City News

Tent embassy tension rises

 

Residents of the long standing tent embassy on Eveleigh Street in Redfern were issued an eviction notice at 3pm on Friday Feb. 20.

The occupants of the site were given until Monday morning to pack their things and move on but refused to comply.

Over the weekend, word spread on social media urging concerned members of the public to join in solidarity with the residents and camp until police arrived to conduct the forced evictions.

Jenny Munro, a spokesperson for the embassy said that she believed the timing of the eviction notice was intended to prevent the possibility of any legal blocking.

The CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Company, Michael Mundine, lays a legal claim on the land and has intentions to redevelop are repurpose it for housing and commercial use.

Mundine told Fairfax Media that it was “private land” and that the occupants were “trespassing”.

The protestors are sceptical of Mundine’s pledge that the proposed $70 million development will be allocated to the Aboriginal community and have occupied the site since Sorry Day last May.

Both parties agreed to discuss the situation Tuesday, but Mundine was reportedly deterred by the heavy media presence that arrived with the embassy delegates and rescheduled the meeting for Friday Feb. 27.

The new meeting time has not been accepted by the protestors as a temporary reprieve. They say that they still expect that police could move in at any.

“They will have to move us physically,” Munro said.

“It should be our people housed first, not last. Mick is effectively dispossessing us again.”

“His statement … that this is private land, not Aboriginal land, is the biggest insult you can give to Aboriginal people.”