Australia: Civil Rights for Aborigines

Australia's 40,000 full-blooded aborigines,* nearly half of whom live in isolated tribal groups in the Northern Territory, are "protected" by confused statutes restricting their movement, for bidding them to drink alcoholic beverages even if they remain sober and orderly, to own land or firearms, and to cohabit with white Australians.

Liberal-minded critics have long objected to these discriminatory laws. The boomerang-hurling aborigines, who still go naked in many areas, did not seem to mind cohabiting mostly with their own kind, but they took to drinking cleaning fluid and dissolved shoe polish. They also began demanding equal rights and...

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