If we all stand together : Resistance to invasion, dispossession and Genocide in Australia

“To the stolen generations … I offer you this apology without qualification.
We apologise for the hurt, the pain and suffering that we, the parliament, have caused you by the laws that previous parliaments have enacted. We apologise for the indignity, the degradation and the humiliation these laws embodied.”

With these words, in February 2008, the new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd finally did what so many Indigenous Australians [and non-Indigenous supporters] had called for – an apology from the state for the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families, children who have since become known as the “Stolen Generations”.

As Rudd noted in his apology the “profoundly disturbing” facts of the Stolen Generations are that from 1910 to 1970: “between 10 and 30 per cent of indigenous children were forcibly taken from their mothers and fathers; that, as a result, up to 50,000 children [other estimates suggest 100,000] were forcibly taken from their families; that this was the product of the deliberate, calculated policies of the state; that this policy was taken to such extremes…that the forced extractions of children of so-called mixed lineage were seen as part of a broader policy of dealing with the ‘problem’ of the Aboriginal population.”
A historic apology from a state responsible for over 200 years of brutal invasion, dispossession and occupation of Aboriginal land and genocide of Indigenous Australians.

But for all that it was a historic move, which took an important step forward in undoing past oppression of Indigenous Australians, the fact remains that the genocide and occupation have not stopped.  And Rudd repeatedly and explicitly has ruled out any compensation. As one letter writer to the local press put it, the apology said: “Sorry about the children but we’ve still got the land and the power to make all decisions about you and we’re keeping it.”

In fact with the earlier Howard government initiated, Army and police enforced “Intervention” into the Northern Territory Aboriginal townships, continued by the Rudd regime – and spread into some states with the assistance of local Labor Party governments – we are currently witnessing the attempt at a final dispossession of Indigenous Australians. [see later for details]

This is because the brutal dispossession of the original population was a central part of the construction of the Australian capitalist state following the 1788 seizure of the island continent during Britain’s imperialist expansion. A dispossession that was so complete that it wasn’t until a referendum in 1967 that Aborigines were granted full “Australian” citizenship rights, nor till 1992 that the legal concept of an ‘empty land’ before invasion (terra nullius) was discarded.

In Capital, Karl Marx graphically describes just how capitalism swept across the globe, summing up in this single paragraph, a process that also applied to Britain’s forced annexation of Australia.

“The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalled the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation… they all employ the power of the state, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production [or in the case of many countries, including Australia, pre-feudal societies] into the capitalist mode and to shorten the transition.”

In Australia the local populations experienced at first hand a fundamental truth of the age, that as Eric Hobsbawm wrote, “what happened to land determined the life and death of most human beings in the years 1789 to 1848.”

RACISM IN AUSTRALIA

When we look at the history of class society it’s clear that no ruling class can dominate society using force alone. If a minority is to rule without facing constant upheavals it must exercise ideological dominance. Racism, like nationalism, can bring together members of different and hostile social classes, defusing opposition, as well as being vital in gaining popular support for militarism and wars. So racism is promoted by the ruling class not only because many of its members are racists themselves, but because racism both serves and is an assertion of their class interests in practice.

There are three major dynamics shaping racism in Australia, a racism that has been part of the ideological cement of Australian capitalism from its very beginnings.

The first is racism towards the indigenous peoples which was initially used to justify dispossession and genocide, then to excuse ruthless exploitation and brutal measures of social control as indigenous people refused to ‘die out’, leaving many dependent on white society but not accepted into it as equals.

The second is racism towards Asian people which is grounded in Australian ruling class strategic fears. The country’s rulers initially feared they did not have the power to prevent Chinese colonisation of major parts of Australia. Later they were concerned about being too weak to resist an armed attack from Asia’s first great power, Japan. Anti-Asian racism is a racism of exclusion.

And finally governments and employers have used racism as a divide and rule tactic to contain challenges to their authority. From the first, racism divided convicts from Aborigines. Later prejudices against the Irish weakened a working class that mostly came from the British Isles. After WWII southern Europeans and more recently immigration from the Middle East, Asia and Africa have been the targets of this racism.

Ever since invasion, then, the main political parties – the conservatives or Liberal/National Party coalition and the social democrat Australian Labor Party (ALP) - have used racism in all the ways detailed above.

While the racism of the conservatives is to be expected, what of that of the ALP? Formed after the capitalist crisis of the 1890s, where the ruling class triumphed over labour, the Labor Party while a step forward politically, was formed out of working class defeat. From a labour movement that was one of the world’s leaders, the first to win the 8-hour day, the ruling class extracted a terrible price. The mass strikes of the 1890s were smashed and unionisation was driven down to five percent of the workforce. The defeat meant that organised labour looked to the state as a way to redress the balance of class forces with wage fixing and industrial dispute resolution institutions (arbitration) and the like.

During this process the ALP consolidated itself as the party of Australian nationalism. In a deliberate cross-class appeal, aiming to dilute its working class base, the Party’s leadership went to the country’s rural population on a racist platform, including the infamous White Australia policy. This was a period when the working class was not concentrated in mass production, nor even entirely in the cities. Some sections, such as the shearers, while militant earlier in their history, included a large proportion of people who were really small proprietors. Another large element, primarily craftsmen, harboured dreams of petit bourgeois independence from wage labour. Socialist ideas were confused and the left within the labour movement was relatively weak. Under such conditions, the temptation was strong to build unions and industrial campaigns around issues that linked the unions to middle class elements and even to the employers. Race was just such an issue, precisely because important sections of the employers and small business had their own reasons to exclude Chinese and other non-Europeans.

It’s clear then that neither the ALP’s White Australia policy, nor some of the expressions of mass racism, emerged with, or came from organised labour’s position of strength, though it is often portrayed as a working class reaction to the threat of competition from cheap non-white labour. Like sexism, nationalism and parliamentarianism, it reflected the weaknesses of organised labour.

Anti-Aboriginal racism is a constant throughout Australia’s capitalist history regardless of which party is in power. It has been allowed to fester locally in the country towns and in some of the main city suburban locations where Indigenous Australians live, showing its ugly face nationally in the widespread government policies of discrimination, marginalisation, paternalism and neglect – a continuing genocide.

The just ousted Howard Liberal/National Party government, in particular, fostered racism as an open tool of divide and rule and on two occasions in its hated eleven years, deliberately fanned the flames of anti-Aboriginal racism.

While the Labor Governments of Whitlam (1972-5) and Hawke/Keating (1983-1996) in response to popular pressure had moved to grant native title rights and provide other governmental assistance, they were certainly watered down from the original promises and policies. Nonetheless it meant that with more rights, more control over their affairs, Aboriginal people could begin to redress some of the impact of their 200 year oppression.

The Howard government set about undoing this. On election the government moved almost immediately to slash public funding for Aboriginal services, closed down Indigenous run organisations and began a deliberate campaign of painting Aboriginal communities as inherently dysfunctional, isolated and unsustainable. When Indigenous Australians wouldn’t just give up and even began winning some court cases over land rights during 1997 (Wik), the Howard government viciously counter-attacked with its infamous 10-point plan of Aboriginal dispossession. Then in the 2007 election it stepped up the charges of dysfunctionality and “intervened” in the resource rich north, by sending in the troops and police, took away the communities’ rights, trampling over anti-discrimination laws and effectively enacting a further dispossession of land.

Behind all this was not just racism, but the needs of a dominant sector of the capitalist class (in this case mining), a feature that has fuelled every attack on Indigenous Australians since the British invasion.

CAPITALIST APPROPRIATION - RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING

In 1788 having lost their highly profitable American colonies in a revolutionary war, British capital needed new territories and resources to feed the Industrial Revolution. Additionally, as the early 1800s saw the jails filled to overflowing, the British needed a dumping ground for the thousands of workers imprisoned for stealing food and other ‘crimes’ committed during the ravages of the sweeping economic changes. So they scoured the globe, in particular competing with the French, Spanish and Portuguese for the lands of the South Pacific. Amongst the countries deemed there for the taking was the island continent of Australia, in area a staggering 5% of the world’s land mass.

But for capitalism to flourish any indigenous resistance had to be violently crushed – private property, wage labour and the drive to accumulate capital were incompatible with Australian Aboriginal society.

And resistance came early. While there were some early treaties signed with some indigenous peoples, and Governor Arthur Phillip was ordered to ‘conciliate [the natives] affections’, within months of setting up the colony in New South Wales, there were clashes. The Dharuk’s resistance to white invasion in Western Sydney was sufficiently serious for the authorities to consider it a war. Soldiers were ordered to “destroy [all Aboriginal people] they could meet” and the Governor ordered settlers to fire on Aboriginals at will. However the Dharuk resistance was only broken in 1802 with the death of Pemulwuy, their main leader.

When the colony became a key supplier of raw materials to Britain from the 1830s, the need for ever greater tracts of land became critical for local capital’s expansion. It was in this period where some of the most brutal acts against Indigenous Australians occurred with the ‘nigger hunts’, poisonings and massacres such as the Myall Creek beheadings in 1838 or the Rufus River killings led by the South Australian ‘State Protector of Aborigines’. Violent acts which drove the Aboriginal population down from and estimated one million in 1788 to just over 60,000 by 1901
One of the most notorious examples of this approach was from the Northern Territory ‘Protector of Natives’, who stated: “Generally by the fifth and invariably by the sixth generation, all native characteristics of the Australian Aborigine are eradicated. The ‘problem of our half-castes” - to quote the protector – “will quickly be eliminated by the complete disappearance of the black race, and the swift submergence of their progeny in the white.”
As Gillian Cowlishaw writes: “The success of their enterprise depended on the removal…of the contenders for ownership of the land…[Aboriginal] resistance was sufficiently effective to make their total defeat necessary if the pastoral enterprise was to succeed. As in other wars, the physical violence was supported by a web of ideas and explanations.”

Anti-Aboriginal racism, then, was used to justify  the material class interests of the farmers, making it politically easier to seize the land, to murder the original inhabitants and later to ‘employ’ the remaining Aboriginal labour on rations or a pittance of a wage. And as historian Henry Reynolds explains. ‘Another advantage for the entrepreneur’ lay in preventing ‘working class sympathy, let alone support for the blacks. On the frontier it could be argued that all white men had an equal stake in the struggle…with the blacks…even though most ended up with nothing, while a few won principalities for themselves and their descendants.” Nonetheless, as we shall see, working class sympathy and support was not so easily bought off.

By the 1870s much of the land required for farming had been seized, but there was one more step to take to ‘legally’ enforce the dispossession. One hundred years after invasion, the British state formalised what it referred to as the “peaceful” annexation of Australia. In 1889 the Privy Council declared that all of Australia had become crown property because the country was terra nullius, meaning that the land was “practically unoccupied, without settled inhabitants or settled law”.

What the Privy Council decision meant, writes Henry Reynolds is that an entire Aboriginal population “living in several hundred tribal groupings…had in a single instant, been dispossessed. From that apocalyptic moment forward they were technically trespassers on Crown land… English [law] was so powerful that it had wiped out all tenure, all rights to land which had been occupied for [at least] 40,000 years, for 1600 generations and more.”

This outrage was only legally – and then only partially - undone after another 100 years when, on 3 June 1992, the High Court handed down its “Mabo” decision ruling that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people did have some rights to land based on their original occupation.

But dispossession didn’t end with the development of the pastoral industry. Rising Australian imperialism, fuelled by World War II and the ensuing Cold War put much of the focus of Australia’s ‘defence’ strategy in the north of the country, land with significant Indigenous populations. More critically since World War II it has been mining capital that has been the driving force of further land seizure, with the value of mining exceeding that of the pastoral industry by the 1960s.

Mining companies have had the active backing of the state.  In Queensland from the 1950s, for example, the Labor government leased part of the Weipa Reserves to the alumina giant Comalco [reserves were supposedly useless areas of land given over to Aboriginals after they were driven from their own lands by the pastoral industry.] and by 1961 only 300-400 of the original 860,000 acres of the reserve remained. And most recently North Limited attempted to force the Mirrar people to agree to uranium mining at Jabiluka, not only traditional Aboriginal land but also part of the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park. However a spirited campaign at Jabiluka with thousands marching on the proposed mine site and blockades of North Ltd headquarters in Melbourne in 1997 and 1998, coupled with falling uranium prices, forced the company to back away.

However the success of the Mirrar people and an earlier 1996 High Court ruling that favoured the Wik community’s land claims sent a shiver up the back of the capitalist class and its representatives in government.

Howard’s responded quickly to the Wik decision enacting legislation to ‘quarantine’ from claim land deemed eligible for native title transfer – a handout to pastoral companies of 42 percent of Australia’s land mass. And benefiting mining companies who were buying up much of the resource-rich farm land. To cover up such a blatant land grab, Howard launched a campaign against the Wik decision with a national appearance on television holding up a map of Australia, claiming Aborigines would have the “potential right of veto over further development of 78 per cent of the land mass”, implying that even in the cities no-one’s back yard would be safe,. This was despite the fact that thanks to the Hawke/Keating government the laws only allowed for limited use of land by the Aboriginal claimants and no right of veto for mining.

In the 2000s, following the massively increased world-wide demand for minerals, miners’ clamour for unfettered access to all the resource-rich north west of the continent has reached a peak. As the Australian Business Monthly so candidly put it: “The main impediment to economic development in the Northern Territory is the vast blocks of land reserved for nature or for Aboriginals.”

With Indigenous Australians still occupying some of this now valuable land, in 2007 the Howard government moved to clear the land for the mining companies’ exclusive use – and by playing the race card, win an election they looked like losing. Claiming ‘shock and concern’ over delays in implementing the findings of a Northern Territory government investigation into the dire conditions in some communities, Howard and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough stripped all NT communities of anti-discrimination and land rights, imposing a draconian welfare payment quarantine.  They backed up this “intervention” – a blatant land grab – with the army and police, issued food vouchers instead of payments and gutted the communities’ employment schemes. [Both lost their seats and the government lost the election, in part because of these moves.]

So, at each stage in the development of Australian capitalism, we have seen land seizure – from the eastern grasslands ideal for sheep and cattle in the 1830s-40s to the period from the 1950s onwards targeting the resource rich ‘desert’ areas, or lands “fit” to store nuclear and other wastes.

Today the impact of this continuing dispossession is still felt across all Aboriginal communities with many experiencing conditions as bad as any in poverty stricken Third World countries. Measured on every social index Indigenous Australians are worse off than non-Indigenous people, a situation that deteriorated under the Howard government’s so-called “practical reconciliation”. Life expectancy is between 15-20 years shorter; infant mortality is three times higher, disease levels are unparalleled, including diseases such as TB which are not found in the rest of society. At the same time health spending has been consistently lower – and dropping – for Aboriginal people. The real jobless rate of Aborigines is projected to hit 61 per cent by 2011, while income levels have fallen since 1991. While only 2  per cent of the total Australian population, Indigenous Australians account 60 per cent of all youths in custody, 20 per cent of the adult male prison population, with black women an almost unbelievable 80 per cent of female inmates.

And while today’s headlines feature alcohol and sexual abuse, certainly problem areas in some communities – the result of years of deliberate neglect and withdrawal of necessary funding and services – scant regard is paid to the facts that more than 60 per cent of Aborigines don’t drink at all, compared to about 5 per cent of the non-Aboriginal population; and white miners and truck drivers have been named as responsible for many instances of serious sexual and substance abuse with few if any arrests. As well the racist murders of Aboriginals by police after the regular targeting of Indigenous Australians for arrest – euphemistically called ‘deaths in custody’ – have only increased since the shocking findings of a Royal Commission were made public in 1991.

But it would be a serious mistake to see only defeat and destruction for Indigenous Australians from the British invasion. A mistake because it does not match the facts, writes out of history the massive contribution so many have made – the activists fighting for land rights, working class struggle and the successful lives of so many, not to mention to the arts and sport. But more importantly it is a mistake because it condemns a whole people to appearing as passive participants in the genocidal impact of capitalist imperialist forces, taking away from them their history of resistance and survival.

 RESISTANCE
While commonly portrayed as a simple gatherer/hunter society, before the British invasion Indigenous Australians had a richly varied and largely egalitarian society. From gatherer/hunter groups to settled village areas economies and settlement patterns were diverse. Population densities varied widely, and while some survived from hunting and gathering, there were also the Dharuk who cultivated yams,  the Yorta-Yorta and others who  ‘developed such sustained harvesting of the rich fish, game and plants that they lived virtually sedentary lives in villages which were observed by the earliest white explorers’. Firestick farming occurred and on the Darling River, ‘engineering works like the extensive Brewarrina fisheries were constructed to maintain a consistent yield of fish no matter how dry or flooded the rivers might be.’

Culturally, the indigenous populations maintained a complicated system of beliefs and ceremonies, backed up by intricate rock, sand and bark paintings, totem art, highly developed weaving skills and other art works, one of the longest continuous traditions of art in the world dating over 50,000 years. Language groups numbered at over 300, with complex grammar and interpretational skills necessary for negotiating at the ‘borders’, also point to a far from ‘primitive’ society
Although severely depleted, that as much of this culture has survived as it has, is a testament to resilience and resistance of Aboriginal peoples. A resistance well illustrated by the wars fought during the first- pastoral - settlement of the land. The first resistance, as already noted was from the Dharuk in Western Sydney. As the demand for land for sheep and cattle escalated resistance spread with the Wiradjuri people beginning a guerrilla war which did not end till 1840s. A similar situation existed in Western Australia with Nyungar people in Perth from 1831. And as late as the 1880s there were pitched battles in north-west Queensland, with the Kalkadoon/Kalkatungu groups. When the north western region of the Kimberleys was settled in the 1880s, again there was Indigenous resistance.

While this localised resistance to land seizure laid the basis for future fightbacks and stopped the total destruction of the Indigenous population, one of the key factors in developing Indigenous resistance after invasion has been the very system, capitalism, that caused so much misery and oppression. As Marx himself notes, capitalism in creating the working class, creates the force able to act as its gravedigger.

Although often portrayed as an underclass, the majority of Indigenous Australians are working class – albeit in the poorest sections, having the highest unemployment rates – with an increasing proletarianisation and urbanisation over the past twenty years.

Not unexpectedly the first worker resistance came in the pastoral industry which was the major employer of Aboriginal labour from the mid 1800s. A combination of harsh and remote conditions, Indigenous presence in the areas (no need for the pastoralists to provide food or housing) and a more general shortage of white labour were factors in the employment of Aboriginal women and men on the farms and households. In 1881 2,500 Aborigines worked in Western Australian pastoral properties alone, by 1900 there were 4000. As late as 1964 1,500 Aborigines worked in the Northern Territory pastoral industry – with only 880 non-Aboriginal – receiving less than one fifth of white wages.

The importance of this labour can be measured in part from the legal sanctions against Indigenous peoples quitting the farms. In 1892, for example, workers faced three months jail if caught after absconding. In World War I, with thousands sent overseas to war and consequent labour shortages, a 1918 Northern Territory ordinance made it illegal for trade union representative to go onto reserves or closer than 45m of an Aboriginal camping place.

It was not without reason that employers were wary about Aboriginal organisation on the job.

Aborigines were active from the 1880s joining the great shearers’ strike of the early 1890s. Others were early Labor Party and Communist Party of Australia (CPA) activists, with Ted O’Reilly organising unemployed demonstrations, alongside his open air speakouts for the IWW.  The 1920s and 1930s saw a number of inspiring Aboriginal struggles led by Indigenous activists such as Pearl Gibbs, Jack Pattern and Bill Ferguson. Gibbs, a feisty activist and public speaker, was centrally involved in organising one of the first protests on “Australia Day”, January 26. Campaigning stretched from remote missions, stop work meetings of pea pickers and boycotts of country town cinemas to the streets and newspapers of Sydney as activists such as Gibbs and Ferguson, called a Day of Mourning in 1938 to protest the 150th anniversary of the British invasion.

Ferguson was a shearer, member and shop steward of the Australian Workers Union and the ALP. In 1923, agitating against the New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board, Ferguson declared “I’ve my faith in the Labor movement to help us; it is a workers’ organisation and we are all of us workers here!”

In 1931 the CPA came out in favour of land rights and scrapping Protection Boards – dubbed as “capitalism’s slave recruiting agencies and terror organisations”. The party called for protection of Aboriginal culture, equal civil and political rights, wages and working conditions.

After the Depression’s devastating effect on black labour on the farms, World War II drew large numbers of blacks and women into the workforce. The next major period of Aboriginal resistance occurred during the immediate post war years and coincided with a generalised upsurge in working class activity, reaching a peak as with other mass movement struggles in the mid-70s.

The longest strike in Australia’s history began appropriately enough on May Day 1946. Black stockmen walked off 20 of the 22 farms in the Pilbara region. Black leaders Dooley Bin Bin and Clancy McKenna, along with CPA activist Don McLeod were jailed as it was illegal to “entice Aborigines from their employment”. A march on the jail by the strikers saw the three activists freed, while support was organised in Perth. Among union support was that from the Seamen’s Union, which banned transport of wool from the affected farms. After three long years the Pilbara workers won.

The Gurindji strike over equal pay, also began on May Day, twenty years later. The Gurindji workers ‘occupied’ their own land at Dagu Ragu (Wattie Creek), issuing a range of industrial demands along with a claim for part of their traditional land, sparking the modern land rights movement. Left wing unions in the south also rallied to their cause, with the Waterside Workers donating money, 400 Sydney carpenters paying a weekly levy. As well there were demonstrations, and workplace tours, sponsored by the Actors union, with the leaders of the struggle receiving enthusiastic backing at stopwork meetings.

Throughout the 50s and 60s there were many examples of such strikes – events that “woke people up” as some of the activists describe them. Early on, as with every minority group, Indigenous activists recognised the need for allies – to work with the unions, the left organisations such as the CPA and since the late 60s to build links with other social movements such as the anti-Uranium campaign, women’s liberation movement and students. Many unions backed land rights claims, argued for equal pay, held many workplace meetings highlighting the Aboriginal cause and joined the US-inspired Freedom Rides through country New South Wales. Aboriginal Rights umbrella organisation FCAATSI’s list of affiliates was dominated by unions.

Apart from the resistance of Indigenous workers and a rising tide of working class militancy, what inspired and rallied both Indigenous and non-Indigenous to the cause of Aboriginal rights was the growing international fight against Apartheid in South Africa coupled with the explosive African-American civil rights movement, including the big city riots. Throughout the period opinion polls showed widespread support of Aboriginal demands for everything from citizenship, mining royalties to land rights.

More recently there has been mass public support such as the reconciliation marches of 2000 when 300,000 took to the streets in Sydney, 200,000 in Melbourne, as big as any of the 2003 anti-war demonstrations or pro-worker rallies of 2006 and 2007. Tens of thousands turned out for the Stolen Generations apology screenings, while thousands of workplaces and schools around the country stopped work to celebrate, many times with fellow indigenous workers and students.

There have been some key land rights wins from the 1970s to today, and many eruptions of protest – anti-Bicentennial rallies in 1988, Reconciliation marches of 2000, Jabiluka, Redfern and Palm Island riots after the murder of local community members, regular marches on Invasion Day (Australia Day) and Sorry Day (May 26), however the reality is that, like other issues in Australia where we’ve seen mass protests (anti-War, anti-globalisation, etc) these have not translated into ongoing organisation or advances.  It has been a defensive, holding battle. In part this is because industrial organisation and mobilisation has been in decline since the late 1970s, a decline matched in many OECD nations as capital has ruthlessly stripped workers of their earlier gains. So, despite major union organised protests against Howard government attacks on workers (Dockworkers, WorkChoices laws), levels of unionisation and industrial action have fallen to historic lows making it harder for other forces to fight back or to call on the workers’ organisations for support.

However what continues to inspire from all these struggles, what shows the way forward, is the history of Indigenous resistance and combined black and white struggle. A solidarity made possible by the common class interests of black and white workers. As mining union leader John Maitland wrote during the ruling class hysteria over the 1993 Mabo decision:

“What is driving CRA, BHP, MIM and the rest in their campaign of vague and dreadful threats about withdrawing investment is exactly the same pressures that drives them to lecture the United Mineworkers Union about ‘unreasonable wage claims’ and ‘restrictive work practices’ – the lust for profits. The blackmail is the same, only the targets differ.”

Liz Ross

References
www.sa.org.au and www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/interventions
Gillian Cowlishaw. Black, white and brindle: race in rural Australia. CUP, 1988
Fieldes, Diane Land Rights Now. Socialist Alternative 1997
Heather Goodall  Invasion to embassy: Land in Aboriginal politics in New South Wales 1770-1972. Allen & Unwin, 1996
Heiss, Anita and Peter Minter. Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal literature. Allen & Unwin, 2008
Kuhn, Rick ed Class and struggle in Australia. Pearson Longman 2005
Tom O’Lincoln, Years of Rage. The Fraser Years. Bookmarks 1993
Henry Reynolds. The other side of the frontier: Aboriginal resistance to the European invasion of Australia. Penguin 1982.
 

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