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The march


It’s not moral of me to care about black deaths in custody. It’s not moral because I’ve known so many whose lives have been shattered by them. It’s not moral because I’ve stood beside those who’ve dedicated their lives to fighting against them. It’s not moral because I’ve written and shouted and screamed and cried and bled at them over and over and over.

It stopped being moral long ago. Now it’s deeply fucking personal.

I care with every torn fibre of my shredded heart for the unfathomable wounds ripped in our families and communities by the senseless slaughter of our brothers and sisters at the hands of the brutal terrorists of the colonial invaders. For the vilification of their memories by a pliant, police-friendly media looking for any reason they died other than “THEY WERE MURDERED BY FUCKING COPS!”. For subjecting grieving loved ones to the corrosive, corrupt costume drama that passes for ‘justice’ in Australia’s courtrooms in the full knowledge that no police or prison officer ever gets convicted of unlawful killing while on duty. Not murder, not manslaughter, not negligent homicide. Not even criminal assault. Not once in the history of this country.

I even care about what it does to police. About what complete impunity to murder your fellow human beings does to your heart. About what acting as an occupying army in your own land does to your soul. About what it means to be bound to a profoundly sick institution with chains of death and deceit.

And I care about what it’s done to me.
It’s personal.

So walking today was special.

The biggest deaths in custody rally I’ve ever attended. The biggest demo I’ve ever seen in Newcastle. Thousands of angry, peaceful people demanding change. And hundreds of thousands more in cities across the world.

I wish Uncle Ray had lived to see it. Today I walked with him too.

The crowd was mostly young. Over half the people were under half my age. Most activist are these days. And there were some powerful young speakers addressing the rally, especially some of the Koori women.

I shouted. I clapped. I cried. When the young lady with the bullhorn said the police should be abolished she raised a huge cheer from black and white, young and old alike. And I felt the faint stirrings of something old and unfamiliar that I thought had died long ago. Maybe I hoped a little. It was kind of scary.

But when I marched with the thousands of others who are fed up with the ritualised exoneration of the blue murderers in our midst and the certainty that their killings will continue until fundamental changes are made, I felt something even more special than hope. I felt like I belonged. Even though my blood has flowed in this Land for over 60,000 years that’s not something I often feel in Australia.

One Comment
  1. Police aren’t really racist. They’re just enforcing the unwritten laws against possession of offensive pigmentation.


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