Resistance condemns racist jailings
By Andy Gianniotis
BRISBANE — Resistance, the socialist youth group, has spoken out against the jailing of a 14-year-old Aboriginal woman in the Mackay watch-house.
The woman is the sister of an 11-year-old boy who was kept in the same watch-house last November, sparking outrage. At the time, the state Labor government said that the jailing of a child in an adult watch-house would never happen again.
Acting premier Jim Elder changed Labor's tune when the second jailing was revealed: "[Whether you're] 14, 30 or 60 years of age: don't break the law. That's the simple solution to this. If you don't break the law, you don't end up in trouble."
"Elder's comments reflect the casual racism of the Queensland Labor government. This is the government which tried to stop the Resistance high school walkout against racism, and has also fast-tracked the racist Century Zinc mine development", Sarah Cunningham, Resistance high school spokesperson, told Green Left Weekly.
Prisoners' Legal Service solicitor Karen Fletcher told Green Left that the jailing of people under 18 in Queensland watch-houses is quite common. "Seventeen-year-old men spend long stretches in adult male prisons. More than half of the young people in detention in Queensland are indigenous. Both young and indigenous people are victimised by the Queensland government's law and order policies", said Fletcher.