The shooting death of 19-year-old Warlpiri man, Kumanjayi Walker last Saturday in his bedroom has led to protests around the country including Lismore where 100 community members rallied calling for justice.
This Lismore rally is part of nation-wide protests condemning the racist police murder of a Warlpiri teenager and calling for justice and Aboriginal community control of policing. Simultaneous rallies occurred across the country including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, and Alice Springs.
According to rally organisers Kumunjayi was unarmed when he was shot three times in his bedroom in front of his family sparking national outrage and despair. Since his murder, there have been continuous protests in Yuendumu, Mparntwe/Alice Springs and across central desert communities including Lajamanu, Tennant Creek and Pukatja. Protesters are using slogans like ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘No Peace No Justice’, ‘Stop Police Brutality’ and ‘Justice For Walker’.
Senior Warlpiri Elder Jampinjimpa Ned Hargraves said, ‘We want to say thank you to all the towns and cities that are standing with us. We will keep fighting until we get justice. We will not stop. We are asking for the world, Australia and outside, to put this out. Everyone needs to see what Australia is. Australia is a racist country.’
‘Lismore is standing together as a unified people in solidarity for Kumanjai Walker and the Yuendumu community whose life was taken so young by an inexperienced police officer,’ said Cindy Roberts, organiser of Lismore’s rally.
‘This justice system is failing everybody today. We cannot allow this government and this law system to continue to do this to our young people. What if this was your kid? What if someone walked into your home and shot your child?
‘I ask all my brothers and sisters, no matter what nationality, to stand unified and let Yuendumu know that Lismore stands with them.’
The Northern Territory police officer, named as Constable Zachary Rolfe, who shot Kumanjayi Walker has now been charged with murder according to The Guardian. He has been granted bail in an out-of-session local court hearing sang will appear in Alice Springs on 19 December. He is currently suspended on pay.