Aboriginal Rights Coalition
Aboriginal Control of Aboriginal Affairs

Over 100 arrested in police raids “Apartheid Actions in the Alice”

Media release 4/4/08 – For immediate release

Apartheid Actions in the Alice

Over 100 people were arrested in a military style raid in Alice Springs last in a “special operation” targeting alcohol consumption. Police have been given increased powers under the NT intervention. Reports indicate the raids were focused around town camps “prescribed” under the intervention.

Greg Eatock, a spokesperson for the Aboriginal Rights Coalition said that, “while most of those arrested have apparently now been released, someone tell me this isn’t apartheid – because it is”.

“I drove past Hoppies town camp last night and saw police cars with a spot light shining into the bush. It was like they were hunting for Kangaroos”, said Marlene Hodder form the Intervention Rollback Working Group in Alice Springs.

“This legislation and government action is a form of terrorism used specifically against our people. They are entrenching racism with these actions” said Vince Forrester, a Mutitjulu elder who has travelled to Sydney as an ambassador from Ulurlu and Kuta-tjuta to speak out about the Northern Territory Intervention.

“The Police in the Territory, especially in the remote communities, are acting like Cowboys” said Vince today. “I have had a shotgun pointed at me by police as part of a clear strategy of intimidation” he said.

“Alice Springs now is full of many people who, because of ‘welfare quarantines” cannot afford to get back to the bush. Only certain shops in town can accept the invasion tickets (food vouchers), and these same supermarkets are making big profits by selling alcohol for any remaining cash. They exercise no duty of care while it is the Aboriginal people who are being punished” he said.

For more information contact:

Vince Forrester 0423686281
Greg Eatock 0432050240
Marlene Hodder 0438816851

Vince Forrester will be speaking further about the negative impacts of the Northern Territory Intervention on his people at a public forum at the Redfern Community Centre, 6pm on April 14.

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