much he loses the core race component of the NT deed. This cannot work without upping the racial denigration of indigenous peoples and re-inventing the 19th century.

The silence within the indigenous fellow traveller community is a bit of a concern in way of allies but ANTAR has a press release out that is OK as far as it goes:

But it misses the land question and merely suggests that the intervention was "misguided".

What ever happened to healthy cynicism?

I was hoping from a bit more from the Greens. Brown did a media grab last week on this that was very good I thought, excellent-- but theres' no formal press follow up that I can find. Although Socialist Worker also grabbed some good Greens commens.

But it's a media frenzy on this one as they know a story when it hits and have been tackling it on any angle they can muster -- any angle except that of asking indigenous people what they think.[At Fridays' press gathering in Musgrave Park the game was: what do you think of Noel Pearson? Ans: "Like Howard --the enemy"(Sam Watson). "A coconut -- white on the inside." (Lionel Fogarty)]

I certain that with the proposed national mobilisation on July 14th there will be another step in the renewal of a committed indigenous leadership nationally that we know, from our work with it in the SA, has been consolidating over the last few years.

But as I suggest, since Rudd is going shoulder to shoulder with Howard wheres' this wedge supposed to be located?

Nonetheless, the indigenous community isn't the ALP -- thank god! -- and there is a significant sector of it , at least up here in Qld, who have broken from Labor. So there's none of the umming and ahing going on that we have to put up from the trade union left & its allies in the ALP . None of that wait and see as though Labor held out any hope for indigenous Australia.

So in one sense, the break from the ALP in this context of the Rudd mission on earth has already begun in that sector as, so too has the religiously conservative wing has been found wanting. But to build a movement you need warriors -- "young warriors" (to use the local parlance). When we marched on Friday, I don't think I'd ever marched among so many good looking suits -- because the crowd was made up by many elders(Murri and Torress Strait Islanders ) who had come to Brisbane in their best clobber to defend their municipal communities.

So there''s none of this divide you'd expect between old and young. People here are talking up the black struggle and spitting on reconciliation...and the discourse is getting sharper and more
consensual. But it will still need to stretch across a generation and this is why the work that Sam Watson does is so important -- it is so consciously geared to buoying up another new layer of indigenous activists. There's this great group of 13-15 girls who come to the rallies up here and they are so dedicated to being Murri that they add so much to every rally they attend.

If you look at the great rally in Melbourne last Friday and read Margarita's comments on the SA's work there -- this developing movement is so important because it is a real break when most others are still constrained by the manoevreings of the ALP and the liberal left.

But we still have a lot of work to do because the sort of anti-racism that was so buoyant in response to One Nation needs to be fostered in this new indigenous context. The indigenous struggle needs allies but not allies that cannot be relied upon...so that's one of our task, folks.

So, if you like, thats' the wedge too: to be able to cut through the crap and spin and see this dirty stunt for what it is. And from where I'm sitting theres' not enough of us yet capable of doing just that.

So it is a question of advocacy and explanation.

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