Quick hit: Rally held in Sydney to protest police violence against Indigenous community

Over the weekend, Sydney police shot two Indigenous men in an attempt to stop them from stealing a car. One of the men is not a man – he is fourteen years old. The two men are in hospital in a “critical but stable condition.”

There’s also video of one of the officers dragging and punching one of the men after arresting him.Today, a few hundred people gathered in the centre of Sydney to protest the shooting.

The Indigenous Social Justice Association responded by organising the protest on Macquarie Street

Aboriginal activist Graham Merritt accused Sydney police of racism.

“It’s time to stand up all you young fellas and be counted. Don’t let this happen to you any more,” he said.

A large group of teenagers were among the 150 people protesting.
The teens cursed the police, especially the officer captured on video, until Redfern community leaders calmed the group down.

Boxer Anthony Mundine was among those in the crowd. He stood back from the main protest, but says he wanted to show his support for the group after watching video of the incident.

“I feel that it’s brutality at it’s best. Who shoots teenage kids, unarmed teenage, cornered, trapped, ready to be arrested?” he said.

“There is no justification for just to open fire like that, point blank range, and furthermore bash them, as they were shot.

“I saw the bloke and it just broke my heart to be honest. It really broke my heart. Fighting for his life you know?”

The state Premier has announced an inquiry, but Indigenous rights activists are calling for an external investigation, saying that it’s not sufficient for the police to be investigating themselves.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/tariq/ daria

    the images of this incident are horrific. i do not see how anyone can justify shooting 2 kids who have surrendered, pulling the critically injured child out of the car and then beating them while they lie in a pool of their own blood. one of them apparently died twice whilst in care.
    the dialogue surrounding this by the right and small-l liberals is also rather heinous. things like they diserved it, too bad they missed- would have been one less abo, dole bludging parents and all that. it is blatantly racist and classist. also among them are those denouncing this crime as race related. the police have a history of brutalising ATSI people and they apparently “recognised” the people in the car. how is it not race related?
    and then there is the less than helpful contribution of Mick Mundine who made it clear that this was in no way related to Redfern as if that made it any less of an attack on the community and it seemed as if he was trying to divert anger and stop a riot. (rich, white) people hold him up as a community leader but the indigenous community dont seem to like him much. a riot is in order i think. the Greens didnt have anything useful to say. apparently the sentiments expressed by some at the rally were not “helpful”. i think the speaker meant the seething hatred towards the cops.
    the rally was good and angry. there were a lot of young people there chanting “ftp”(fuck the police) and wearing shirts reading “please dont shoot me” & “i’m not a target”. the police had the sense to hide around the corner instead of coming near the protest like they usually do.

  • http://feministing.com/members/montenegro/ Monte

    I’m not sure that this article quite covers the the whole story. Unnecessary force seems to have been administered yes, but according to reports, the people who were driving the vehicle were endangering innocent lives. Let’s not forget that police are here to protect us. It is their entire job to take care of the general public, and they are people too, vulnerable to emotion, passion and misrepresentation.