Force used to suppress the Aboriginal sovereignty movement

Michael Anderson's Statement

"Our predictions that the governments in Australia will use superior force to suppress the Aboriginal sovereignty movement have come true. This is evident in the recent assault on the Nyoongar Tent Embassy in Perth where people are asserting their sovereign identity and independence through re-occupation of their own land of Heirrisson Island in the Swan River. WA Nyoongars have maintained sovereign independence despite 225 years of the invader society's occupation. This, of course, is an issue that will not go away. The erection of the Nyoongar tent Embassy was triggered by the WA offer of $1billion to settle all land claims in the SW of WA - a pittance considering the innate wealth of the lands and waters.

In anticipation of superior force and aggression by the colonial occupying governments, I wrote a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon on 27 February 2012 putting him on notice of our sovereignty movement and the anticipated repercussions.

If the police forces continue to use riot squads, mounted police and police dogs against peaceful protesters, then we will have no choice but to take a delegation to the UN and talk with foreign governments, in an effort to get foreign security forces as peace keepers to protect us against this ongoing violent aggression and oppression.

There is no excuse for the type of aggression shown in Perth last week. The photograph taken by Alex Bainbridge on 22 March 2012 is an iconic image of our struggle:
We are calling on our people and supporters to put the cameras in their mobile phones to good use and to capture as many images as possible of the oppression our people are under and the abuse of police powers. Then send the evidence to tab called "EVIDENCE" in our Sovereign Union website and fill out the contact form with as much detail as possible.

The following letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN resolutions clearly demonstrate our need for protection from the superior force of the colonial powers in our land:

Mr Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General
United Nations
New York

27 February 2012

Your Excellency,

I am corresponding with you on behalf of the National Unity Government, known as the Sovereign Union of the Aboriginal Nations and Peoples in Australia (SUANPA).

For two hundred and twenty five years our country has been occupied by the British and ruled by all their successors in title.

From the original instructions to the invading Captain Arthur Phillip, the British advised in 1788 that upon their landing an invasion of the land mass, then referred to as New Holland and Terra Australis he was to apply the 'rules and disciplines of war' from the outset. The historical records clearly show that former Dutch and British explorers were well aware that this new-found land was indeed peopled.

Australian historical records and despatches from various governors to the British Admiralty, during the early years of occupation, tell of constant undeclared warfare. Clearly the 19th century documents and those of well into the 20th century, show that the various Australian colonies ignored the British Admiralty's instructions for Aboriginal Peoples' rights to occupy, possess and use their lands and resources as their customary usages had done so previously. Instead, the colonies developed policies and strategies to exterminate our race. If you require evidence of these facts we can produce them at your request.

It is said in law, that in order to prove genocide, it is obligatory for those making the allegations to prove that the State had planned or condoned any practices that lead to the genocide of a particular race or ethnic group in whole or in part, or by condoning private armies or vigilante groups. Should your office require this information, it can also be produced.

Within the last twelve months I have come upon legislation from the British parliament dated 1875 called the Pacific Islanders Protection Act 1875. This UK Parliamentary Act was an amendment to the 1872 Pacific Islanders Protection Act that was popularly referred to as the anti-blackbirding Act, or words to that effect.

The 1875 amendment refers to the 1872 Act as being the principle Act, and in the principle Act the terms and definitions described unambiguously and unequivocally the specific locations and landmasses that these Acts related to. Under the terms and definitions of the principle 1872 Act it included and applied to the colonial states at the time of Queensland, New Zealand, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. It must be noted that the current Northern Territory was part of the South Australian colony at this time.

In December 2011, I had the occasion to travel to London to look at the Votes and Proceedings and Bills in respect of the 1875 Pacific Islanders Protection Act in the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in Whitehall. I must admit that I was surprised that the rights of Aboriginal Peoples in Australia were not part of those debates. However, in August 1875 when the Pacific Islanders Protection Amendment Act 1875 was concluded in the Parliament, the Act included Sections 7 and 10, which read:

7. Saving of rights of tribes. - Nothing herein or in any such Order in Council contained shall extend or be construed to extend to invest Her Majesty with any claim or title whatsoever to dominion or sovereignty over any such islands or places as aforesaid, or to derogate from the rights of the tribes or people inhabiting such islands or places, or of chiefs or rulers thereof, to such sovereignty or dominion, and a copy of every such Order in Council shall be laid before each House of Parliament within thirty days after the issue thereof, unless Parliament shall not then be in session, in which case a copy shall be laid before each House of Parliament within thirty days after the commencement of the next ensuing session. [2243]
10. Proclamation of Act. - This Act shall be proclaimed in each Australasian colony by the governor thereof within six weeks after a copy of it has been received by such governor, and shall take effect in the said colony from the day of the proclamation. [2246]

Having located these sections, I then had discussions with a Member of the House of Commons, Mr Jeremy Corbyn, MP at his Parliamentary office. I asked Mr. Corbyn, how was it that these two sections had been included. He responded to wit: Her Majesty Queen Victoria, through the exercise of her prerogative rights made two Orders in Council: the first being section 7 and the second being section 10. Mr Corbyn then added that, when such an Order in Council is given by the English Monarch, it becomes absolute law within the British legal jurisdiction, which included all the colonies of England at the time and thereafter.

It is important now to refer you to a court case dated 1842 before the full bench of the Supreme Court in New South Wales, R v Murrell and Bummaree (1836) 1 Legge 72; [1836] NSW Sup C 35.

Briefly, an Aboriginal man was brought before the court for killing another member f his own tribe under his Law. He challenged the jurisdiction and said he was not a subject of the British king and therefore not subject to the jurisdiction of the court. The court concluded that given that the British instructions were to offer protection of British law to Aboriginal people, then he must be subject to British law. The defence counsel then put it to the court on Jack Congo Murrell's behalf that if he was indeed a British subject then the colonial state had a legal obligation to compensate him financially for the land they had confiscated from him as a result of the invasion. Interestingly the court held that;

It is from this conclusion that until 1993 Australia was considered a country settled by 'peaceful' means because it was classified as terra nullius, a legal concept that has now been overturned by Mabo v Queensland (No 2) [1992] HCA 23; (1992) 175 CLR 1 (3 June 1992)

In respect to the High Court Mabo (No.2) case, it should be noted that the High Court perused the Pacific Islanders Protection Acts and concluded that, on the question of the continuing sovereignty of Aboriginal people it was not within the High Court's jurisdiction to form any view and make conclusions. As Aboriginal Peoples we do understand this reasoning because the High Court is established by the settler state to deal with their laws governing their people. The conundrum that we now find ourselves in is the fact that the British from 1875 onwards did not claim sovereignty or dominion over the peoples, our place the rulers and chiefs. This was then and continues now to remain the British law in respect to Aboriginal people.

From the 26 January 2012 it has now been re-asserted that Aboriginal people are sovereign and independent people of this country and we are now finalising the development of a National Unity Government to exercise our sovereign and independent rights as Nations and Peoples.

During this development phase we do understand and acknowledge that it will be viewed and taken as a serious affront to the existing invader nation state of Australia, in respect to territorial integrity. Having said this however, the Australian state has been deceitful and dishonest in its treatment of our Peoples and as a consequence of our Old Peoples' lack of understanding of the English language and their methods of government, we have been denied all those rights which we have always held and that had been confirmed since 1875. No doubt the Australian state will now use, by sheer weight of numbers and superior force, through their local police organisations and military, to suppress any Aboriginal efforts to gain our legal rights. In respect to this we will be travelling to England in the coming months to hold talks with the English government in an effort to have them honour their own law pre and post Federation of the Australian state.

We are appealing to the United Nations, through you as the Secretary-General to provide us with protection and support to establish our National Unity Government (SUANPA) and to achieve its desired goals. We are freely exercise our right to organise ourselves so that we can reach a point that will enable us to govern ourselves in our own right, once again.

We also understand the need to have urgent meetings with the Australian state as they occupy the same landmass and rely on the same natural resources for their own economic stability, but we cannot hold these meetings until we first organise at a national level. We do know that each of the Australian states at present are rejecting our efforts by banning our gatherings in and on public places, and referring these gatherings as protests, thereby causing civil unrest. But it is our submission that it is they, with the dominant and governing numbers, who are exercising superior force to prevent us from holding gatherings and using their police to break up our groups and move us on.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that we gather on public lands and similar locations in an effort to avoid conflict, but it is the nation state, which is taking offense. It comes as an absolute surprise for us that the Australian states, both Federal State and Territory, are unable to understand and accept that it is from their own political and legal genesis that is, the British and their parliaments and the laws which underpin their society, that gives us our legal right. I reiterate, the source of our authority to assert our sovereign rights and dominion over our lands and natural resources as free and independent Peoples is recognised by the same source of power.

I now wish to reiterate my call that the United Nations, under international law, must invoke upon the Australian state their obligations to refrain from the use of force and to engage fully with us as the National Unity Government to have fully realised those guarantees that are entrenched with the attached UN General Assembly resolutions.

Should the United Nations find this too difficult and confronting, then we ask that the United Nations refer this matter to the international Court of Justice for their Advisory Opinion.

In the document we attach we outline the basis of our sovereignty movement and the UN's international moral and legal obligations to ensure a peaceful transition.


Michael Anderson
Interim Chair
National Unity Government
Sovereign Union of Aboriginal Nations and Peoples in Australia

PO Box 55
NSW 2838


The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples of 14 Dec 1960 states:

The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of co-operation and world peace ... all peoples have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their Sovereignty, and the integrity of their national territory. [1]

The prohibition on the use of force to deny self-determination was first declared in the UN General Assembly resolution 2160 (XXI), 30 November 1966, 98-2-8:

... forcible action ... which deprives peoples under foreign domination of their right to self-determination [external or internal] ... constitutes a violation of the Charter.

After the second world war, the United Nation's urgent quest for world peace are in the name of:

We the peoples of the United Nations ... [2]


All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence ...

is the first article of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR)[3] and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(ICESCR).[4]
It is understood that force may be used to defend against denial of self-determination, but this was not stated clearly until 1970 in the Declaration on Friendly Relations that established the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples:

Every State has the duty to refrain from forcible action which deprives peoples ... of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence. In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible action in pursuit of the exercise of their right to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

But the 1970 Declaration on Friendly Relations advocates forms of government beyond those detailed in Principles VII-IX of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541.[5]

In UN General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) 24 October1970 called:

The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning friendly relations and co-operation among States in accordance with the charter of the United Nations (A 8082)

is the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples:

Every State has the duty to promote, through joint and separate action, realization of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, and to render assistance to the United Nations in carrying the responsibilities and entrusted to it by the Charter regarding the implementation of the principle announced in order;


(b) to bring about a speedy end to colonialism, having due regard to the free and expressed will of the peoples concerned;
and bearing in mind that subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a violation of the principle, as well as a denial of fundamental human rights, and is contrary to the Charter.


The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent state or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.
The territory of a colony or other Non-Self Governing Territory has, under the Charter, a status separate and distinct from the territory of the State administering it; and such separate and distinct status under the Charter shall exist until the people of the colony or Non-Self Governing Territory have exercised their right to self-determination in accordance with the Charter, and particularly its purposes and principles.

Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall be construed as authorizing or encouraging any actions which dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign independent States conducting themselves in compliance with the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples as described above, and thus possessed of a government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed or colour.

On 30 November 1995, the United Nations Economic and Social Council appears satisfied that First Nations Peoples' concerns are adequately dealt with by Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. That is;

... The development of friendly relations among nations based on respect of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

To permit the Australian Government's submission to have any legitimacy at all, when they say:

...Australia considers that self-determination encompasses the continuing right of peoples to decide how they should be governed.' [6]

is of great concern and this position of the Australian government cannot be left to stand for them to deny our rights as Peoples, based on the existing resolutions of the United Nations, as cited.

There was enormous difficulty in the Working Group of the Commission of Human Rights to Elaborate a Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for Article Three, the right to self-determination, to be endorsed by the UN nation states. In fact Australia was a key country opposing the inclusion of Article Three, supported by the other members of the CANZUS alliance, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America.

During the laborious drafting process, we protested:

Are we not the Free Peoples of the world, or does the United Nations view First Nations Peoples as a different and lesser class of Peoples?

Is it not the Charter of the United Nations to insure that Human Rights and Freedoms are extended to all Peoples to be observed and adhered to and consistent with the enunciated Article 1 of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

...All peoples have the right of self-determination by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development ...

Because of the continuing Australian deceit and denial as to our inherent rights, it is no wonder that the Australian Governments during the drafting process remained by seeking to prevent being extended to the Aboriginal Peoples.

But the United Nations is an association of member nation states, which each recognise each other's sovereignty. Their common denominator is that he majority acquired their power and status through military might and the genocide of First Nations Peoples, with whom they came into contact with during the colonial imperil expansion. Unfortunately, we, the tribal Peoples of the Earth, residing within the UN nation states' boundaries, are having to appeal to the nation state that over ran over Peoples and lands.

There can be no doubt that our appeals to the United Nations will be frought with constant opposition, because as First Nations Peoples our appeals do, in fact, impact upon the territorial integrity and political unity of those nation states. There can be no doubt that he United Nation swill have to formulate new policies and procedures in respect to the UN Nation states to commence a process of true and meaningful internal colonization by following the principles cited in the resolutions herein.

The UN Special Rapporteur, the late Professor Alfonso Martinez, also harboured no doubts concerning the much-debated issue of the right to self-determination: First Nations Peoples, like all Peoples of the Earth, are entitled to this inalienable right.[7]

Self-determination is not restricted to full independence. There is a continuum of freedoms available and a range of choices. It is the right of the People concerned to choose which form of self-government, autonomy or independence they aspire to. It can also be an evolving process so that freedoms are gained in incremental stages.

As Professor Rudolfo Stavenhagen concludes:

... the denial of self-determination is essentially incompatible with true democracy. Only if peoples' right to self-determination is respected can a democratic society flourish ... [8]

As recently * as April 2000 the UN Commission on Human Rights re-stated the underlying principle for world peace and good order in Resolution 2000/62:

... a democratic and equitable international order requires, inter alia the realization of the following rights:
(a) The right of all peoples to self-determination, by virtue of which they can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development ... [9]

In the preceding Resolution 2000/40 the UN Commission on Human Rights emphasised that:

... political platforms ... based on racism ... or doctrines of racial superiority and related discrimination must be condemned as incompatible with democracy ... and that racial discrimination condoned by government policies violates human rights ...

Thus international law acknowledges that there is also a creative process at work and in this way it is the right of First Nations Peoples to determine their own political status, even if this form of government has not been previously recognised by the United Nations. In fact, this is getting close to the crux of the issue because First Nations Peoples already have ancient systems of government, Law/Lore and economy handed down through time, but it was the colonising powers who denied the existence of this sacred process and, instead, subjugated and denigrated the First Nations Peoples.

But now the Earth, our Mother, is stirring and First Nations Peoples across the globe are feeling a new sense of empowerment and the diverse cultures and peoples are re-energising, rising up in defense of our Mother Earth; knowing that unless this happens our Earth is finished. It is the combined energies of First Nations Peoples with non-Aboriginal supporters who can break the shackles of trans-national corporate globalisation, militarism, nuclear cycle and state sovereignty. First Nations Peoples are having to find ways of re-expressing the 'Voice of the People', which for too long has been silenced by the dominant powers and an obstructionist media outlets. Destruction of the Earth and genocide against First Nations Peoples have become accepted norms by dominant populations living in denial of the reality which surrounds them.

With establishment of the World Trade Organization through Free Trade Agreements and the corporatizing of governments, the territorial integrity, which nation states so desperately cherish and protect is now compromised. It is important to understand that Aboriginal Peoples, like the remainder of the nation state's population have never been consulted by the governments, to gain the peoples' free, prior and informed consent to have their country's territorial integrity compromised in the name of commerce and trade. This act by governments and those who participate in it is treasonous and a fraud against its population.

For each of the nation states to argue that the First Nations Peoples' claim of right through self-determination is a threat to their territorial integrity is an hypocrisy of monumental proportions.

[1]  UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 [xv]
[2]  UN Charter
[3]  UN General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entered in to force in Australia 23 March 1976
[4]  UN General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entered into force in Australia on 3 January 1976.
[6]  [Statement by Mr. Bill Barker on Behalf of the Australian Delegation. Nov. 21, 1995].
[7]  Martinez, M.A. 1999, Study on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and Indigenous populations, [sic = peoples], Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,
UN Doc E/CN.4/Sub.2/1999/20,22 June 1999 para 256.
[8]  Stavenhagen, R. 1966, 'Self-Determination: Right or demon?' in D. Clark & R. Williamson, (eds)., Self-Determination: International Perspectives,St Martin's Press, New York, 1, p. 8.
[9]  Promotion of the right to a democratic and equitable international order, E/CN.4/RES/2000/62, 27 April 2001, para. 3


'Collect Evidence' of the oppression and abuse

We are calling on our people and supporters to use their cameras and mobile phones to capture as many images as possible of the oppression our people are under and the abuse of police powers and send us the Evidence.

Image by Alex bainbridge
An iconic example of the evidence we need to collect

Go back up to top of page