Deathscapes

Instrumentalities of the Settler State 3j - The Torment of Structural Powerlessness

Deathscapes

The Torment of Structural Powerlessness

[imagecaption] The Uluru Statement. Photo: Caama. [/imagecaption]

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‘Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future. 

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.’ 


In 2017,  a convention of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates assembled at Uluru, the symbolic heart of Indigenous Australia. They issued a powerful collective declaration, known as the Uluru Statement from the Heart, calling for a ‘voice to parliament ‘that would represent Indigenous people at the highest legislative level.

The statement directly identifies the soaring rates of Indigenous incarceration and the removal of children as symptoms of ‘the torment of powerlessness’ and calls for a  structural response.

Then Prime Minister Turnbull rejected the Uluru Statement, incorrectly describing it as a proposal for a third chamber in parliament. However, the Uluru Statement exerts great emotional power and it has continued to inspire and motivate Australians of all ethnicities as a vision for the future, even as we underscore that it does not have universal support from all Indigenous communities.


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