Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance protest Melbourne State Library Saturday 30 July.
Protest shuts down Melbourne intersection report http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/protest-against-abuse-of-children-in-detention-shuts-down-melbourne-intersection-20160730-gqhfxr.html
No surprises in abuse of Indigenous children https://redflag.org.au/node/5412
radio 3CR reports http://www.3cr.org.au/news/handsoffaboriginalkids
1. Stan Grant: “How can I stand here and speak to the idea of our place in an indissoluble Commonwealth when this week my people have been reminded that our place is so often behind this nation’s bars,” Grant said, beginning to shake slightly, with moistened eyes.
“This week we know what Australia looks like. This week Australia is a boy in a hood in a cell. This week Australia is Aboriginal boys tear gassed, locked down and beaten. These are the images on our television screens. The boys who look like my boys.”
Stan Grant delivers fiery speech on Indigenous rights in wake of abuse scandal.
Grant called instead for a truth and conciliation commission, a “full reckoning of our nation’s past, that may set loose the chains of history that bind this country’s first and, today, most miserably impoverished people”.
2. Is Commissioner Martin to look into his legal judgements in the NT? https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/28/nt-juvenile-detention-abuse-royal-commissioner-needs-no-introduction-to-black-territorians/
Brian Ross Martin is wrong: Supreme Court has dealt with Dylan Voller’s abuse before.
Pat Dodson https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jul/27/pat-dodson-urges-turnbull-to-include-all-states-in-detention-royal-commission
Turnbull sends message to Aboriginal Australia by appointing Brian Martin QC
Update1 August: Cm Brian Martin resigns.
Report in May 2015 NT juvenile detention system failure, unhealthy incompetent punitive and in crisis
How much have we learnt since RC into aboriginal deaths in custody
Ken Canning: “A royal commission? Not good enough Turnbull. People have been screaming for the past five years about the Don Dale detention centre and your government and the Labor government have chosen to ignore this pure evil. You not only ignored it, you let it fester.
You either knew and thus are complicit, or you did not know and are simply not fit to govern. You cannot get out of this one with a slippery smile, Turnbull.
A Royal Commission? What a joke! You have all the evidence you need; it shocked a whole nation. Predominantly First Nations children are being brutalised by a system you let continue in your pretence of ignorance.
The evidence is there. Sack everyone in Corrective Services in the Northern Territory. Those who did not actually do anything would have known of these practices and allowed it to happen.
Sack the NT government and while you are at it, sweep the federal parliament of the rubbish currently holding seats of power who sat by and watched while our kids were being tortured.
This is an international disgrace and this country should be dragged before the United Nations and stripped of its powers. The Australian government had its racist intervention into the NT so maybe its time for an international intervention into Australia?
Put simply the Coalition and Labor have lost the ability to govern.https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/62257
3. How the Northern Territory became Australia’s shame. The dark heart of Australia’s race relations has been exposed. Former Darwin local Damien Murphy reflects on how we got here.
‘The Northern and Central Land councils and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT say they are bitterly disappointed that the Prime Minister ignored their request to be consulted about the terms of reference and utterly reject Martin as royal commissioner.’
“Whoever has experienced the power and the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses his own sensations. Tyranny is habit; it has its own organic life; it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best man or woman to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate … the return of the human dignity, repentance and regeneration becomes almost impossible.”
Locking up Aboriginal people has become a form of tyranny in the territory. The per capita imprisonment rate of 843 per 100,000 is the highest in the world. (Australia’s national rate, based on 2014 figures, is 187). The territory easily eclipses the US imprisonment rate of 714. Read more here
Governments have ignored a new report exposing appalling rates of young Indigenous people in detention, writes Robert Milliken. But a new response is attracting growing support. http://insidestory.org.au/unlocking-indigenous-incarceration
Amnesty’s two-year research project found that Indigenous young people – those aged between ten and seventeen – are now twenty-six times more likely to be in detention than their non-Indigenous peers. Aboriginal people make up about 5 per cent of Australia’s population in this age group, but are almost twelve times that proportion among detainees. On an average night in 2013–14, 430 of the 724 detainees in that age group Australia-wide were Indigenous children.
The picture is even worse for Aboriginal children aged ten and eleven: they make up more than 60 per cent of that group’s detainees. And it is worse still for Indigenous youth as a whole in Western Australia. They are fifty-three times more likely to be locked in detention than non-Indigenous young people – more than twice the national average.
Amnesty has called on the federal government to override the Western Australian mandatory sentencing law, and the offending Queensland provisions, in Canberra’s capacity as the government responsible for enforcing Australia’s human rights obligations. It also wants Canberra to raise the age at which children in Australia are held criminally responsible from ten to twelve, the age the UN convention stipulates.
There seems little, if any, chance of such intervention.
5. The horrors of juvenile detention in the NT shocked Australia, but they are the inevitable result of a system that seeks to punish and to dominate rather than hand back control, writes Liam McLoughlin.
“It is two centuries of policy that brought us here,” writes Helen Razer. “If we permit ourselves to see this as anomalous or shocking and not as the very predictable outcome of ongoing institutional paternalism, then we permit ourselves to see nothing at all.”
It’s fair to say Australia’s 228-year history of invasion, dispossession, genocide, paternalism and institutionalised racism has much to do with the latest horrific evidence of the callous disregard for Aboriginal lives.
Yet responsibility for the torture of mostly Indigenous children at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre need not be so diffuse.
In 1991, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody emphasised the importance of self-determination:
“The thrust of this report is that elimination of disadvantage requires an end of domination and an empowerment of Aboriginal people; that control of their lives, of their communities must be returned to Aboriginal hands.”
Of the 339 recommendations, at least 19 tackled self-determination specifically, urging the full participation of Aboriginal communities in decisions about their future.
6. Don Dale is the tip of the iceberg
Mistreatment of vulnerable people in detention is commonplace throughout Australia
BY RUSSELL MARKS Thursday, 28th July 2016
The “rogue elements” explanation is a fantasy. Most members of the Territory’s governing Country Liberal Party – including Giles – voted in favour of legislation that authorised the use of mechanical restraint chairs in May this year. Complaints of serious child abuse have been made about the Territory’s youth justice system for years, but both territory and federal governments have refused to act – except by legislating even tougher and harsher responses to youth crime. The ABC has previously reported on the systematic abuse of Voller and other children, and the Northern Territory Child Commissioner completed a report into the abuses that was published last September. …
Almost all state, territory and federal governments for the past generation have supported increasingly “tough” measures to deal with criminal behaviour.
Longer prison sentences. Harsher prison conditions. Mandatory imprisonment for certain crimes. Revocation of parole. As a result, the incarcerated population of Australian states and territories has skyrocketed since the mid-1970s. The increase has been exponential, so most of it has happened in the last decade.
All other things being equal, prison (and youth detention) makes it slightly more likely that a person will re-offend upon their release. It is extraordinarily expensive to keep a person in custody – about $100,000 a year for adults, and up to $300,000 for children – especially when compared with other ways of dealing with criminal behaviour that have much more success in actually stopping it.
Adam Giles himself has been at the forefront of the Territory’s “tough” response to criminal behaviour. In 2010, he famously told parliament in Darwin that if he were corrections minister – which he now is – “I would build a big concrete hole and put all the bad criminals in there.” He went on: “What I do not understand is how we are soft, flaccid and incapable of punishing prisoners in our corrections system.”
The media has also played its part. ”’
Nelson Mandela, who spent 26 years in South African prisons under Apartheid, wrote “No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.”
Australia’s prisons are not those of a modern, democratic nation.
Our detention centres – for young people and for unlawful immigrants – increasingly resemble prisons. (Darwin’s Don Dale, despite being a juvenile justice centre, is officially known as a “maximum security prison” and is administered not by a human services department, as is the case in other states, but by the Territory’s department of corrections.)
Australia’s prisons are full of people with serious mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities.
Read more here
Earlier posts:I knew Elliott Johnston: ‘His work on the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody following his retirement from the Supreme Court. His commitment to equal justice for Indigenous Australians has a long history, including as first Chairperson of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement.
Despite Elliott’s work on the Royal Commission, equal justice remains elusive for many Indigenous Australians.
It is to be hoped that, sooner rather than later, the recommendations of the Royal Commission become established both in
law and in fact. That would be a fitting tribute to the work of Elliott
Johnston, a good man and a great Australian.’
When I was living in Darwin aborigines voted against the then ALP government that did little for their interests. They will again determine how much the current NT government and Chief Minister Giles survives the next election due soon.
Protesting the Howard Intervention into the NT http://chriswhiteonline.org/2009/11/intervention-walk-off-protest-house/