Black supporters to wear Mulrinji wristbands at Hurley trial
Hundreds of Aborigines and community supporters will wear bright yellow wristbands (pictured above) to the Townsville court next Tuesday when they gather to observe the trial of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley who has been charged with the manslaughter and assault of Mulrunji Doomadgee in 2004 in the Palm Island watchhouse.
The wristbands are being worn to support the campaign for justice for all Aboriginal deaths in custody victims and as a direct counter to the decision by the Police Union to sell blue wristbands to raise funds for Hurley's legal costs.
"These wrist bands will be our way of showing the state police that we won't be intimidated nor silenced by police rallies and threats by police to march on state parliament," said Sam Watson, the national Socialist Alliance Indigenous spokesperson and endorsed senate candidate for Queensland. "We do not believe that it is appropriate that police should be allowed to wear those blue wrist bands in support of an officer charged over the brutal death of an innocent person who was in Hurley's custody when he died."
Mulrunji Doomadgee's death in the Palm island watch-house in 2004, led to a mass national campaign that culminated in two coronial inquests and a top level review of the Crown Prosecutor's decision not to charge Hurley over the death of Doomadgee.
"We will be at the court in strength to ensure that the jury and the witnesses will not feel intimidated or pressured by the huge police presence that has been promised by the authorities." Sam Watson said. "This matter must be decided on it's merits, and we call on those who are attempting to intimidate to step back and allow justice to prevail. The entire Aboriginal community and supporters of justice throughout Australia and the world will follow this trial very closely."
Hurley is the first officer to ever be charged over an Aboriginal death in custody in Queensland, and one of only a few cases in Australia. Where the police wristbands carry Hurley's badge number, the yellow "Justice Now!" bands carry the date of Mulrunji's death in police custody.
For information or interview, phone Sam Watson 0401 227 443 You can get your own band for $5 or $3 concession - for bulk orders of over 25 (we will accept $2 per band)at a Socialist alliance stall or from the Brisbane Activist Centre, 74b Wickham St, Fortitude Valley Ph: (07) 3139 1765; 3831 2644 Mob: 0410 629 088