This is a guest post by Frank Baarda, a long-term resident of Yuendumu, NT. Yesterday hundreds of Yuendumu residents marched on the Yuendumu police station. The police station was going to be opened to allow the station to be swept. Sweeping is a ritual whereby after a death the areas the dead person had frequented […]
Supporti-ki karlipa wangkami, tala manu nyiya kanti-kanti yungungurlu ngalpa yinyi nyampurla ngurungka. Nyampurla Yurntumu-rla panu karlipa madarni nyiya-ningki-jarra ngula karliparla yulkami. Madarni karlipa jana Mt Theo program, kurdu kurdu kurlangu, Warlpiri-rli ngulpa karlipa jana tiji-mani, PAW, Mampumaninja-Kurlangu jarlu patu ku, WarlukurIangu arts centre, manu yangka ngula kalu jana mardarni wiri-wiri-rli kurdu-kurdu. Ngulalparlipa mangu pungkalayi, Yungurlu ngalpa nyanyi nguru kari wardingki-rli pirrdiji ngula karlipa mardarni.
At the time I came to the conclusion that the ‘cooling-off place’ had been designed by the same architect that had designed Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay. The several strands of barbed-wire at the top of the chain-wire mesh fence, the padlocked chain on the gate and the spotlights surrounding the Spartan building are reminiscent of TV images I had seen during the time that David Hicks was receiving similar consular assistance from the Australian Government as Julian Assange is currently receiving.
This brings us back to the Notice at the Nyirripi Store and begs the following question. Has anyone bothered to ask the locals if they want the Police to shoot their dogs? No? I thought not.
Pornography Drop-off Point. "This one is at the airstrip and is one of a pair. The other one is at the entrance to Yuendumu near the patronising “Look for People” sign. We inspect the bins daily. So far nothing has been placed in them. Anything we recover from the bins, we will incinerate."
"Warlpiri people are not slaves, yet many in ‘mainstream’ society persist in claiming some sort of ‘ownership’ of Aborigines. They arrogantly have opinions as to what Aborigines should or shouldn’t do, and believe they have some sort of right in deciding what is best for them. Warlpiri have no power over their destiny. No say in their future. No say in how they should run their lives." Frank Baarda, Yuendumu 2010
I can’t think of a single incident in the past in which the Warlpiri residents of Yuendumu have not respected non-Warlpiri residents’ neutrality in such matters. They respect our right to be kept out of it. This respect is not reciprocated by “mainstream” society, that has the arrogant belief that it is entitled to interfere and dictate to remote Aboriginals how they should live their lives. The Intervention epitomises this arrogance.