VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism •


As Australia aids Israeli genocide, Elders say it’s time to target Pine Gap.

Above: Peltherre Chris Tomlins at the Frontier Wars protests in Canberra on 25 April, 2018. Mr Tomlins has opposed Pine Gap for decades and is a staunch anti-Zionist. Last month he stepped down as Greens' candidate for the seat of Araluen in NT, after being falsely accused of anti-semitism.

While Palestinians are deliberately murdered and starved, Australia aids Israeli genocide, through Pine Gap near Mparntwe Alice Springs. 

At a recent online forum on Pine Gap and Palestine, Professor Richard Tranter from Nautilus Institute made clear Pine Gap is Australia’s biggest contribution to US and Israeli wars.

In 2003 John Howard declared war against Iraq, against the wishes of 94 percent of our people. Back then, Pine Gap guided missiles to strike Iraq. Now its surveillance and targeting means Australia is at war with Palestine, without declaring it.

First Peoples know undeclared wars are as deadly as any other. The Frontier Wars are proof.

Forum speaker, Aunty Barbara Flick called for a protest at Pine Gap near Mparntwe Alice Springs, like the huge mobilisation she joined in the 1980s. Such a protest would bring allies to Mparntwe when its First Peoples’ communities and their young people most need it. 

Parallel surveillance, parallel genocide
Associate Professor Kathryn Gilbey, an Alyawarre woman, spoke of the two-week Mparntwe curfew, exposing a parallel to Pine Gap’s mass surveillance systems targeting Palestinians with the escalating surveillance of First Peoples, since the 2007 NT Intervention. Its fifteen-year genocide, particularly of children, went almost unreported in mainstream media.

She mentioned the lies against Palestine and lies triggering the Intervention. The key trigger was on ABC’s Lateline where an “Uluru youth worker” falsely alleging “paedophile rings run by Elders”, actually worked for Howard’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister. Truth uncovered didn’t stop further lies. “The little children are sacred” report is still frequently cited as the Intervention’s cause. Yet both report authors vehemently opposed the Intervention.

The “Emergency” legislation to “save children” didn’t mention the words ‘child’, ‘children’, ‘young’ or ‘youth’. It was full of map coordinates. Entry permits were removed and white businesses replaced successful Aboriginal-run projects in communities and towns. Mining and gas corporations were given land rights with no custodian vetoes. 

Young Aboriginal Peoples were swept from the safety of now defunded and disempowered homeland communities, where elders and culture had been strong, into crowded and unsupported regional centres.  

Children of the Intervention
Last year Vanguard said of a Saturday Paper expose, “In Children of the Intervention, Gurnaikurnai Wotjobaluk journalist Ben Abbatangelo gives voice to those central desert Peoples who have yet again been blamed. “He writes, ‘This desert town has been depicted as a war zone and its people as alien-like problems that need to be solved.’

“Of the so-called out-of-control young people, Abbatangelo says, ‘Dispossession and displacement lives within each of these kids. Most adolescents at the centre of the firestorm are also the grandchildren of the Stolen Generations and the great-grandchildren of those who were herded onto missions or massacred.’

“Aranda woman and Ntaria/Hermannsburg community organiser Que Nakamarra Kenny told him, ‘What’s clear is that no one cares more about Aboriginal people than Aboriginal people themselves. We’re at the tail end of the Northern Territory Intervention and these children are a product of that. They are the children of the Intervention who have grown up watching their parents be demonised and rejected.’”

Making clear links
For fifteen years, Elders like Aunty Elaine Kngwarraye Peckham and the late Harry Jakamarra Nelson, and younger leaders like Aunty Barbara Shaw trekked thousands of kilometres from Mparntwe and elsewhere to tell Intervention stories. They did this, even as they lived under the daily brutality of its regime, tried to support their people, especially their children. 

Right now, when genocide in Palestine is mirrored by ongoing genocide against First Peoples, it’s time to make links clear, and return some immediate support and truth telling for those parallel sacrifices. 

It’s time to create to hope through another convergence of allies at Mparntwe, and at the murderous US war base at Pine Gap.