PR 4 THE PPL was with the crowds for the Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney this weekend.
Chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police”, close to 2,000 people brought the centre of Sydney to a standstill on Saturday afternoon as local activist groups came together to give their support to the Black Lives Matter movement while highlighting police violence against Australia’s local Indigenous population.
The crowd had gathered outside Sydney Town Hall earlier in the day to hear speeches from Indigenous elders as well as members of the African-American and Caribbean communities before marching to the US Consulate at nearby Martin Place.
Musician Birrugan Dunn-Velasco – who plays in an Indigenous band called Dispossessed – told the gathered crowd in an impassioned speech that there were clear links between the police brutality suffered by Indigenous people in Australia and the black and Latino communities in America.
“It is the same internationally due to the scourge of colonialism,” Mr Dunn-Velasco, a Gumbaynggirr activist, said.
“We have lost languages, we have lost people, we have lost cultures to it. And I for one will not apologise for standing proud and for saying: ‘No, I will not accept this’.”
Indigenous Australians comprise more than a quarter of Australia’s prison population despite only making up only 3 per cent of the country’s total population. Their risk of imprisonment is 13 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians.
One protestor, who gave his name as Andrew, said he came to the event to help celebrate the importance of all life.
“So when black lives don’t matter, they diminish life as a whole,” he said.
“So we need to come together to find the good people regardless of background, race, denomination, [or] sexuality. To let people know that the colour of your skin does not dictate how important you are.”
Another female protestor said it was important to fight back against racism before it was too late.
“What is happening in America is really not good,” she said. “Racism sucks. I am just here to support basically. Black Lives Matter – that’s right.”
* ORIGINALLY FILMED FOR RUPTLY / RT NEWS