I just returned from Northern Queensland where I went to visit a friend and hike one of the world's great hikes, the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island. Before and after the hike I spent a little time in Townsville, a major city in the North. There was an indigenous festival there that also included celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision, a landmark land rights case for the Aboriginal people. It is named after Eddy Koiko Mabu who fought and won the legal battle. I met his surviving wife when I was there and, not quite so dramatic, ate Kangaroo meat for the first time. I had the opportunity to speak to an indigenous leader about the situation for Aboriginals in Australia and you can see that here:http://weknowwhatsup.blogspot.com/2012/06/australian-indigenous-rights-advocate.html
The US also wants to increase its military presence in Australia as part of the US government's absurd "War on Terror" and to contain Chinese influence in the region. This is an issue in Australia as the dominant culture is European yet it is geographically and politically a South East Asian nation. There is a raw materials boom there due to exports to China so apart from not wanting to be lumped in with US capitalism's disastrous and destabilizing foreign policy, many Australians do not want their relationship with fellow Asian countries determined by the US Congress or the Pentagon. I read an article in a Townsville paper by a former councellor who is a Green Party spokesperson who opposes US bases and asked the woman if she would speak to me about it and did. You can hear what she has to say by visiting http://weknowwhatsup.blogspot.com/2012/06/us-military-buildup-in-australia-one.html
I also spoke with a longshoreman who was at the indigenous festival as his Union has built links with the Aboriginal community. There is a real crisis in the native community as there is among so many of the colonized people's whose lives have been tragically changed by the destruction of their culture, savaged by market forces. I speak to him here:http://weknowwhatsup.blogspot.com/2012/06/aussie-longeshroman-talks-to-ffwp.html
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