Aug 01, 2016 12:34PM

Protestors Rally Against Mistreatment Of Aboriginal Kids In The Wake Of Don Dale Abuse Video

#HandsOffAboriginalKids

Last week, Four Corners ran an incredibly harrowing exposé on the mistreatment of Indigenous Australians in a Northern Territory youth detention facility. The footage showed numerous instances of extreme gross misconduct carried out against children by the guards at Don Dale Centre between 2014 and 2015.

Among the footage shown was the brutal victimisation of Dylan Voller, as well as the inhumane use of prolonged solitary confinement, tear-gas and shackles on Dylan and other children contained in the facility. It's some straight fucked up stuff, and it's been condemned by everyone from Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, to PM Malcolm Turnbull

Over the weekend, thousands of people gathered across the nation to protest the abuse, with the hashtag #HandsOffAboriginalKids trending almost immediately. Organised by the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, speakers in Sydney called for an immediate end to children in detention, while Aboriginal tent embassy founder Jenny Munro gave a moving speech in which she called for heightened government accountability. She said: "You can see once again how vulnerable our people are at the hands of the state. We need to understand the deep north and deep west of this country. The racism in the territory and in the west is in your face every day."

She also raised concerns over whether the proposed royal commission would actually lead to change. "If we could see some action, some real, fair and just action taken, that would certainly allay some concerns. But most of our people know that that's not going to be the case. We had a royal commission over two years ago, where not one person was charged."

 

Over 1,000 people gathered in Melbourne to peacefully rally for the closure of Don Dale. In a seriously top notch effort, around 100 of the protestors stayed well into the early hours of the morning for a sit-in, shutting down one of the CBD's busiest intersections until they were removed by police at around 2am.

The investigation has copped international condemnation, with The United Nations High Commissioner For Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Husseein, urging the Turnbull government to expand the scope of the inquiry "in order to establish that such appalling treatment is not taking place in any other place of detention in Australia". Or maybe just don't lock children up in the first place?

Photo: @gnuchris

Madeleine Woon