Protesters mark 15 years of the NT intervention, demand police in First Nations communities be disarmed

June 19, 2022

Protesters gathered at Sydney Town Hall on Gadigal land on June 18 to demand that police be prohibited from taking guns in to remote First Nations communities and for justice for Kumanjayi Walker, who was killed by police officer Zachary Rolfe in 2019.

Yuendumu woman Aunty Audrey, the grandmother of Kumanjayi Walker, addressed the protest, as did family members of others who had been killed in custody.

The protest marked 15 years since the Northern Territory Intervention, when the John Howard government suspended the Racial Discrimination Act and sent armed forces to the NT to seize control of and destroy First Nations communities.

The Melbourne leg of the national day of action attracted more than 150 people to the State Library. Protesters called for “ceasefire, no more police and no more guns in First Nations communities”. Organised by The Change: United Struggle Project, Abolish Cages and Borders, Solidarity Sound System, Wage Peace-Disrupt War and Peace in Papua, the protest marched down Swanston Street, chanting “No justice, No peace, Disarm the police”.

Warlpiri elder Ned Jampijinpa Hargraves, from Yuendumu where Kumanjayi Walker was shot, said police with guns only caused “fear”. “We cannot accept that anymore. We don't want to feel terrified in our own ngurra, our own home,” he told SBS News.

Yuendemu Elders are demanding an end to Black deaths in custody, to stop racism in the court system, end all discriminatory NT Intervention powers, and First Nations control of communities.

Photo: Peter Boyle
More than 300 people attended the powerful protest. Photo: Peter Boyle
Photo: Peter Boyle
Stop killing us. Photo: Peter Boyle
Yuendumu woman Aunty Audrey, the grandmother of Kumanjayi Walker, leads the march. Photo: Peter Boyle
Aunty Audrey with rally chair Lizzie Jarret. Photo: Peter Boyle
Photo: Peter Boyle
No killer cops! Power to communities. Photo: Peter Boyle
Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS
Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS
Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS
Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.