Another Walkatjurra Walkabout finished, friendships made, stories shared, our commitment to fight for land and life affirmed. Since we walked into Leonora, so much more has happened.
We traveled to Kagoorlie last Tuesday, and in the afternoon visited the Sorry camp at Gribble Creek in support of the family gathered there to remember Elijah and support their calls for justice. We heard stories from his family, about a boy so full of life and promise, an upcoming youth leader and footballer. We heard about the indifference, incompetence and disrespect shown by police, of the racist comments threatening violence before and after his death and stood in silence beside the site of the murder – marks still visible of the fatal violence enacted against a child. We left flowers at a make shift memorial for Elijah and the Aboriginal flag we carried from Wiluna to Leonora in solidarity.
You can support Elijah’s family by making a donation to his funeral and headstone here: https://www.gofundme.com/2mphbcc
On Wednesday, the bus left with most of the walkers. So many goodbye hugs! We have all been through such an incredible experience, grown, changed and learnt together. A small group stayed on to set up for the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) meeting, together with Uncle Geoffrey, Christine, and Annette Stokes – who looks after Wongutha Birni. Cleaning out the big meeting room, setting up a shaded area outside, buying food and beginning cooking food for 50 people who would attend the meeting. The first person arrived on Thursday night, Barbara Shaw from Alice Springs, and by the time we were serving the first meal on Friday night there was already a big mob of people ready to strategise, build networks and support each other in the fight for a nuclear free future.
Uncle Kevin Buzzacott was sorely missed at the meeting, who has been such an inspiration for many people to be involved in this work. People from many nations across Australia were represented in the impressive group, as well as an aboriginal person from six nations in (so called) North America. Talks ranged from nuclear waste proposals in South Australia, radiation and health and the threat of uranium mining proposals. On Saturday night, a public meeting included talks from Mirrar speakers on the closing of the ERA mine at Ranger, Curtis from Martu spoke about the Kintyre proposed mine, Christine presented her innovative research (with Annette Stokes) into high levels of nitrates in water in goldfields region and the affects on human health, esp when it mixes with uranium. The night finished with stirring words from Janice, from Mulga Rocks, her strong words of resistance to the proposed mine there moving everyone in the crowd.
ANFA was a great success, good connections made, experiences shared and the movement for nuclear free future, where Aboriginal law and culture is respected, strengthened.
You can read the meeting statement and check out the photo’s here.
The rest of the walkers/ ANFA helpers headed back to Perth early this week. And we were excited to see Clinton on the side of the road, who is walking from Perth to Canberra for justice for Aboriginal people. What a courageous and powerful young person! You can follow his journey here: https://www.clintonswalkforjustice.org/
Back in Perth, we are still walking the walk – with an appeals workshop at CCWA this evening (http://www.ccwa.org.au/wiluna_appeal_writing_workshop_20160914) and planning has started for National Day of Action against nuclear waste dumps in South Australia on October 15th (http://dontdumponsaoct15.org/).
If anyone would like to make a financial contribution to the Walkatjurra Walkabout you can direct deposit
- Account Name: Fremantle Anti Nuclear Group
- BSB: 633-000
- Account Number: 137443347
- Reference: Walkabout
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Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew