Today the Executive of the Australian Services Union NSW & ACT Branch unanimously moved the following resolution acknowledging Reconciliation Week and stating our support for the Black Lives Matter movement.The resolution was moved by Julie Perkins, Chair of the ASU Aboriginal Services Subdivision.
Today is the final day of Reconciliation Week in Australia.
Today, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement in the United States.
Celeste Liddle is an Arrernte woman and union organiser who wrote in the Guardian this week;
Global solidarity for the lives of black people and the fight against institutional racism is so incredibly important. It’s in this solidarity and exchange that we find the strength to continue challenging in the hope that this never happens again. I only wish that while Australia is looking abroad for reasons why it should care, it would spend a bit of time ensuring that things change on this soil as well.
In 1991 we had a Royal Commission in to Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The majority of the recommendations have never been implemented. 432 Indigenous Australians have died in custody since 1991.
In 2015, 26-year-old David Dungay, a Dunghutti man said “I can’t breathe” 12 times before he was killed while being restrained by five prison guards because he refused to stop eating biscuits.
Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults make up around 2% of the national population, they constitute 27% of the national prison population.
First Nations women are 21 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous women.
We need genuine reconciliation and justice.
Black Lives Matter.
Chair of the ASU Aboriginal Services Division Julie Perkins with Uncle Herb and Aunty Jannay at Grafton’s Black Lives Matter rally.