In recent months survivors of the Stolen Generation have stepped up their efforts to extract an official apology from the Australian government.
They are demanding that newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd put meat to the bones of his promised apology and pay approximately A1bn (US$870 million) into a reparation fund.
This demand seems reasonable to say the least but if you know anything about Rudd, you would know that he is not about to pay reparations to Aborigines.
Instead, Rudd’s indigenous affairs minister, Jenny Macklin, says that an official apology will be followed by money being put into health and education schemes to improve the lives of Aboriginals.
Macklin said in part:
“What we will be doing is putting the funding in to health and education services, and providing additional support for services needed for counselling, to enable people to find their relatives," she said.
We think the best way to give force to the apology is to provide funding to close the gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
So we won't be creating a compensation fund.”
These comments amount to a kind of political gymnastics.
What happened to the Stolen Generation is nothing less than a crime against humanity.
Al Jazeera points out that the 1997 Bringing Them Home report "found thousands of aboriginal children had been forcibly placed in orphanages or foster care and revealed that many were brutalised or abused with harsh punishment for speaking in indigenous languages instead of English."
You can read the "Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families" here.
I think it reasonable that Aboriginal campaigners are planning protests against this business as usual decision.
It is becoming clearer that Rudd is not very different than Howard when it comes to the plight and conditions of Aboriginals in occupied Australia.
In these terms I invite those who have not signed our Tourist Boycott of Australia Campaign to please do so immediately. Our Aboriginal sistas and brothers need your support.
Please let your voice be heard so that Rudd knows that we are not being fooled.