Justice for Mulrinji march on parliament

Justice for Mulrinji" march on parliament
by Paul Benedek

Brisbane - Up to fifty people - including the brother of Cameron Doomadgee (Mulrinji), representatives from Australians for Native Title And Reconciliation, the Greens, the Democrats and Socialist Alliance, and many from the Murri community - gathered on October 5 at Jagera Hall to plan a march on State Parliament demanding justice for Palm Islander Mulrinji, killed in police custody in November 2004.

"We will be presenting petitions from people in Townsville, Palm Island, Doomadgee, Cairns, Rockhampton and Mount Isa, and have people from all those places coming down for October 10 [the opening day of parliament on which the rally is occuring]," Murri leader Sam Watson told the meeting.

Mulrinji's brother, Alec Doomadgee, who was present with his two young daughters, urged the meeting to "bring your cousin, your mother, your friend - next time it could be you or your family member who is killed." Doomadgee told the meeting "My brother was fit when he went in [to the police station] that day. If you are human, and have a heart, whatever your colour, you know that this man was killed - its time to stand up and be counted."

Watson told the meeting that "Any other public servant who had in the same circumstance would have been sacked or suspended, while Hurley [the officer found responsible for the death of Mulrinji in the coroners report] was promoted and transferred to a cushy position on the Gold Coast." Commenting on the decision to keep Hurley employed, in the face of the coroner's damning findings, in a desk position, Watson said: "we pay taxes everyday - I get no peace knowing that he is still drawing a salary on our sweat and blood."

The petition to be presented demands that the State Parliament " instruct the Police Commissioner to terminate the employment of Senior Sergeant Hurley forthwith and provide every support and assistance to the Director of Public Prosecutions to finalize her assessment of the Coroner’s findings so that criminal charges may be brought against certain parties who were responsible for the unlawful killing of Mulrunjie."

The rally will begin at 10am on October 10 at Queens Park, and then march to State Parliament to deliver the petitions. Simultaneously, Socialist Alliance branches and other supporters of Aboriginal rights are organising pickets at Queensland Tourism Bureaus around Australia. For information, call Sam Watson: 0401 227 443.