Below is a message from ‘concerned Australians’ who are organizing a petition to CERD. The petition is attached. Please note this petition is time sensitive and should be returned to concerned Australians by the end of May. If you have any questions about the petition please address them to Michele Harris at ‘concerned Australians’ harrisme@bigpond.com

Sign the petition electronically at http://www.gopetition.com/online/35341.html

or download below.

‘concerned Australians’,

PO Box 281, East Melbourne,

Vic 3008

April- May Action

Dear Friends,

We are again asking for your help. We commenced lobbying for the reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) when it was suspended in 2007 at the commencement of the Intervention. Our current government promised to reinstate it when they came to power.

The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER legislation) which is currently before Parliament includes plans to reinstate the Act. However this new Act will be a very restricted version of the one that was suspended. It will not have the powers to protect Aboriginal people from, so-called, ‘special measures’. For example when the RDA was suspended Aboriginal people had no means of appeal against compulsory acquisition of their land by Government on 5 year leases. When this new Act is reinstated nothing will change. There will still be no legal avenue to address this issue, or any other issue related to the measures.

Regarding the 5 year leases former Justice Michael Kirby said, “If any other Australians, selected by reference to their race, suffered the imposition on their pre-existing property interests of non-consensual five-year statutory leases … it is difficult to believe that a challenge to such a law would fail … .”

Calls to the Government to fulfil its promise and reinstate an UNRESTRICTED and UNCONDITIONAL RDA have been ignored. We are therefore calling on the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to press Government to respect its commitment to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and reconsider its action in the Northern Territory.

In line with the above action we are relying on your support in collecting names of those who will be prepared to support this action. On Monday evening [290310] former Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson said, “. As an Australian I am tired of my country being subjected by its Governments to classification as racist and white supremacist and I am tired of being ashamed of my country as I have been since the advent of the Howard Government and now its successor”.

This is an Australian problem, not just a problem for Aboriginal people. We are attaching a flyer (which can be used in its own right at events like concerts, justice meetings/ Sorry Day etc which provides information on the issue as well as a petition form by which we hope you will assist us to obtain support.

We are asking you to invite family, friends, work colleagues, parish members and others to join with you, and with us, to press for changes to racist policies.

Yours Sincerely,

Michele Harris

On behalf of ‘concerned Australians’

Concerned Australians flyer-petition RDA l

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