Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

At Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) Black and White celebrate their campaign – keeping Australia nuclear free

Celebrating 20 years of helping Australia stay nuclear free  Aboriginal land continues to be in the firing line. SBS NITV, By Paddy Gibson, Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Institute UTS 15 SEP 2017

This weekend in Adelaide, Kaurna country, anti-nuclear campaigners from the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance will hold their annual conference to debrief and strategise for the struggles ahead.

At the core of Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) are Aboriginal people living with nuclear projects on their lands, including uranium mines and the toxic legacy of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 60s, and others trying to stop new uranium mines or nuclear waste dumps being imposed on their country.

This year’s conference will celebrate 20 years since the network was founded in 1997 in Alice Springs, originally as the Alliance Against Uranium.

The initial meeting was an initiative of Mirarr people and their organisation Gundjeihmi, who were cranking up a major campaign against the Jabiluka uranium mine, along with environment groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Friends of the Earth and other Traditional Owners. At the time, the Howard government was looking to massively expand Australia’s uranium exports. There was a wealth of experience in Aboriginal communities across the country, who suffer the brunt of this industry and people wanted to come together to fight back. There were growing opportunities to connect with wider civil society groups who shared a deep concern about uranium and recognised the central importance of supporting Aboriginal struggles for country.

Over the past 20 years, the ANFA network has provided vital support to many campaigns, from the victory at Jabiluka, to the battles for compensation for victims of nuclear weapons testing, to numerous struggles against new uranium mines and exploration projects. Lessons from the successful fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, a victory achieved in 2004 after a national campaign led by the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, inspired a decade of resistance that eventually stopped a nuclear dump been established in the Northern Territory, despite attempts at multiple sites. International solidarity with other Indigenous peoples, and all peoples, dealing with similar threats, has also been central to ANFA’s practice.

Aboriginal land continues to be in the firing line. This year’s conference will deal with new moves to establish a waste dump in South Australia, being fiercely resisted by Adnyamathanha people whose country in the Flinders Ranges is under threat. Also up for discussion is the ongoing attempt to expand existing uranium mines and establish new ones, including the recent indication by the WA Labor government that it would push ahead with uranium mines in that state, in contravention of clear election commitments and the wishes of Traditional Owners. The growing threat of nuclear war, and the urgent need to rehabilitate country already badly damaged, are also on the agenda.

Below [on original] is a collection of statements from participants in ANFA over the last twenty years, taken from a report produced to celebrate “twenty years of radioactive resistance”.

These statements all demonstrate the importance of Aboriginal connection to country as a driving force behind the network, along with the power that comes from building networks of solidarity across society.

……more  at http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2017/09/15/celebrating-20-years-helping-australia-stay-nuclear-free

 

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September 16, 2017 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear

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