Protesters chanted and covered the windows of the NSW Supreme Court in red ochre to rally against the verdict handed to a man who killed West Australian teenager Elijah Doughty. The 14-year-old boy was fatally run over in Kalgoorlie in 2016, and on Friday a man was sentenced to three years in jail for dangerous driving occasioning death.
He was found not guilty of the more serious charge of manslaughter.
The decision was an injustice according to Indigenous elders and has left many angry and disappointed.
Wiradjuri elder and activist Jenny Munro said Indigenous children were being “picked off at random”.
“Does this not resonate with everyone across the country?
“Is there not a deep feeling of unease in everyone’s heart?”
Ms Munro said there has been no justice for Elijah and his family.
“Three years for the life of a young man who will never walk, talk, breathe or sing or make babies for his mother.
“How many young people have to be sacrificed at this alter of racism in this country before it is recognised for what it is?”
Shawn Harris, the uncle of Ms Dhu, who died in police custody in 2014, was also present at the demonstration.
A coroner found the death of Ms Dhu to be preventable if simple antibiotics had been given.
“My niece died by racism, as did this poor young boy, Elijah,” Mr Harris said.
“A 14-year-old black child was blatantly run over. This is what we are up against over there [in Western Australia].
“Kalgoorlie is one of the most racist places in Australia.”
‘Wake up Australia’
Harry Holbrook attended the rally as he was disgusted to hear about the sentence handed down on Friday.
“Black lives in this country don’t seem to matter to people,” he said.
“White people think they can just kill them.
“Non-Indigenous people need to stand up and do something about this.”
Bianca Flemming also attended as she was concerned about her children’s future.
“My children are Indigenous and to think they’re growing up in a system that doesn’t even recognise them, that won’t even give them justice is a very scary thing,” she said.
“In any other situation, if it was an Indigenous man who ran over a white boy, he would be charged with manslaughter, minimum.”
“Wake up Australia and realise that this is wrong.”
Hip-hop duo A.B Original used their set at Splendour in The Grass on the weekend to call for justice for Elijah, showing an image of the boy throughout their performance.
“This show’s for him. We’re going to represent, because we can do better,” band member Briggs said.
A group also rallied at the Supreme Court of South Australia today and another protest will take place at the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday.
By Paige Cockburn