An NT Ceasefire Campaign Is Demanding Police Keep Guns Out Of Remote Indigenous Communities
“Police carrying guns causes fear in our remote communities. We cannot accept that anymore.”
A Northern Territory community is once again pushing for police guns to be banned following the acquittal of an officer in the death of Kumanjayi Walker.
Senior elders, families, and community members from the Warlpiri Nation have started a Karrinjarla Muwajarri: a ceasefire campaign ahead of a coronial inquest into Walker’s death in September after the 19-year-old was fatally shot by Constable Zachary Rolfe in 2019.
“Since the end of the trial and the acquittal of Rolfe in March 2022, we are feeling a new momentum driven by our grief and anger toward such unjust outcomes,” read a statement for a corresponding fundraiser.
The activists are demanding justice for deaths in custody at the hands of police, an end to the use of police guns in remote communities, funding for community-controlled services, and the end to 15 years of Northern Territory Intervention measures.
It follows a series of protests on Saturday during a National Day of Action, with participation in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Alice Springs, and on the main stage of the Malandarri Festival in the northernmost part of the territory.
In May, Northern Territory Police Minister Nicole Manison announced that over $10 million would be allocated to station additional police officers and Aboriginal liaison officers in regional and remote areas, a mere two months after Rolfe’s trial.
“Police carrying guns causes fear in our remote communities,” said Walpiri elder from Yuendumu, Ned Jampijinpa Hargraves in a statement. “We cannot accept that anymore. We don’t want to feel terrified in our own ngurra, our own home.”
“This is not only for Warlpiri people, this is for everyone,” said Hargraves. “For all our First Nations peoples, our Warrmala, it is time for us to stand together. To all the organisations, groups, and supporters, we thank you. The police must put down their weapons.”