W&J condemn politically motivated assault in Clermont


Latest News / Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE
Monday 29 April 2019

Political leaders and Adani must disown this election time abuse

The full force of the law needed against this assault

CLERMONT: The Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the politically motivated attack on our Karmoo Dreaming celebration in Clermont yesterday. We are deeply concerned for the welfare of the woman who was seriously injured while attending a gathering on our country.

The Council calls on all political leaders to join us in condemning this egregious act of assault on a peaceful assembly, and those who were cheering them on. The Council calls for the full force of the law to be brought to bear on the man arrested for this act, and for police to investigate if he acted in concert with others.

W&J Council spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said: “This assault was the consequence of the fear and loathing being stirred up by right wing politicians who came to Clermont on the weekend. This act should be condemned by them without reservation. Australians should be united against this kind of politically motivated violence.

“Adani must also distance themselves from this. They cannot hide behind PR on this matter. They give financial support to the Liberal and National Parties and One Nation through political donations. They have thanked them and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, and the people who came to Clermont to protest against the Bob Brown convoy, for their support.

“We organised the Karmoo Dreaming event as a celebration of our people as ‘water protectors’. We welcomed the Bob Brown Foundation. We take our obligation to fulfil our laws and customs very seriously.

“This attack took place on our country at our event. This is an attack on us. We were practicing our culture under our flag, which represents our primary connection as traditional custodians of this place.

“This event was not a protest. We were having a peaceful gathering and we were sharing our culture and law with these visitors. This was not a ‘stop adani’ rally. It was a sign of our good will, regardless of political views, and we were shown the appropriate respect by those present.

“But this dangerous person riding through the group on a horse put the public at risk of harm. We call on the authorities to prosecute the offender with the full force of the law. It is only a matter of degree that separates this incident from an act of politically motivated terror.

“It is only by chance that someone was not killed. We had small children there in a safe place when the incident happened. Some children were only a metre from the horse’s galloping hooves and serious injury or death.

“People charging horses through our ‘camp’ is familiar from this region’s colonial history, which our people suffered immeasurable harm from. It reminds us of the fear and intimidation that is still used to try to silence us.

“This incident, and the people who were applauding the horse rider at the gate to the showgrounds as he left, were incited and inflamed by a bunch of overbearing politicians and high-viz wearing blow-ins.

“We are very unhappy about people unsettling our peaceful time. This attack was clearly driven by right wing extremism. What do the right wing politicians like Canavan, Hanson, Palmer and Katter, who made their presence known in Clermont on Saturday,  have to say for themselves?

“We demand they have the moral decency to condemn this outrageous attack, and accept they have encouraged intimidation and coercion to enforce their ideological views on the rest of us”, he concluded.

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Images: Karmoo Dreaming celebration – here

Media Contact: Anthony Esposito, W&J Council Adviser, 0418 152 743

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