Shut Youth Prisons Rally - Justice for Tane

Photographs from a rally against ongoing Aboriginal Deaths In Custody - the latest of which was the death of 22-year old Tane Chatfield in Tamworth on the 20th of September, 2017. 

Around 150 people gathered yesterday outside the NSW Correctional Services centre in downtown Sydney to demand the closing of youth prisons as well as an investigation into and an immediate halt to all Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Tane's mother, Nioka Chatfield, his father Colin Chatfield and grandfather all spoke forcefully and emotionally.

The rally then marched to Surry Hills to the NSW Police headquarters where there were other speeches by Uncle Ken Canning, Doli Ufi, Elizabeth Jarrett, Kaleesha Morris, Padraic Gibson, Zachary Wone, and others.

The night's resounding chant: "They say accident, we say murder!"

*click on images for full screen view


Some moving words spoken by Tane Chatfield's grandfather at the rally:

“It is very hard for a grandfather to see his grandson die before he does. It’s supposed to be the grandfather, then the mothers, then the sons and daughters, then the grandchildren. My heart cries out for justice; my heart cries out for compassion. For each and every parent, brother and sister, mother and father, for the ones that gone before.

People, please don’t let your loved ones go to jail. Because they are not loved in jail. Be strong and stand together. All my grandchildren here, I would give the world for them. I love them with all my heart, me and my wife. But I can’t take her anywhere now, until this is finished.

But to see my grandson on a piece of paper that comes from a place where they’re sposed to look after him… they’re supposed to look after him—where is the justice in that?

Please don’t let your loved ones go to jail. Keep them close wrapped up in your arms. Keep compassion for one another, and love your children to death. Grab them and hold them and never ever, ever, ever let them go. I’ll never ever let my children go.”


And from Nioka Chatfield, the mother of Tane, "I nominate myself. I want to be the last Aboriginal mother crying for my child."