Letters from the Indigenous Social Justice Association and MUA on the death of Ray Jackson

Uncle Ray Jackson. Photo: Peter Boyle.

Dear Indigenous Social Justice Association Sydney,

It is with great sad news that ISJA Sydney writes to inform you all of the passing of our Comrade Ray Jackson president and founder of the Indigenous Social Justice Association Sydney and long time socialist activist organiser for Aboriginal rights, justice for all deaths in custody and other social justice issues.

Last night, on April 23, Ray was found in bed by his granddaughter and it seems he died peacefully in his sleep after the regular ISJA meeting last night.

READ MORE: Wiradjuri warrior Ray Jackson has passed away

At this stage there are no further details we can offer. ISJA Sydney will continue the ISJA work in memory of Ray's legacy of helping the victims and their families and friends continue to organise the campaign to stop all deaths in custody; one of a number of lists that Ray held, and will keep you informed about any details and plans regarding our comrade Ray Jackson.

We do know that Ray has donated his body to the University of Sydney so there will be no burial, however, we have spoken a number of times of some kind of celebration. What that is, and how and when that will happen is yet to be planned.

What is clear is that the best way to remember comrade Ray who is still the first elected Aboriginal president and founder of ISJA Sydney in spirit is to put our differences aside and do what he would do. Unite to continue to help the families and the victims to organise the campaign and march on the streets to wage the fight to stop all deaths in custody and for all other social justice issues as that was one of his greatest wishes for those of us who worked with him and remember him.

God bless, love in struggle and Solidarity forever with our comrade Ray Jackson and his family and extended family both inside and outside of ISJA Sydney for Aboriginal sovereignty, treaty and social justice.


This letter was sent by the Maritime Union of Australia.

Comrade Ray Jackson has been at the forefront of the fight for justice not only of Aboriginal people but all of the marginalised and oppressed peoples. His dedication to the movement is unquestionable; with a grinding obstinacy in the face of a largely apathetic community, Ray sought to shine a blowtorch on the corrupt and morally bankrupt no matter what ignoble office they occupied or the undeserved nature of their power.

His courage showed contempt for the brutality that has been inflicted upon Aboriginal people, and demonstrated shortcomings in ourselves and our movement for failing our comrades past, present and future.

His fight against injustice was as tenacious and cutting edge as any of the current radical social justice leaders of our country, and he will leave an incredible hole in the global movement for peace and justice. Thankfully, the French recognised his contribution like many of the comrades who he supported and who stood alongside him understood.

His contempt for capitalism made its way into his deeply inciteful/insightful writings (with no hint of a capital anywhere!) These contributions will ensure that his fight is understood and continued by those whom remain committed to our fight. The MUA Sydney branch passes on our condolences to all those who love him and tell the world of our congratulations for a life of class struggle.

Solidarity forever. Vale comrade Ray Jackson.

Paul McAleer

Branch Secretary
Maritime Union of Australia
Sydney Branch

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