Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bruno Dann, Traditional Nyul Nyul Owner

Bruno Dann requested to be filmed on the weekend to appeal to the government to rethink their proposed gas development on the Kimberley coast. This footage was first posted on Youtude under the Title: Please Think Again

We will never be able to create a just or sustainable world without addressing the ongoing colonialism, imperialism and genocide inherent in denying indigenous people control over their own lands and destinies.

The violation of country and destruction of indigenous cultures is inseparable from the other injustices that confront our world. It is no coincidence that even as cultural diversity and native languages disappear at rates unheard of in the history of our species, extinction rates have reached levels unseen.

While many pressing issues confront indigenous Australians, Governments and multinational corporations worldwide continue to launch new assaults on indigenous lands, in order to secure access to the resources that their economies need to sustain themselves, even when it is killing the planet. These resources are then used to secure corporate control over the rest of the world, leading to many of the other injustices that progressives routinely follow.

The fundamentally colonialist nature of these types of projects is underscored by the fact that their supposed benefits rarely flow to local communities — rather, they are intended to move resources away and to the wealthy. The dislocation caused by these projects is culturally devastating to indigenous peoples. Yet devastating as they are, infrastructure projects are in many ways only the shock troops that facilitate the ongoing assault on indigenous lands around the globe.

Once roads have been punched into country or electric generating capacity set up, for example, the way is cleared for an unremitting flood of industries. The economic model underlying globalised infrastructure represents a fundamentally non-indigenous way of doing business. It is based on the premise that the land is meant to be exploited for short-term gain; an indigenous way, in contrast, emphasizes relation with the land over the long-term and into future generations.

All around the world, indigenous communities are resisting assault by these types projects. They are defending their cultures against a global economy that insists that they assimilate, conform, consume, give up country and be silent.

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