A campaign to deny Indigenous peoples a voice in Australia’s national Parliament is using tactics similar to an earlier conservative legal battle against First Nations communities in Canada, a new research paper argues. That’s no coincidence, according to the paper’s author Jeremy Walker, because think tanks linked to these efforts in Canada and Australia belong to a secretive U.S. organization called the Atlas Network that’s received support from oil, gas and coal companies and operates in nearly 100 countries. “The coordinated opposition to Indigenous constitutional recognition by the Australian arm of the Atlas Network we can assume is motivated by the same intentions underlying the permanent Atlas campaign against climate policy [globally],” writes Walker.
Earlier this year, news footage began making the rounds on social media of young activists from the German climate organization Letzte Generation (Last Generation) being assaulted by their fellow citizens as they obstructed streets in an effort to draw attention to the German government’s inaction on climate. A young woman, with her hand glued to a road was ripped off the road by her hair; a young man was run over by a truck driver; a passerby punched the protestors and was cheered on. A few months later, German police raided the homes of Last Generation activists and seized their bank accounts. It all seemed like a gross overreaction to a pretty tame form of protest.