Slam pour Lex Wolton Australie 2009

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Police Target Lex Wotton Benefit Gig

media release 23/3/09
Lex Wotton est co-auteur avec B. Glowczewski de Guerriers pour la Paix, 2008, Indigène Editions
On Saturday night 21st of March two arrests were made following police harassment of a Palm Island Indigenous man leaving a benefit gig held to support Lex Wotton’s family. Lex Wotton is currently serving a six year jail sentence for his part in a community protest in response to the cover-up of the death in custody of fellow Palm Island resident Mulrunji Doomadgee in November 2004.
The gig was an alcohol free all ages live music event held as part of regular Saturday night activities at Blackstar Coffee Roastery in West End, none of which previously had attracted any police interest.
« From the start of the benefit gig, which included performances about black deaths in custody, uniformed police in unmarked cars patrolled the street, driving past at least five times before stationing two police cars and a police wagon at the end of the street. Despite no incidents at the event the police clearly expected to make arrests » said Robert Nicholas, one of the organisers from the Aboriginal Rights Coalition.
An Indigenous man from Palm Island who had attended the event was walking home when he was stopped at the end of the street by ten police officers who questioned why he was at the event. Several concerned people walked up the street and asked police why they were not letting the man go home, to which they replied that he needed an ‘escort’.
« We told them that one of us would walk home with him, and that he didn’t require a police escort or presence. At this point they started becoming very agitated and calling us ‘ignorant left-wingers’. The harassment was clearly politically motivated and meant to intimidate » said David Stone, one of the arrestees.
After further questioning the man was allowed to walk home. Our small group then attempted to go back to the gig but Owain Jones was stopped and police said they wanted to search him because his ‘backpack smelt like cannabis’. When he objected police threatened to take him to the police station. When asked why he was being searched police told us ‘walk away or be arrested’. Another man, David Stone, repeated the question and was grabbed by two police and arrested. When we protested that we hadn’t done anything wrong four police then wrestled an unresisting Owain Jones to the ground and violently held his arms behind his back.
It was only when a cameraman taping the Benefit Gig arrived to take footage of these two unprovoked arrests that one police officer yelled ‘camera, camera!’ and the other officers restraining the men stopped and escorted them inside the police wagon. A police search at the watchouse revealed nothing illegal on either person. Both were charged with ‘obstruction’ which they will be challenging in court.
These actions on behalf of Queensland police show the extreme abuse of the amended ‘police ‘move-on powers’ which allow police to enforce search directions and use ‘move-on’ directions to avoid scrutiny by the public. Their violent and antagonistic behaviour prior to there being a camera present demonstrate the lack of accountability for acts of intimidation based on the political motivations of some officers.
Witnesses and arrestees will be filing complaints regarding the harassment and abuse of police ‘move-on’ powers with the CMC.
Contact: Lauren Mellor (Aboriginal Rights Coalition) 0413 534 125
Thomas Day (Event Organiser, Blackstar Coffee) 0423 412 171

La discrimination créatrice d’identité ?

Politiques et minorités dans l’aire anglophone
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