21 Mar 2012 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Protest second intervention and deaths in custody on
UN day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Rally for Aboriginal Rights and self-determination on the
UN Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Stop Aboriginal deaths in custody - Justice for Terrance Briscoe and all victims - Independent Inquiry Now
Stop the Second NT Intervention - Withdraw 'Stronger Futures' legislation
Wednesday March 21
12:30pm at the office of NT Tourism
201 Sussex st Sydney
Nicole Watson, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning UTS, co-author ofListening but not Hearing, a new report on Stronger Futures
Ray Jackson, Indigenous Social Justice Association
Patricia Morton-Thomas, Aunty of Terrance Brisoce (phone link up from Alice Springs).
For the poster: please click here
March 21 will be the 52nd anniversary of the Sharpville massacre in South Africa, when scores of anti-Apartheid demonstrators were gunned down by police.
But while the Australian government will participate in 'harmony day' celebrations, its ongoing Intervention in the Northern Territory is creating conditions which closely resemble those of Apartheid. UN special rapporteurs on Indigenous and Human Rights have condemned the policy as racist.
Terrance Briscoe was a 28 year old Anmatjere man found dead in a police cell in Alice Springs at 2am on January 5.
He was picked up with a number of friends for being drunk at 9.30 the previous night and taken into "protective custody".One of the main recommendations of the Royal Commission was the decriminalisation of public drunkenness, but like most of its recommendations, this has been ignored and Aboriginal people continue to die in custody at the rate of one a month.
The testimony of two witnesses who were in custody with Mr Briscoe indicate that he may have stopped breathing while police were roughing him up at the police station. But despite widespread calls for an independent inquiry, including from Amnesty International and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, police continue to investigate police.
Oscar White told AAP that one officer pushed Mr Briscoe hard onto the ground and held him face down and sat on his back while other officers put their feet on him. He said Mr Briscoe struggled to breathe and a stitched cut above his eye was opened and began to bleed. "They were really rough, and they were laughing at the same time," White said. "They were making a mockery out of him. He was short of breath too, because he was actually really, really suffocated."
Mr White stated that Mr Briscoe was like a rag when police picked him up off the floor and dragged him to his cell.
Since the Intervention in the NT, Indigenous incarceration has increased by 40 per cent. But the government is pushing ahead with 'Stronger Futures in the NT' legislation which will only fuel the prison crisis. Increased penalties under 'Stronger Futures' could see people jailed for 6 months for having a single can of beer on Aboriginal land.
'Stronger Futures' will extend most Intervention powers for a further 10 years. It will expand income management around Australia, starting with Bankstown in Sydney and 4 other trial sites.
There has been an avalanche of opposition to Stronger Futures. A Senate inquiry has faced overwhelming opposition from community members and major stakeholder organisations and in just two weeks almost 30,000 people have joined an online campaign 'Stand for Freedom' demanding withdrawal of the legislation.
Join this rally at the NT Tourism offices to continue the fight for justice for Terrance Briscoe and withdrawal of Stronger Futures laws. While they promote the NT as an idyllic tourism destination, we will commemorate the Sharpville massacre and protest ongoing racism and segregation.
Sign the online petition against 'Stronger Futures' at www.standforfreedom.org.au
More info contact Paddy 0415 800 586 or http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/stronger-futures-legislation