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Dr Gideon Polya reviews the film “Utopia”

film-UtopiaReview:“Utopia” by John Pilger exposes Apartheid Australia’s Aboriginal Genocide  Bella Ciao by: Dr Gideon Polya  Friday March 14, 2014  The must-see movie “Utopia”, by the outstanding expatriate Australian humanitarian journalist John Pilger, exposes the horrendous circumstances of the Indigenous (Aboriginal) Australians. The following review summarizes the main points raised in “Utopia” and in doing so attempts to quantify and document these horrendous abuses of the ongoing Aboriginal Genocjde by what John Pilger describes an Apartheid Australia.

Before detailing the substance of this important movie, it is useful to summarize the main features of the ongoing Australian Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide. Before the British Invasion in 1788, Indigenous Australians had been living in Australia for about 60,000 years. There were 350-750 different tribes and a similar number of languages and dialects, of which only 150 survive today and of these all but about 20 are endangered. After the brutish British Invasion, the Aboriginal population dropped from about 1 million in 1788 to about 0.1 million in the first century through introduced disease, deprivation and genocidal violence. The last massacres of Aborigines occurred in the 1920s but no Treaty has ever been signed. Indigenous Australians were only counted after a referendum in 1967 and were finally given some protection by the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act. In the 20th century up to 1 in 10 Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their mothers, the so-called Stolen Generations. In 2000 about 9,000 Aborigines out of an Aboriginal population of 500,000 died avoidably every year but this had declined to about 2,000 annual avoidable deaths out of a population about 670,000 by 2011. Indigenous Australians are far worse off than White Australians in relation to housing, health, wealth, social conditions, imprisonment, avoidable death and life expectancy [1-4]………

9.”Utopia” gets to the heart of Australian indifference to the Aboriginal Genocide with a segment about “Australia Day” that White Australia celebrates as the anniversary of the British Invasion on 26 January 1788 but which Indigenous Australia marks as “Invasion Day”. White Australians “patriots” interviewed by John Pilger come out with the usual Australian indifference and jingoism e.g. “Aussie. Aussie. Aussie, oi, oi, oi” , “get a job”, and expressions of patriotic disgust (no regard for the extraordinarily complex pre-Invasion Indigenous culture)………

12. “Utopia” finally deals with the long-standing issue of Aboriginal land rights that came to prominence with the 1966 walk-off by 200 Aboriginal stockmen, house servants, and their families from the UK Vesteys’ Wave Hill cattle station on their traditional land as a protest against discriminatory low wages. Australian pastoralists historically used Aborigines as effective slave labor, paying them in tea, flour, sugar and tobacco. In the famous Mabo Decision in June 1992, six months after Eddie “Koiki” Mabo’s death, the High Court of Australia upheld his claim that Murray Islanders held native title to land in the Torres Strait and thus struck down the English invaders’ claim of Australia as a “terra nullius” (“an empty land”). However John Pilger trenchantly criticized the Hawke Labor Government for not adequately supporting land rights. Thus, according to the Sydney Morning Herald’s review of “Utopia”: “Pilger reminds the viewer that Bob Hawke in the 1980s walked away from genuine land rights in the face of a racist scare campaign from the mining industry” [12] . (Labor in 2010-2013 similarly walked away from climate change action and budget surpluses in the face of a concerted Mining Industry and Big Business campaign. Labor and Coalition Governments have made provision of decent housing for Northern Territory Indigenous Australians conditional on their leasing their hard-won land. Thus University of Technology Sydney Jumbunna: “Following consistent failure to secure these leases, the Commonwealth compulsorily acquired all Aboriginal township land through the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007, for a period of five years. This required the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975” [13]).


John Pilger’s “Utopia” is a must-see film about the continuing Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide by an Apartheid Australia. What can decent people do? Decent people should (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, parties, politicians, companies and corporations complicit in this ongoing, genocidal and ethnocidal Apartheid Australian maltreatrment of Indigenous Australians.

March 18, 2014 - Posted by | Resources

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