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Twiggy’s legal team: native title video ‘incites racial hatred’

Lawyers representing Fortescue Metal Group (FMG) and CEO Andrew Forrest have sent legal letters to a video hosting website requesting they take down a controversial clip of a native title meeting held in Roebourne last month despite issuing a denial to Crikey yesterday that they’d been in touch with Vimeo.

In an email from FMG’s legal team to Vimeo, Fortescue say the video is defamatory, misleading, “incites racial hatred” and is “designed to intimidate.”

Uploaded by Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, the video attracted 12,000 plays in nine days before being removed on Tuesday by the New York-based video hosting site in response to the threats.

The video has since been uploaded to YouTube and has been the subject of heated discussion on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

A spokesperson for Vimeo confirmed that the videos had been taken down for legal reasons. Fortescue spokesman Cameron Morse told Crikey yesterday his company had not had any contact with Vimeo about the controversial video. When contacted by Crikey this morning, Morse declined to clarify his comments.

Michael Cheah, legal counsel representing Vimeo, says the video was removed after the hosting site received correspondence from lawyers for FMG and Forrest alleging that the video contained defamatory and misleading statements about them.

Please note that we take no position on whether any of the statements in the video are true or not,” he said. “Rather, we have merely determined that the video could be subject of a defamation claim and, under Australian law, could subject Vimeo to liability.”

In a series of emails sent to Vimeo last Thursday and obtained by Crikey, FMG legal council Scott Adams requested the video be removed immediately. He cites a number of reasons for the video’s removal, including that it “incites racial hatred”, is “threatening” and is “designed to intimidate”.

Not content with the response from Vimeo, FMG sent a legal letter dated Monday 11 April (also obtained by Crikey) suggesting the video breached both Western Australian defamation law as well as federal competition and consumer law. Adams requested the video be removed immediately or the company would reserve rights to undertake legal action.

Fortescue are currently seeking a land use agreement from native title holders to allow the mining giant to build a new iron ore mine in the Pilbara. With negotiations at a stalemate and a Federal Court judgement looming, Forrest has attempted to strike a deal with a breakaway group of 200 Yindjibarndi people.

Forrest and a group of FMG lawyers and executives held a meeting last month in Roebourne last month in an attempt to secure an agreement with the breakaway group. In the video native title owner the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation express repeated concerns over how the meeting was conducted.

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation CEO Michael Woodley says the video helps to depict the difficulties of an indigenous group in negotiating a land use agreement.

At the end of the day the video shows exactly how Twiggy Forrest and his company behaved on the day,” he told Crikey. “What they were doing was out of order in terms of a process which is supposed to be respecting native title groups and our discussion for any land use agreement.”

Meanwhile, the PR battle is hotting up over the native title deal. As Crikey reported yesterday, Cameron Morse recently edited the mining giant’s Wikipedia page to remove all references to the dispute and the video. Forrest is also facing some criticism for his GenerationOne indigenous unemployment program.

Greens spokesperson for indigenous affairs Senator Rachel Siewert says there are clear and established processes for negotiating with traditional owners.

The contrast between FMGs’ behaviour in undermining the governance of Yindjibarndi and the public face of Andrew Forrest on Aboriginal issues we’re used to seeing in the mainstream media is almost like Jekyll and Hyde,” the Senator told Crikey.

The kind of behind-the-scenes machinations suggested by the video, to create or exploit a split in the community, if true, are deplorable — and contrast starkly with Mr Forrest’s professed support for Aboriginal community development.”

The WA opposition has also begun to apply the blowtorch to the mining magnate for his conduct at the meeting. WA opposition leader Eric Ripper said on Tuesday he would refer the deleted video to parliament.

Meanwhile, Michael Woodley says his organisation will keep uploading the video, even if it gets deleted. Woodley says FMG have not been in contact with the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation in response to the video.

For the wider Australian public and I guess the world, most people know about native title and what it is but they might not understand the process and what it means to indigenous groups in terms of negotiating a land use agreement,” he told Crikey.

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  • 1
    Captain Planet
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for doing your part to keep this issue at the forefront of the public consciousness, Crikey.

    If the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporations’ allegations are true, then FMG have been exposed red handed, in an attempted exploitation of traditional owners which rivals colonial dispossession of land, in its scope and greed.

    Whilst Twiggy himself, in my opinion, has little to fear from scrutiny of his personal conduct at the meeting, the actions of his subordinates, who can only be assumed to be acting on his direct instructions, were insulting, dismissive, overbearing and downright sinister.

  • 2
    Mr Squid
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Forrest is just another tyically thuggish, bullying miner. This reality is a million miles away from the way the Australian and the ABC portray him

  • 3
    SBH
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m no lawyer but the vid just seems to show one sides version of what went on at a public meeting. The main actors speak for them selves and I can’t see how distributing video of what people actually did is defamatory. But as I said I’m no lawyer.

    Not being a lawyer I also can’t understand how Ron Bower was able to act for the Wirlu-Murra group and be paid by FMG. In my world that’s one of them conflict of interest.

  • 4
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s predictable that anti-free speech legislation ends up being used by the wealthy and powerful to defend their interests.

    Chilling to see the reference to “incites racial hatred” in FMG’s complaint.

    Right on cue…

  • 5
    Elan
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t defamatory. Forrest’s legal thugs are doing what thugs do; they are threatening; they are intimidating. It’s bluff-and it is regularly done.

    They managed to scare Vimeo off. Let’s see if they scare YT.

    GenOne has been a good investment methinks….

    the more you know Aborigines; the more you love them” You SOB Forrest.

    The rest has me too boiling mad to comment further.

    …………except to say that Bower is a maggot.

  • 6
    david
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    More evidence of just who is running WA and it sure as hell isnt Barnett and his rabble

  • 7
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    And trying to give the natives a string of beads in return for their land and land rights in the 21st century doesn’t incite hate?

    Forrest lives in the dark ages.

  • 8
    PoppyWagner
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Shame on FMG and Twiggy Forrest personally for allowing this travesty of a meeting to proceed. It is was more than obvious that FMG intended to get what they wanted by whatever devious and thugish means necessary. Bower has ONE client and it isn’t the Wirlumurra peoples, it’s FMG!!

  • 9
    Grinder
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    And now the miners/Stokes have bought out Channel Seven, along with WA’s only daily paper.

  • 10
    Mort
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Is that true that FMG bussed in a group from another unrelated area to vote on Yindjibarndi Aboriginal land matters?

    Wow.

  • 11
    Daryl...
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    The poor blackfellas, herded into a room then bulldozed by this machine. And worse, using this “incites racial hatred”argument to silence any dissension.

    Shame Forrest, shame!

  • 12
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    liberal, can we riot yet????

  • 13
    Ruprecht
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    So much of FMG’s conduct in that video is dodgy, makes you wonder about how they go about any project. No wonder they want to hush it up.

    Vimeo is gutless, it is telling that FMG’s lawyer didn’t specify how the vid incites the alleged racial hatred.

    All power to the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation — I hope it is not railroaded by the bully boy tactics of FMG.

  • 14
    Daryl...
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    This is the Forrest way, used to be called the Anaconda way. Just bulldoze his way through anything and anybody. His companies are notorious people shredders.

  • 15
    Captain Planet
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    The mining industry in my home state of WA has been acting in this manner for decades.

    Safety, environmental and native title / indigenous relations issues are dealt with appallingly.

    As soon as you are a few hundred kilometres of dusty red desert road away from the bitumen and the leafy green SouthWest of the state, much of the veneer of 21st Century civilisation which the mining industry wears in its head offices in Perth, cracks and falls away.

    It is astonishing how much the tyranny of distance, and complete control of media coverage of your operation, can embolden ruthless corporate greed.

    How glad I am that a fortuitous combination of tech - savvy, dedicated indigenous activists, and sheer laziness and complacency on the part of FMG, have brought the tip of this iceberg into view.

  • 16
    nicolino
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I watched that video and Forrest had actually brought in some outsiders to stack the meeting. What a leech this creature is and I hope that we have a courageous enough government to expose this animal for what he stands for.

  • 17
    Cretaceous
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that it is the behaviour shown in the video is what is “threatening” and “designed to intimidate”, not the video itself. These corporations hate the public knowing how they actually operate, particularly in regard to their dealings with traditional owners, hence the stink about this film going public. A warning to the Yindjibarndi; you will now be expected to agree to conditions set out by FMG and the WA government, and fast. If you don’t your land will be “compulsorily acquired” by the state government so their big mates can proceed unimpeded. The same thing has happened to Jabbir Jabbir lands in the Kimberley. In a year you will be staring down FMG goons [sorry,”safety officers’] on your own country.
    Mort, yes they did. Woodside pulled the same trick 14 months ago in Broome with absolutely no shame.

  • 18
    kennethrobinson2
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Unless these people can act as one they will lose, fair or not, they must speak with one voice, then they can win.
    Surely the people bussed in can be verified as genuine or not, its not only Aborigines who have lost their rights, we all have, the big guns will always win unless we ALL stand up and be counted.

  • 19
    Harvey Tarvydas
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    Well done Crikey.
    Courage to be proud of Crikey.

  • 20
    Captain Planet
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    KennethRobinson2,

    If you have been following the debacle over Andrew Bolt’s aspersions on Aboriginality lately, you will be aware that establishing Aboriginal Identity (at least to the satisfaction of non - indigenous organisations such as mining corporations and native title law firms) is not necessarily an easy task.

    As it was outlined to me by an Aboriginal activist friend recently, Forrest has identified a group of people (living in Carnarvon, I believe) who, for the purposes of the law, can identify as Yindjibarndi (by descent, or whatever the criteria are: Here I will admit ignorance). Forrest (or his minions) has engaged this group and promised them money if they agree to his plans.

    It is a disgraceful example of manipulation of the system, and exploitation of a people with an identity and relationship to the land which has already been placed under enormous stress by 200+ years of dispossession.

    FMG are in no way concerned with true procedural justice for the Yindjibarndi people. All they care about is ticking whatever boxes they need to, as cheaply as possible, so that their developments can go ahead with the minimum impediment, to give the highest possible returns to the shareholder.

    This is hardly a surprise, since as a corporation FMG and its directors are actually obligated by their company charter, to maximise returns to shareholders as the overarching priority. Any and all human interest considerations are secondary. The same is true of any modern corporation. Sad but true.

  • 21
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    http://oosterman.wordpress.com/
    Hopeless case wherever Twiggy gets involved with. Years ago it was the importation of alpacas which he tried to flog off as a handy tax dodge to lawyers and other high earners. Then his dubious adventures at Anaconda and other mining ventures. Now he is the richest man in Australia from resources that belong to all of Australians.
    How can it be that a single person has so much wealth that could fund Australia’s entire Mental Health budget, presently at $100.million per year, for the next forty years?
    Are we sure capitalism is working?
    On top of being the richest, he was also the most vocal in opposing the resource tax.

  • 22
    david
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    One hopes Tom Cowie forwards his findings and the you tube link to the Labor Opposition in WA. It is very important they are aware of this disgraceful act by Forrest and his henchmen and start making a good deal of noise. There is no way the MSM will get into this unless Fairfax show some spine. Forget the WA rag, too closely tied in with the Libs and the fat cat mining bosses.
    So far the ABC have completely ignored it and they check Crikey every day, that is a fact.
    Once again it is left to the little people to do the leg work to expose these ars-holes.

  • 23
    Cretaceous
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Captain Planet, absolutely spot on!

  • 24
    Mr Squid
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    The ABC cover something like this - you must be joking! they’re more likely to carry a segment on andrew forrest the philanthopist and supporter of native title and indigenous rights. But they’ll wait till rupert runs it and then do a rip and read.

  • 25
    Posted Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Crikey. You have to feel for these people who’s rights are in the balance.

    It’s worth watching at least Part 2 if you can.

  • 26
    joooolz69
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I left a comment on the FMG Youtube version and not allowed to have it freely seen. i think they don’t allow people to make free comment about what they are saying whatsoever.
    It is a Human Rights violation to demand any individual to prove they have been dispossessed. The Native Title Act is a violation of human rights. A true democracy is majority rule with minority rights. My first family (indigenous) were marginalized and seen as interested parties in our land claim because we were not listened to by a faction backed by this same man. After 9 years of fighting many companies they settled with those they backed and our family is seen as pariahs. Our stories of hope in our creation secondary to greed and it was signed off completely by this and every government and the Queen of England who thinks our beliefs are evil when in fact they are real because we know we were born to hope and not to doubt.

  • 27
    Roquefort Muckraker
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    it was a sham, a greed fed sham….

  • 28
    Harvey Tarvydas
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    The other thing you should be proud of Crikey is a decent informed and intelligent readership that comments. Tom has stimulated a powerful stream of top quality genuine Australianism clearly more common than the ‘leaders’ of our community ever imagined.
    JOOOOLZ69
    CAPTAIN PLANET
    DAVID
    SHEPHERDMARILYN
    and every other commenter, great work ye all.

  • 29
    Daryl...
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I am as incensed by what appears to be happening in this video as anybody else is, and I have commented on it before in this stream.

    However, it occurs to me that this is definitely (and obviously) a video supporting one side of an argument here, we have not see or heard from th eother side of the argument.

    And while events like this are great to watch triggers to get the violent and extreme left spewing out of their holes, this guy (like every other Aussie) at least deserves the benefit of the doubt, or the means to explain himself.

    We don’t really know the circumstances that other people were bussed in, or if they really were bussed in. We don’t know too much at all.

    Worth knowing more bfore rushing to judgement I think.

  • 30
    Daryl...
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    He, and everybody else who wants to live well, should oppose the resource tax, it is an economy killer. If you wanted to spend money productively - who in their right mind would give it to the Government?

  • 31
    Daryl...
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    And heres the other side of th story…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGZ_H_SWiQM

    Although I am sure this is also one sided, there is now no doubt in my mind that the previous YouTUbe video was edited misleadingly to provoke the response it did.

    I’m from the Pilbara, I know these people. They are good people and I have no doubt there are two sides to the story.

    I hope to hear the howls of complaint of injustice against the publishers of the first video now.

  • 32
    Roquefort Muckraker
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Daryl writes “…Worth knowing more bfore rushing to judgement I think….”

    I don’t see how you could watch that video and not conclude that at best it was an appallingly run process. The killer for me was the comment from the anthropologist complaining that no record of those voting was kept. No roster of voters means the entire process is open to manipulation and fraud. So while Daryl waits to know more I’m pretty well sure that the process is unfair. As for other judgments about Twiggy motivation, conflict of interest and so on I can wait, but it’s wait preceding by shock and horror.

  • 33
    Daryl...
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Watch the other video I posted, in the words of the blackfellas themselves.

    I hope to hear you crying out in defence of these guys as strongly as you did when you thought it was just a chance to take a pop at a wealthy person.

  • 34
    Roquefort Muckraker
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Daryl, posted video? Where?

  • 35
    flatwhite
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I don’t think he deserves the benefit of the doubt Daryl.

    Fortescue Metals are a corporation. A corporation’s job is to make profit, and return dividends to its shareholders. I think it would be naive to doubt that this was not in fact an attempt at a land grab. Forrest and Fortescue are just doing their jobs.

    Furthermore, I find it concerning that Fortescue has not published a substantive rebuttal on this instance. I would imagine they are just going to ride it out, and hope it drops out of the news cycle.

  • 36
    Daryl...
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Here is the reply, in the words of the blackfellas from the region.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGZ_H_SWiQM

    This is the real story, and not one that is uncommon in the communities around Australia. (I worked in blackfella communities for 3 years when I was a kid)

    A story of a group of bullies, who published the video because they were unable to bully all of the people, all of the time.

    Corporation or not there are laws in place to prevent the sort of stuff that was represented in the first video, albeit falsely. And there is also a conscience issue.

    Forrest is from the Pilbara, from near where I grew up actually. And his treatment of the fellas in Port Hedland is testament to his intentions in these cases.

    I am sorry I rushed to judgement on this issue.

  • 37
    Elan
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    However, it occurs to me that this is definitely (and obviously) a video supporting one side of an argument here, we have not see or heard from th eother side of the argument.”

    Actually I think this is fair comment.

    Which is why I based my opinion ONLY on the reasons and withdrawal of Graham Castledine who refused to chair the meeting on grounds he saw as questionable.

    On the actions of Bower in pulling the mic away from someone who was scheduled to speak.

    On the manner and behaviour of Forrest.

    On the denial-NOT request for withdrawal of the video on Vimeo;-but the denial that such a request was made, by FMG lawyers.

    In the deletion of any reference to this fiasco in the FMG Wiki entry.

    THAT is why FMG should be held accountable for what happened.

  • 38
    Roquefort Muckraker
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Uh, who did the reply video? Daryl, was that you? Essentially three people refute the original video claims. Who are they?

  • 39
    Daryl...
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Yeah, good on ya mate. No concern for the real issues, just jumping at the opportunity to attack somebody successful.

  • 40
    Roquefort Muckraker
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    No, really, did you do the reply video? It’s very slick, but I just wonder who was behind it. As for attacking somebody successful, I hadn’t realized I had….

  • 41
    beetwo77
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I agree that some balance needs to be brought into the argument however the video posted by Daryl shows no balance.

    Have a look at the video and visit the linked webpage:

    http://thetruenativetitlestory.com.au/

    They’ve got one video posted. No information about who produced the video, who made the web page, who funded it and no statement of what they are trying to achieve with the video.

    If you lookup who registered the website, it a perth based advertising company. Seems a bit suspicious to me. I could be wrong. Try it yourself…

    http://www.austdomains.com.au/whois.html

    I don’t think there is much balance being provided by the true native title website. One video and no supporting information versus the YAC web page:

    http://yindjibarndi.org.au/

    Which at least has a fair bit of information about the people and the region.

  • 42
    joooolz69
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    …on WA time sorry…so…Daryl did you post the other video called ‘The True Yindjibarndi Story’ from the channel truenativetitlestory on Youtube? Because that’s the one I tried to comment on and it seems to be a corporate video response?Well done if you managed to get anything out of a corporation btw…(kinda) I mean it had FMG’s logo on it? I’m sorry, my post I thought was genuine for the debate(?) but mine and possible others aren’t getting through the allowed comments bit on it. I really wonder why?
    I thought the video from my perspective was more upsetting in many ways as it showed a community divided at best(which is sadly what seems to be the truth for so many at the coal-face of this Native Title Act sham).
    The people in this video talked about violence and intimidation from representatives not backing FMG and that’s why they sided with FMG. It also had a fair few members of families gathered in groups which is ultimately destructive if it’s endorsed by FMG in a ‘legal’ sense.
    Can I just say that Treaties are about the only thing that seem to offer hope to dispossessed families. Right now the only other counties who don’t have a Treaty made and signed on, apart from here, are Burma and Afghanistan(one is a military dictatorship and the other is at war with itself) Is this country somewhere in the middle between those two because I think in the most positive light this site and any others offer the freedom to say what it might be like for the better in this world. Better meaning everyone with morality not moved by money or power. You see, capitalism and corporations were invented in the industrial revolution(which wasn’t a revolution at all because it used colonialism to get more recourses) and now we have multi nationals(which aren’t multinationals at all in any moral obligations or human rights treaties). Multi-national company’s( which all have shareholders from everywhere- such is the free market economy?) rely on profit to outperform to a zenith and the less restrictions the better for profit. Profit is all to people like Andrew Forrest. If you think the ‘tall poppy syndrome’ was just an Australian thing well can I just say it was invented by First Families(Indigenous people) for a very good reason. That reason being that in order to have the whole community succeed we all must finish the running race together. This country without a Treaty(which we could lead the world in making great) and following this Native Title Act is now a laughing stock to the rest of humanity. We are pariah in these ways, legally, academically, scientifically(if there is such a thing), artistically and environmentally because knowledge isn’t worth the moral struggle for what integrity and dignity gives you in your family? This is what the native Title Acts demands of first family(indigenous peoples) in this place. Censorship and debate is not an option when you can clearly see not only a community(made of families) is in grave conflict but it’s done so at the whim of corporate need over basic human freedom. The freedoms every human on the planet needs to own by right in order to be… well…human? We all make mistakes….Simon Bolt does it frequently but let’s not be too hasty there’s always hope if not for him but for every fair First Family(Indigenous) individual who needed to know who they are in this very old debate. Fair people are a litmus test for race relations firstly and also in this country if you’re over say 35(?) you are a product of the breeding out programme and have a brilliant status to hold for the better part as moral secret spies for the greater good. Chill Simon, Chill Andrew you both need to go talk to your elders a bit more imo.

  • 43
    Elan
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Now THAT’S how you make a video!!!

    Polished. Slick. Excellent narration. Clear sound. Comfortable surroundings.

    Thank-you DARYL!

    You are worth your weight in gold!!!!

  • 44
    Captain Planet
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The FMG logo at the beginning and end of “The true Yindjibarndi Story” says it all.

    If that wasn’t enough, the corporate spin about how great FMG are to indigenous people compiled it.

    The thing that really made me shake my head in despair was the man who said “FMG is just a mining company that came into theis town to offer our people a better things, offer our kids education, jobs, training…”

    Sure, that’s why FMG are there. They’re actually a humanitarian, not for profit organisation primarily concerned with education, jobs and training for indigenous kids.

    The true Yindjibarndi Story” is conclusive proof that Forrest and FMG have intentionally driven a wedge into the Yindjibarndi people. When they came up against opposition to their corporate agenda, they destructively divided a people until they had enough on “their side” to ram their plans through.

    The image from the YAC videos which stick with me the most is that of Ned Cheedy appealing that people should heed his words. I don’t know if he really is 105 years old but he sure looks it, and in indigenous culture that makes him absolutely the most respected elder there is. The fact that FMG and a group of much, much, much younger people from nearly a thousand kilometres away, are disregarding his beliefs and his wishes and his position, speaks volumes.

  • 45
    derek kreckler
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Twiggy Forrest, (not verbatim) quote: ‘The more you get to know aboriginals, the more you like them’. Patronising white fella, I am so glad I didn’t buy any of his now bloodied shares. No point in making a profit killing culture, killing land.

  • 46
    joooolz69
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    The worst thing about this all in my opinion, as someone who’s been through the Native Title Act battle(and that’s what this really is) is none of this is internationally legal. Elder Cheedy is a ‘witness’ now but he could easily be called an ‘interested party’ like my 90 year old uncle was and shunted out because he disagreed with the process in any way. Elder Cheedy would be in contempt of the legal system he signed on as witness and discredited for not agreeing to the process and be even more dispossessed. Where is the impartial international voice here by the way? The United Nations aren’t even aloowed to send more than 2 investigators into this country by law(from what i was told once) and at the moment those 2 inspectors only have time enough to check up on ‘illegal’ immigrants held in detention. This country needs about 30 UN inspectors per state as it is just on health issues alone for First families(Indigenous). The UN helps in Africa and thats one of the biggest corporation survival/battle zones on the planet, but here in the lucky country? You know what W.A means here in Western Australia? It means Wait A-while…..

  • 47
    Kristian
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that http://www.TheTrueNativeTitleStory.com.au is registered by Workhouse Advertising http://www.workhouseadvertising.com.au/

    Wonder if there is any connection between workhouse and FMG?

  • 48
    Kristian
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    This grassroots is become more astro turf. Paid advertisements link to http://www.thetruenativestory.com.au if you google “Native Title”. First hit is a promoted ad. Who is funding this?

  • 49
    joooolz69
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    beetwo77 tried to send a comment in? Was it blocked because of the actual web links on it? Because it came through to view on my email but it’s not on this site comments page now….is Crikey now in some legal guff about this debate or something? Put the comment online and show it eh? This is so not a wiki-leaks moment is it??? lol

  • 50
    Daryl...
    Posted Friday, 15 April 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    The belief that the people in the second video are stupid is typical of the left. If they don’t say something that you agree with then somebody must have gotten to them.

    120 voted for, not one voted against. (Not one)

    And no comments on the violence and intimidation mentioned? Doesn’t that at least crack a mention here? Or only if there is a chance to sling mud at somebody who has been successful?

    If he really did do the wrong thing then of fto jail with him in my book. But do so on straight facts, not just on a hyped up video positioning itself against the other groups vying for control in that area.

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