Intervention Walk-Off protest house

Dear Trade Unionists and supporters of Aboriginal Rights,
Thank you to all who supported the east coast speaking tour raising awareness of the Ampilatwatja community Walk-Off protesting the NT Intervention.
The tour generated growing public and trade union support for the walk off camp and the campaign to repeal the NT Intervention. Strong commitments were made by major unions, including the AWU, CFMEU, MUA and NTEU, to provide ongoing political, material and/or financial support for the campaign and the walk-off camp. Many motions of support have been carried by unions, such as the following passed at the CFMEU (Construction and General division) National Conference last month:

‘The CFMEU extends solidarity to the people of Ampilatwatja, north-east of Alice Springs, who have walked off their community and set up a protest camp in protest at the NT intervention and its failure to provide housing or services. We endorse their demands and pledge a donation of $1000 towards maintaining the protest camp.’
Please find attached a letter from the Ampilatwatja walk off camp requesting support.
A Trade Union Workers Brigade has been established to assist local community members at the Ampilatwatja walk off camp in constructing much needed shelter and housing.

Australian Portable Camps has generously donated a full prefabricated house to the camp. The Workers Brigade is needed to assist in laying a concrete slab for the house, general construction of the house and necessary additions such as plumbing and electricity.

Over two years on, the Intervention has failed to deliver one house for Aboriginal people in the NT. This project will see the the union movement, in partnership with the Aboriginal rights movement, deliver a house before the Government’s $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing Implementation Program. This house has been dubbed the ‘protest house’.

The ‘protest house’ project will be launched in Alice Springs on February 13 next year: the two-year anniversary of Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations and a National Day of Action against the NT Intervention. Please find a statement from representatives of ‘prescribed’ area’s calling for the February 13 action attached.

We encourage your union to support the ‘Worker’s Brigade and protest house project’ in the following ways:
– Official endorsement of the project
– Donate funding towards the project
– Organise a member/s of your union to join the Workers Brigade
– Assist in sourcing tools and resources for the project

A list of items and skills required for the project to go ahead is detailed below.
It is important for all of our struggles that the historical relationship between the union movement and the Aboriginal rights movement remain strong. We hope to build on the networks that were born out of the Ampilatwatja speaking tour and maintain a rich and flowing dialogue.

Through such dialogue, ideas and inspiration for the way forward can continue to develop. We invite all of you to stay in touch and share your thoughts.

Please call or email if you would like any more information or to offer endorsement/support for the project.

Richard Downs, Spokesperson for Alywarra Elders, Ampilatwaja Walk Off, 0428 611 169
Olivia Nigro, Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney, 0401 955 405
Marisol Salinas , Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective, 0413 597 315
For more information, please visit
13th November, 2009
There are many different ways we’re hoping the union movement can support this project. Here is a list of donations we seek, that your union may consider contributing to.
Financial support

Volunteer labour
Mainly we need expertise in building and construction, plumbing, electrical wiring, surveying etc. If you have other ideas of skills that may be useful to the project, please let us know!
As well as the donated prefabricated house, we plan to build construct toilet and shower blocks, shade structures for communal areas and storage sheds. We therefore seek the building materials required for these structures:

Diesel generators to run power tools etc.
2-speed drills
5-6 inch grinders, with discs etc
tec guns
cut-off saws
long spirit levels
measuring tapes
post hole diggers
cementing equipment
crow bars
extension leads
boxes of metal roof screws, nails


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