Aboriginal activist alleges threats on his life

Ghillar Mogila Ria

An Australian Aboriginal rights activist says he has received intelligence that there is a move to destroy him personally and the Aboriginal sovereignty movement in which he plays a large role.

Michael Ghillar Anderson, leader of the Euahlayi tribe of northwestern New South Wales, says he received the information as he met with tribal Elders. Aged 60, he is the last survivor of four young Black Power men who set up the “Aboriginal Embassy” outside the then Australian parliament building in Canberra in 1972.  

He has not stopped campaigning for Aboriginal rights ever since and is prominent in convening the 40th anniversary of the embassy on 26 January.


Anderson returned recently from research in London with a document that proves Queen Victoria ordered that the rights of Aborigines and their leaders were not to be tampered with. He says it strengthens Aboriginal rights to land, waters and all resources therein.  


“I am taking this intelligence seriously because of past incidents and threats,” he writes in a media release.


When he returned home in 1972 after setting up the embassy his mother and neighbours told him they had been receiving correspondence with words cut from magazines and pasted on foolscap paper “Shut your f……. son up and get him out of the Aboriginal movement or you will learn of the consequences” and “Tell your next door trouble-making black bastards to stop that Black Power man or you will feel the consequences”.


These letters were given to the Criminal Bureau of Investigation in Sydney who placed phone taps on his mother’s and the neighbour’s phones.


Prior to the letters coming, a steel bar was thrown through his mother’s ground-floor window in Sydney, piercing a mattress where Anderson was thought to have come home to stay.


“Within three weeks after this incident my mother and her Aboriginal neighbour’s houses were blown up in Surrey Hills and the blast shattered the windows for three blocks around. My mother and her neighbours were put under police watch and relocated to another suburb for the next twelve months.”


Anderson writes he was also threatened at a hotel in Sydney on the eve of going to an Aboriginal conference and the car he was travelling in almost killed him, two children and the driver; police investigation showed the brake lines had been cut.


“In another incident I was confronted by fellow Black Power colleagues, who told me I was no longer wanted at the Aboriginal Embassy.”


While at home in the outback for three weeks organising a cotton chippers strike he was told by relatives “to get out of the Tulla Dunna camp because my life was under threat. On the evening I relocated from my tent at the cotton chippers camp to their house in Wee Waa, the people on Tulla Dunna Reserve thought I was killed in my tent, because a 4WD had pulled up and two shot gun blasts were fired into the tent and the people said a white 4WD had sped off into the darkness”.


“The intelligence now coming out of Sydney suggests I need to be very careful during the Aboriginal Embassy 40th anniversary, because the source is saying that the threats to my safety are coming from the same group of people who attempted to cause injury and take my life previously.


“Recently my mother warned me that I need to be very well protected, because the government will find Aboriginal people to cause disruption to the sovereignty movement and threaten my life.


“I have a very good idea of where the trouble will come from, as police intelligence is aware of the threat to my life and the sovereignty movement and that the people involved will commence a campaign to first character assassinate me to win support to reject me, thereby nullifying the sovereignty movement, by creating enormous divisions; which would permit the Australian government to say publically: Aborigines will never come together as a united body to fight for their sovereign status.


“The Australian government knows what is at stake and will resort to any attempt to divide and conquer, because they know how easy it is to do so. They know that hate and jealousy within the oppressed people are so easy to promote and exploit.”


Michael Anderson can be contacted at 02 68296355 landline, 04272 92 492 mobile, 02 68296375 fax, ngurampaa@bigpond.com.au, ghillar29@gmail.com


See also The white-blindfold-view of Australian history    |      “We will not leave till justice, at long last, is done”    |    Aboriginal Tent Embassy to mark 40-year milestone    |    Video on hopes what the gathering will achieve    |    Apartheid's shadow turns Aboriginal kids off school    |    “Treasonous and fraudulent constitutional reforms