Marx21 stands in solidarity with our Australian comrades who were arrested while demanding justice for David Dungay Jnr, his family, and all First Nations people who have been oppressed and killed by the Australian state.
Despite taking all reasonable precautions to ensure that the protest on July 28 would be COVID safe, the protest was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court. However, the Dungay family refused to back down and an alternative protest was set to go forward in a local park with protesters adhering to all of the COVID restrictions, physically separated and not gathered in groups of more than 20.
Before the protest could even begin, Paddy Gibson, one of the organizers who has been working with the Dungay family for years, was arrested. Police shut down the protestors’ COVID safety table that was set to ensure people had access to masks and hand sanitizer. The small group of protesters that had gathered were then forced to leave by the police.
Over and over again, the Australian state, police and media reiterate the same narrative: that it is not safe to protest during a pandemic and that Black Lives Matter protests are putting the state of New South Wales population at risk. However, there has been no spread of the coronavirus at Black Lives Matter protests in Australia. Where there has been transmission is in workplaces, malls, and gyms—which are all open for business. Clearly, the pandemic is being used as a ploy to restrict the right protests and further repress Aboriginal peoples.
Marx21 stands in solidarity with the Dungay family, Paddy Gibson, and all those fighting for Black and Aboriginal lives in Australia!