Abuse of Indigenous youth has been in the headlines again recently in Australia.
Indigenous-led protests erupted swiftly with women playing
important leadership roles. Melbourne rally, 30 July, called by Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance.
In the Northern Territory, these young people are 97 percent of all kids in custody. In July, a current affairs show broadcast graphic footage of six teens at the Don Dale detention centre in Darwin being doused with 10 bursts of noxious tear gas in less than two minutes. In August, more abuse surfaced in a facility in Far North Queensland. Later that month, a 14-year-old was murdered in Kalgoorlie by a white vigilante who was charged only with manslaughter, provoking mass protests.
Protests are raging across the country. The Freedom Socialist Party and the Indigenous Social Justice Association, which the party helped found together with other activists, have been in the thick of protests in Melbourne. These have been led by First Nations women from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance and have attracted as many as 3,000 people.
FSP demands the scandalously overdue implementation of the 1991 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which included using imprisonment only as the last resort. We will not be satisfied with yet more enquiries, especially ones carried out by the very institutions responsible for the abuse. We call instead for elected civilian review boards accountable to communities to control cops and prison guards.