Black Lives Matter — 1 July 2020
Content Warning: Racism and White Supremacy, Police Brutality, First Nations Deaths in Custody
Hope Kuchel, Shanysa McConville and Jess Ferrari
In solidarity with the tragic murder of George Floyd whilst in police custody in Minneapolis, First Nations people enduring the Australian state occupation, coordinated protests to expose the parallels of police violence against their own people. Australia was founded on the racist genocide of First Nations people, and those structures are still evident within oppressive systems and institutions today.
Police brutality, overrepresentation in the criminal justice system and death in police custody are not uniquely an American problem, it is also a global problem experienced by Black people living in colonised states. Since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, there have been over 437 First Nations people die whilst in police custody, and not a single police officer in any Australian jurisdiction has ever been held accountable for the offence.
As long as police officers know that they are treated as protected species by their governments, their respective ministers, commissioners, and their fellow officers, that is how they will act. The harsh realities of Australia’s racist criminal justice system and the significance of policing powers are not removed from the Black Lives Matter movement, but rather are a global extension of its anti-racist agenda. The Indigenous Department and UMSU stand with the Black Lives Matter campaign and recognises that this is a historical moment where forms of discrimination towards the assemblages of Blackness globally are being exposed.