Black Lives Matter - an Australian perspective

In the next 10 days, I will run 87km (including a 28km run) to raise money for the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, providing assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. They provide culturally-sensitive legal advice and representation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander West Australians, attempting to address social disadvantage.

87km total to commemorate the length of the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965, which led to the Voting Rights Act being passed. 28km to celebrate the 28th anniversary of Mabo Day, when Australia was no longer declared terra nullius. You can see my progress here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/9922692

Please also consider donating to a Black Lives Matter charity fund separately - I couldn't add one as a second charity unfortunately.

Why?
If you heard about a black man killed in police custody, your first thoughts would probably go to George Floyd, in Minneapolis, 2020. Would you think back to Selma, 1965, where African American Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot dead and fellow protestors and journalists were beaten to hospitalisation by state troopers? Would you think about Cameron Doomadgee, an apparently healthy Aboriginal man who died in his cell after being detained for allegedly causing a public nuisance in 2004? What about the 431 other documented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody?

But for those who believe it is the stereotype of Generation Z to be "woke" about systemic and societal issues - protests, donations and social campaigns are not futile. Society and legislation can change. Just yesterday was the 28th anniversary of Mabo Day where Torres Strait Islander Eddie Mabo overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius - that Australia was "nobody's land". The Selma March led to the Voting Rights Act being passed on 1965, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

Racism and stigmatisation is not isolated to 2020, or to the United States of America. It is not isolated to black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, or to women, or to the LGBTIQA+ community. It is everpresent, universal, and embedded into our society. Australia is not "a fair country", and silence is a choice. If we want to honour the courage and sacrifices of those who gave their lives, there is work to do for all. To people that participated in the viral ice bucket challenge, is it easier to film yourself throwing an ice-cold bucket of water over your head, or to forgo your next coffee or meal? Thank you for reading.

About me and disclosures:
I am a 21-year-old medical student from WA with no affiliations (personal, financial, or otherwise) to the chosen charity. I chose to run as it is a personal interest and to pay respects in my way to the civil rights leaders aforementioned.

Charity review pages:
https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity/26888d88e50c5b88c98ea67ff52e983d

References and further reading:
President Obama's speech at the 50th anniversary of Selma - https://time.com/3736357/barack-obama-selma-speech-transcript/

Timeline and details of the Selma - Montgomery March - https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/selma-montgomery-march

https://www.britannica.com/event/Selma-March/We-Shall-Overcome-LBJ-and-the-1965-Voting-Rights-Act

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/ng-interactive/2018/aug/28/deaths-inside-indigenous-australian-deaths-in-custody

The story of Eddie Mabo - https://iview.abc.net.au/show/mabo/video/DR1126Q001S00

Cameron Doomadgee - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-19/palm-island-community-still-struggling-after-death-in-custody/5901028

Other cases:
Ms Dhu - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-16/ms-dhu-inquest-coroner-slams-police-over-death-in-custody/8122898

Mr Dungay - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/22/david-dungay-inquest-guards-who-restrained-indigenous-man-before-he-died-wont-be-disciplined

Image source - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/02/australia-still-turns-a-blind-eye-to-aboriginal-people-dying-in-police-custody

Donations

  • Alex Montanari 
    • $25 
    • 19 d
  • Stefano Tudor 
    • $25 
    • 20 d
  • Tara Nelson 
    • $19 
    • 20 d
  • Amelia Perri 
    • $5 
    • 20 d
  • Jacob Raymond 
    • $25 
    • 20 d
See all

Organizer

Albert Qiu 
Organizer
Broadway Nedlands, WA
ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA INC 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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