Dylan Voller Leads Protest March to Sydney Opera House

Dylan Voller, one of the victims of Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, led a protest march yesterday from the Supreme Court of NSW, through the CBD, to the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

About 300 people attended the rally, organized by the Grandmothers Against Removal (GMAR). Speakers spoke out against the ongoing and disproportionate removal of Aboriginal children from their families, abuse of Aboriginal children in detention and continuing Aboriginal deaths in custody.

The event came not long after the acquittal of Elijah Doughty's killer on manslaughter charges and on the third anniversary of Ms Dhu's death in a police watch house in Western Australia. It also coincided on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day.

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From the organisers:

"The lead up to this year’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day on August 4 has seen Elijah Doughty’s murderer get off so lightly that First Nations people across Australia have risen up against the colonial government’s racist disregard for children’s lives.

This disregard is also evidenced by the abuse, torture and injustice that accompanies the extreme, and growing, rates of incarceration of Aboriginal children by the criminal ‘justice’ system and removal from family and community by the child ‘protection’ system.

It is one year since Four Corners sparked a supposed national outrage against the horrific treatment of Dylan Voller and other kids like him at the hand of the state. But despite an ongoing Royal Commission in the NT, the abuses are getting worse. There are more children locked in solitary confinement in Don Dale than ever. Similar abuses have been exposed in juvenile prisons across the country in recent months, including here in NSW.

More than 16,000 Aboriginal children are currently in out of home ‘care’, many completely cut off from their family, land and culture."