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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the long march « Previous | |Next »
December 1, 2004

Michael Long is soothing his blistered feet in the Murray River at Albury whilst walking his way to Canberra to see the Prime Minister.


In Canberra Senator Ridgeway raised the issue of Aboriginal deaths in police custody, the recent race riots in Redfern and on Palm Island, off north Queensland, and the fact that black Australians go to jail at 15 times the rate of white Australians.

Ridgeway mentioned the death of Cameron Doomadgee. on Friday, November 19, at 11.20pm, Cameron, an Aborigine, was found dead in his Palm Island police cell an hour after he was locked up for "causing a public nuisance". Ridgeway said that: "He was walking along the street, drunk and singing, and an hour later he was dead from internal injuries." Doomadgee died, with four broken ribs, a punctured lung and a ruptured liver.

How come?

Two witnesses claimed the man had been "punched and beaten by police". The unreleased autopsy report said his death "was not the direct result of the use of force". I understand a second autopsy report is being done. We sure need one.

Aden Ridgeway puts this event in context. He says that:

"Indigenous people in this country are 15 times more likely to be imprisoned than anyone else in Australian society. Last year 75 per cent of deaths in custody of prisoners who were detained for no more than public order offences were indigenous Australians."

Michael Long has ended his walk from Melbourne to Canberra after the Prime Minister John Howard agreed to meet him to discuss Indigenous issues.

An account of government policy for indigenous people by Senator Kim Carr, Labor's spokesman on indigenous affairs and reconciliation.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:08 PM | | Comments (0)