Sacred Fire Survives

October 23, 2004

At 5pm today, peaceful protestor from around Australia joined Wiradjuri Elder, Neville Williams to take the Sacred Fire of Peace and Healing to the site office of Barrick Golds’Lake Cowal Gold Mine.

Neville Williams, on behalf of Mooka and Kalara United families, who have a native title claim over the mining lease, requested to perform a site inspection of the Lake Cowal mine and to walk the fire to a sacred site, where the sacred fire was burning for 18 months until May of 2004.

Entry onto the mine lease was denied by Barrick, police were called to extinguish the Sacred Fire. Despite repeated attempts with a dry chemical extinguisher, the flames of the Sacred Fire continued to burn.

“The ceremony is to Smoke Barrick and the mining lease to rid them of evil spirits.” Uncle Neville Williams said. “The fire and the Land go hand in hand. The spirits of the sacred fire will never be extinguished. Aboriginal Sovereignty has never been extinguished by invasion nor by time, and Aboriginal Sovereignty exists to this very day.”

Two women were arrested in a display of police brutality after fresh leaves were put on the Fire in the ancient smoking ceremony.

“Ït’s disgraceful that police would defend the interests of a foreign company over the legal and religious rights of Indigenous Australians,” said a concerned citizen, Tim Anderson.

“Under section 116 of the constitution, we have a right to religious freedom, the police actions today are a continuation of the Genocide against the Wiradjuri Nation, “ said youth worker, Terence King.

For more info:
Neville Williams
Chairman, Mooka Traditional Owners Council within the Wiradjuri Nation
Mob: 0416 316 774