Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CFMEU assists Ampilatwatja walk-off

Last year Alyawarr leader Richard Downs led his Alyawarr people in a walk-off from their community town of Ampilatwatja, about 300 kilometres from Alice Springs in central Australia.

They were protesting about the terrible housing and the lack of action to assist them in the wake of the racist Federal Government "intervention" in the Northern Territory.

Richard Downs says the Alyawarr are becoming sick from living in tin houses which are ankle-deep in sewage.

Disgusted with the lack of action to redress housing problems, and determined to strike out independently of the Federal Government, Downs appealed to unions for support and went on a national tour addressing supporters around the country.

The CFMEU and other unions responded to the call for help.

With nary a house having been built in the three years of the intervention, the CFMEU organised tradespersons and transport workers and put the word on various companies, and has done in a couple of weeks what the feds have failed to do.

Despite the hardship of mixing concrete on site in temperatures over 40 degrees and hand pouring a huge slab out in the bush, and then getting prefabricated building supplies onto the site, the job is well on the way to being finished.

Downs has issued an invitation to interested persons to attend an offcial opening of the new building this Sunday, February 14.

While the CFMEU continues to be hounded by the thugs from the Government's "special cop on the beat", the ABCC, the working class has shown in practical terms the support it can offer to remote Aboriginal communities.

This is a great example of solidarity and a huge embarrassment for the Government.


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