The Guardian 7 September, 2005

Embassy protest: We won’t move

Protesters at the long-running Aboriginal Tent Embassy say they will ignore any directive to move on while there is still widespread Indigenous disadvantage.

The Tent Embassy, situation on the lawns of old Parliament House, was first set up on Australia Day in 1972 to make a statement about land rights.

Over three decades there have been several attempts by government to negotiate for its inhabitants to move after complaints the embassy is an eyesore and international embarrassment. It was revealed this month that yet another consultant’ report had been launched which could recommend the Tent Embassy be bulldozed and replace with a permanent structure recognising the history of Indigenous Australians.

Tent Embassy co-founder Michael Anderson said there was no incentive for protesters to leave, and a memorial was not appropriate because the struggle for rights wasn’t dead.

Statistics show Aborigines are still the most jailed, impoverished and likely to die young of all Australians.

As such, the embassy would stay regardless of the report’s findings, Mr Anderson said.

"The embassy itself demonstrates that Aboriginal people are disenchanted, they’re not happy, and that there are lot of the issues that are yet to be dealt with".

"So until proper justice is done and they deal with the true issues … the embassy will always be there and it will always be an eyesore".

Koori Mail (abridged)

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