Aboriginal students rally for justice



CANBERRA — "No reconciliation without justice", demanded protesters at a July 1 rally and march on Parliament House organised by the Indigenous Students' Network.

The protesters called on the government to:

ldeliver real land rights;

lapologise to the stolen generations;

lend black deaths in custody; and

lend mandatory sentencing.

The 400-strong rally, which included indigenous and non-indigenous students, began at the Aboriginal tent embassy outside the old Parliament House. Organisers of the embassy and Aboriginal elders addressed the crowd, urging them to "re-ignite the fight" for land rights.

With cries of "Always was, always will be — Aboriginal land!", protesters marched to new Parliament House, the first time any protesters have marched up to its doors since the trade union rally of August 19, 1996.

The ISN's NSW convenor, Renee Williamson, told the crowd that young people wanted to make demands directly on the government and not through bodies like the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

ISN member Corrie Hodson urged an escalation of indigenous struggle through protests at the October Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Brisbane. This will be the next national mobilisation of the ISN.