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Protest, land rights and riots : postcolonial struggles in Australia in the 1980s
The 1970s saw the battle for Aboriginal people’s struggles for recognition of their postcolonial rights. Rural communities, where large Aboriginal populations lived, were in foment as a consequence of political, economic and major structural change, social fragmentation and unparalleled unemployment. The ensuing so-called riots, protests and law-and-order campaigns captured much of the tense relations that existed between Indigenous people, the police and the criminal justice system.
In Protest Land Rights and Riots, Barry Morris shows how those policies, informed by neoliberalism, targeted those who were least integrated socially and culturally and who enjoyed fewer legitimate economic opportunities.
Amidst intense political debate, struggle and conflict, new forces were unleashed as a post-settler colonial state grappled with its past. Morris captures the contradictory forces and provides a social analysis of the ensuing political effects of neoliberal policy and the way it was subsequently undermined by an emerging new political orthodoxy in the 1990s.