FIVE police acting on the orders of WA Main Roads have evicted Aboriginal independence activist “Aunty Judith” from the Fremantle squat she’s declared is a consulate for the Stolen Generation.
Saying she does not consider herself Australian, she says, “by international law I have an inherent right to be here”.
Aunty Judith moved into the vacant High Street house two months ago, after WA Main Roads evicted tenants in anticipation of demolishing the property and widening the street as part of the controversial Perth Freight Link.
Following delays with the project, Main Roads wants to temporarily rent the property and on Monday gave Aunty Judith 24 hours’ eviction notice.
“Main Roads wants someone to sign an agreement so they can live in their house,” she says.
“But when white people came here no-one signed an agreement with the Aboriginals so they could take our land.
“I grew up in Mosman Park, I could see the East Fremantle tennis courts from my home. This is the land of my mother and my grandmother.”
Aunty Judith plans to fight her eviction in court, noting a number of homes across Australia have been established as Aboriginal consulates.
“It has been working. A home in Sydney with the same sign on the door hasn’t been evicted for 10 years,” she says.
“We are now trying to sign an international treaty to be recognised in places like the UN.
“I don’t see myself as Australian. Like Spanish people have their embassy in Canberra, we also need our consulate.
“The white Australia policy is still going, this is historical,” she says. “It feels scary but it doesn’t feel wrong. If it felt wrong I wouldn’t do it.
“Do I have to go to another country to get a little bit of peace and respite?”
by MARTA PASCUAL JUANOLA