Thousands march in Brisbane over black deaths in custody

| 04.07,20. 07:18 PM |


Thousands march in Brisbane over black deaths in custody



Protesters have again taken to the streets of Brisbane's CBD to demand an end to black deaths in custody, with organisers saying they do not want people to "sleep" on the issue.

About 2,000 people, many wearing masks, gathered at King George Square before marching towards Musgrave Park in a largely peaceful demonstration calling for justice for Indigenous Australians and refugees.

One of the rally's organisers, Boe Spearim, a member of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, said it was important to continue the momentum almost a month after tens of thousands of people marched in one of the biggest demonstrations in the city's history.

"I don't think there's going to be tens of thousands people this weekend," he said.

"That's why it means more because the people who are coming to rallies today have been coming to these rallies for the last 30 to 40 years."

He said no police officer or prison guard had ever been convicted over an Aboriginal death in custody.

"We want justice for the families … and racism education tools in schools and universities," he said.

"We want to see formal changes."

Another speaker told the crowd: "Black lives don't just matter when they're trending, they matter every day."

The crowd chanted "shame" and some held up signs emblazoned with the words "no justice, no peace" and "say their names".

At one point during the march, a group of demonstrators set fire to an Australian flag.

Mr Spearim said handing out masks to those demonstrating had always been a priority amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We know our community would be the worst affected by this … it's sort of a double-edged blade when we come out marching for our rights," he said.

"Since June 6, we've done actions at prisons, we've done actions here in the city … we're going to continue the momentum, it's important that we don't let people sleep on this as the moment they sleep on this issue they forget about justice for Aboriginal people."

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