July 1, 2011
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People invoked at Woodside blockade
Woodside contractors attempted to break through a 26 day blockade in Broome today at the same time as NAIDOC week celebrations began.
Indigenous women refused to let Woodside workers through invoking the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. 8 infringements were handed out by police.
Elsta Foy, a local Indigenous woman and Shire Councillor, was one issued with an infringement notice and said:
“Woodside are violating our human rights. They want to destroy our sacred sites. We have a right and Australia has an international obligation under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People to make sure our law and culture is not desecrated.”
“Woodside are planning to bulldoze a registered heritage site which has burial sites and artefacts. We will stand here and not move until they go away.” said Ms Foy.
Tensions are expected to escalate at the site as WA Premier Colin Barnett said yesterday that the blockade will be broken to allow Woodside workers through.
Traditional Owner Joseph Roe has reported damage to other sites by Woodside workers 2 weeks ago to the Department of Indigenous Affairs. An investigation is underway and findings are expected soon.