Aboriginal group removed from empty Canberra restaurant
Aboriginal protesters who have occupied a vacant restaurant in Canberra since Sunday have been removed by police. One man has been arrested as police removed activists from an empty restaurant in Canberra, less than a kilometre from Parliament House.
Aboriginal protesters who have occupied a vacant restaurant in Canberra since Sunday have been removed by police.
One man has been arrested as police removed Aboriginal activists from an empty restaurant in Canberra, less than a kilometre from Parliament House.
One of the activists who had occupied the former Lobby Restaurant told reporters as he was taken out by police on Thursday: "My people. This is what happens to you when you defy white man's law."
Five protesters entered the restaurant on Sunday in what they described as a bid to reclaim sovereignty over the land.
The ex-restaurant is on crown land, controlled by the National Capital Authority which complained to police after receiving an "eviction notice" from the protesters and a demand for $7 million in "rent".
Owners of the building gave the protesters permission to stay until a meeting on Wednesday.
When a resolution at Wednesday's meeting could not be reached permission to remain in the building was removed and the protesters were asked to leave.
'TAKE BACK - part 1: Ngunnawal/Wiradjuri take back the Lobby Restaurant from the National Capital Authority (NCA), Canberra, 5 November 2017. The Lobby Restaurant is where former PM Julia Gillard lost her blue shoe when security over-reacted because First Nations people turned up outside the restaurant to protest then Opposition leader, Tony Abbott's, announcement earlier in the day that the Aboriginal Embassy should be 'moved on'.
The Lobby is next to the Aboriginal Embassy, separated only by the rose garden. That was the day of 26 January 2012, when more than 2,000 people were at the Aboriginal Embassy to mark its 40th anniversary of 'unfinished business' - the longest running protest site in the world.
Now assertions of Sovereignty are gaining momentum and on 5 November 2017, after a National Gathering at the Aboriginal Embassy, Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and other First Nations people took back the empty Lobby Restaurant, served an eviction notice on the National Capital Authority (NCA) and asserted sovereignty.
One proposal is for the Lobby to become a cultural centre with a bush food restaurant - what an asset!'
TAKE BACK-2: Meeting with NCA re Lobby
'TAKE BACK - part 2: History in the making
- meeting with National Capital Authority over Take Back of Lobby Restaurant, Canberra - 8 November 2017.
Out of Respect both the NCA and AFP removed their boots at the Sacred Fire, but still the NCA choses to pursue eviction.'
'TAKE BACK -part 3 Mudd Goolagong free again
- first interview after arrest by AFP for 'refusing to quit' The Lobby Restaurant, Canberra.
Is refusing to quit different from trespass?'
"What happens if we refuse to leave our own land as the traditional owners of this country?" the activist said.
'Police have asked Aboriginal activists, who are occupying a vacant restaurant on the lawns of Old Parliament House in Canberra, to leave "as soon as possible", or risk arrest. ... '
'Members of the NCA, attend a meeting with elders at the Tent Embassy and members of the AFP over the occupation of the Lobby Restaurant facility in Parkes'
'Wiradjuri man Mud Gooloogong refused to leave the building, so was taken into custody by Australian Federal Police. ...
'The activists argued with police, with elder Kevin Buzzacott asking for
"one good reason why you can't let us have this place".
'"We are not asking for much," he said.
'Eventually all but one person left the building. ... '
Tom McIlroy | Sherryn Groch
'The occupation of Canberra's Lobby Restaurant threatened to become a new front
in the stand off over Indigenous land rights on Wednesday,
as elders and representatives of the federal government
failed to reach agreement over control of the building. ... '
'The embassy was set up over the weekend after the Elders and Ngunnawal people
stated permission to build on the site had never been sought from Traditional Owners.'
'Ngunnawal representative Serena Williams said it was seriously concerning plans to sell the building had not been publicly disclosed, accusing the government of lying.'
'Aboriginal protesters who have occupied a vacant restaurant in Canberra since Sunday have been removed by police.'