This is a record of a supposed ‘native title’ meeting staged by the Australian iron ore mining company, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). It shows how FMG, its agents, a lawyer and an “opportunist splinter faction” tried to divide the local Yindjibarndi community in order to gain support for the company’s planned $8.5 billion Solomon Hub project, in the Pilbara region.
The video demonstrates the unscrupulous actions of a company trying to bully traditional owners into a land use ‘Agreement’ that will see massive disturbance of their land and swindle several generations of Yindjibarndi people.
The 28-minute video was originally hosted on the video hosting website Vimeo.com. However, after receiving roughly 12,000 views and widespread coverage on social media websites like Facebook, GetUp and Twitter, Vimeo deleted it.
Legal Counsel representing Vimeo then informed the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC), which represents the Yindjibarndi people, that Vimeo decided to remove the video “…after receiving correspondence from lawyers for Fortescue Metals Group and its CEO alleging that the video contained defamatory and misleading statements about them.” Vimeo’s Legal Counsel added that, “we take no position on whether any of the statements in the video are true or not. Rather, we have merely determined that the video could be subject of a defamation claim and, under Australian law, could subject Vimeo to liability.”
“It appears that FMG did not want to be identified for its role in gagging the video because this correspondence from Vimeo directly contradicts a statement made to Crikey by Fortescue spokesman, Cameron Morse, who said FMG has had no contact with Vimeo about the video,” said YAC in an April 13 press statement (PDF).
“FMG public relations people have also been busy trying to delete critical public comments on FMG’s Wikipedia site and the Generation One FaceBook page, which was flooded with dozens of complaints about FMG’s and Andrew Forrest’s conduct in the meeting,” the statement continues.
“If he wants to fight us online, he is going to get a shock. Money can’t buy the sort of help we are getting
from people around the world,” said Michael Woodley, CEO of the YAC, adding “And all these people want to take the stick to Twiggy and Fortescue Metals.”
The video is now hosted on Youtube until such time that YAC can find a secure streaming platform immune from outside interference.
On April 14, 2011, this counter video was uploaded to Youtube to discredit “FMG’s Great Native Title Swindle.” A a one page website has also been launched.
Michael Woodley, CEO Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation
0419 097 130
For background & research materials please visit: www.yindjibarndi.org.au
NB: Stills and video available on request.
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