Supporting “Black lives matter” thousands of people have been protesting in Australia, inspired by the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, U.S. last week.
Rallies in Australia are also about the long going mistreatment and marginalization of Australian Aboriginal people. Protestors in Sydney were ready to resist an order but it was overturned by a court appeal at the last moment. The New South Wales Supreme Court ruled against the protest holding on Friday under the social distancing rules in place due to coronavirus.
The mass protests are being seen in Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and many other Australian cities.
Banners saying “Black lives matter”, “I can’t breathe” and “Same story different soil” are the voice of protestors.
New South Wales Police Minister David Elliott said regarding the protest cancellation in Sydney, “Freedom of speech isn’t as free as we would like it to be at the moment. Rules at the moment are clear.”
Why is Australia protesting? Not just in solidarity, enough indigenous deaths.
To some it may feel Australia is protesting just in solidarity. But it is actually seizing in the US protests, because Australia too has a history of lot many indigenous deaths, and people have had enough.
According to Committee to Defend Black Rights in 1987, one indigenous person in Australia was dying in custody every 11 days. This led to a royal commission investigate into this, finally pronouncing in 1991 the widespread incarceration of Aboriginal people and provided the circumstances around 99 deaths. Apart from further recommendations, nothing much was done in this relation, leading to massive uproar and disapproval in people against the government. The Guardian reports that since the report in 1991 almost 432 indigenous Australians have died while in custody.
Protests have been long going at various episodes against the death of indigenous Australians, asking for action against the police officers responsible. But the lack of government’s actions in the required direction have led the fury rise.
The recent protests in US post George Floyd’s death in police custody has infuriated the people like never before. The mass protests are spreading across nations and Australia is witnessing massive rallies in support of the targeted communities.