Groups show solidarity with indigenous people, call for halt to mining
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After nine weeks walking through rain, wind and dust across a big chunk of Australia, 50 protest marchers arrived in Perth to call for an end to uranium mining in Australia.
“Footprints for Peace have organized international walks against uranium mining for seven years. On each walk we hear the same stories about the broken promises from the nuclear industry. said march coordinator Marcus Atkinson. “This industry … divides communities and leaves people uncertain and afraid about the future.”
The group has been walking in solidarity with the Traditional Custodians of the Wiluna and Yeelirrie areas where uranium mines have been proposed; many are opposed to the mines but have no legal recourse.
Bilbo Taylor, spokesperson for Walk Away from Uranium Mining, said, “Although we are walking into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, this is not about the Queen or any other heads of government, this is about common people from around the world who have walked together with the indigenous peoples of this land in respect for their sovereign rights, and with a simple message ‘Irati Wanti – uranium, leave it in the ground ”
Jocelyn Peyret, from the Resau Sortir du Nucleaire– an anti-nuclear federation of 915 organisation and 54,109 individual members, has been with the walk since the beginning. He has witnessed the way the nuclear industry works both in France and Australia.
“We support the indigenous people in their fight because it’s the same in France,” Peyret said. “They arrive with a lot of money and promises of jobs, but when they’re done, they just leave problems. It’s the same fight. The nuclear industry take’s your land and your future”
“For an indigenous person of North America, it simply means no more exploitation and colonization,” said
Ammon Russell, an indigenous person from the Dine/Navajo reservation in Arizona. “Australians can begin by simply respecting what the original caretakers of this land maintained in culture, language and belief systems.”