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John Passant

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January 2012



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



No more sitting at the back of the bus

The hysterical and McCarthyite response of the one percent and their media, plus the backward sections of society, to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy demonstration shows that racism is systemic in Australia.

No amount of talking to Gillard and Abbott is going to change that. Indeed the idea that Noel Pearson, Mick Gooda and other do nothing talkers have improved the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders in any substantial way is laughable.

The ‘gains’ that Abbott talked about in his “Move on” plausibly deniable speech are in fact examples of either hot air in the case of the proposed constitutional recognition and the other changes, or extremely dangerous in the case of the Northern Territory intervention. 

Remember, this is an intervention that is specifically exempted from the Racial Discrimination Act.

As for Kevin Rudd’s apology – it was symbolism pure and simple, a substitute for any concrete action.

After 30 years of talking to capital what have the do nothings delivered?

Has the life expectancy gap ended? No.

Are Aborigines no longer over-represented in jail? No.

Are they no longer disproportionately in the poverty and homeless figures? No.

Does chronic illness no longer stalk Aboriginal communities? No.

In other words the strategy of the ‘nice let’s talk’ people has failed. But their pay and their power is pretty good, thank you very much.

The militancy of the Tent Embassy 40 years ago bought the issues to our attention. The demonstration on Invasion Day has that potential to.

 From the Koori Mail album

As Mick Armstrong says in his article ‘Aliens in their own land’ about the establishment of the Tent Embassy 40 years ago:

It brought to the attention of the world the appalling health, housing and imprisonment rates of Aboriginal people. It highlighted their struggle against dispossession and their demand for land rights.

The demonstration on Invasion Day has again brought the genocide and dispossession which capital has wreaked on the original inhabitants of this land to the fore.

But, say the naysayers and do nothings, the protest has set back Aboriginal progress 40 years. Bull dust. That is exactly the same thing the conservatives on both sides of politics said about the Tent Embassy.

Referring to previous Aboriginal militancy, here’s what Jack Waterford, the editor at large of the Canberra Times, wrote recently:

Naturally,all right-thinking people deplored the extremism of whatever they [the tent Ambassadors, the Australian Back Panthers etc] had to say, but it was quite noticeable that, in the course of doing so, the concessions about what Aborigines had legitimate complaint about went further than the concessions when the complaint was polite, or narrow in focus. (‘When going too far is never enough’ The Sunday Canberra Times January 29, page 18).

Absolutely brilliant! Well said Jack.

You don’t challenge, confront and eventually kill systemic racism by sitting at the back of the bus.

We need more and bigger demonstrations for Aboriginal sovereignty and land rights to make the point that they are central to addressing Aboriginal genocide and dispossession. It is time for a treaty.

It is time for a real fight back to shake the systemic racism of Australian capitalism to its core.

‘If you don’t fight you lose.’

Readers might also like to look at my article about the Tent Embassy demonstration and another on the genocide against Aboriginal people.



Comment from Jolly
Time January 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm

That we have done our native citizens an injustice is an understatement. We have robed them and denied them their lives, by proclaiming that our lives are more worthy, our guns and swords (through which we subjugated them) are more potent than their sixty thousand years of history. Our attitude towards Aboriginal people is not that of racism. On the contrary, it is based on the absence of economic power. Aboriginals do not have (not yet) the economic clout to demand attention. Have the rest of us (migrants) become shallow, materialistic beings with no appetite for human worth? Have we all slowly become clones of Abbott?
I wish that all young Aboriginals will refuse to “sit at the back of the bus” any more. Get the rest of us involved in your fight back.

Comment from Bron
Time January 30, 2012 at 1:24 am

“You don’t challenge, confront and eventually kill systemic racism by sitting at the back of the bus.”


Comment from Eddie
Time January 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

Sorry, but this sort of bourgeois posturing by middle class radicals does not actually help indigenous people improve their lives, it simply satiates your inherent desire to feel you are doing something relevant to your own self imagined ideal. This is useless to someone who does not have the comfort of your lifestyle. You should be encouraging indigenous people who feel disadvantaged to seek vocational or other educational means of gaining a foot hold in the World, not distracting them with quite impossible and unrealistic goals like a reversion to pure native title. That is 224 years too late. All roads leading to economic self-sufficiency are paved with education and vocational training. Don’t encourage people to miss this opportunity just to feed your own sense of misplaced guilt.

Comment from John
Time January 30, 2012 at 11:16 am

Wow. All the disadvantaged aborigines suffer is my fault, not that of the system and the dispossession? Brilliant analysis Eddie. I am reflecting what those commemorating the 40th anniversary said. Stick to your all talk no action strategy.

Comment from Eddie
Time January 30, 2012 at 11:21 am

That’s just your spin JP, and you know it. Here, feel free to re-imagine this reality:

Comment from r r joseph
Time January 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm

for 150 year plus the Maori like the Aboriginal have been denied justice, pure tokenizm, ignorance an blantantly ignored, sidesteped as much as something that is filthy on ones shoes, i dont berate ALL Australians, however the majority couldnt give a rats a$$,it wont be long before they will say theres no more Aboringinal in OZ, they are mixed so the problem is over, the Government, Councils , an people in charge will have a little vote, have a fixed investigation , pass it through council, thus by passing an not including the government an move tribe after tribe away from their land, an say, WELL theres no real Aboringinal left so it dont matter anymore, an any who challenge, an there will be thousands will just get tried up in court for years , while there property continues to be developed, even the most arden lawyer will refuse to represent, because in the end it threatens the very fabric of their own exsistance,Australia was built on…INJUSTICE concerning its real people, I feel for the people of the land, they are endearing, spiritaul, amazing people, who are close to the first people to walk the earth, SHAME OZ, SHAME the GOVERNMENT, do not confine these people to tokenizm, or a mueseum like they tried to do to the Maori. elevate them to the status they deserve, EQUAL in ALL things…an that means EVERYTHING besides herding them to centerlink with guilt money. followed by a apology that equates to F-ALL.

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