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Rally for Justice for Mulrunji, noon, Wed Dec 20, Queens Park, Brisbane - prosecutor WON'T charge policeman who killed him

UPDATE: on Friday, January 26th, 2007, the Queensland Attorney-General announced that S/Sgt Chris Hurley will be charged with manslaughter over the death of Mulrunji.

Here are some pictures of the rally held in Brisbane on December 20th. WARNING: Mulrunji's nephews held signs with pictures of Mulrunji on them, so there are at least two photos with his picture.

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Click here for a news roundup of the Palm Island and Townsville rallies.

All these pictures are on flickr, the photo-sharing website, so if you click on a picture you can see it in different sizes, see a map showing exactly where each photo was taken and download the pictures - they are free to use as long as you credit this website.

Click here to see the set of my photos on flickr.

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You can also see seven photos from the rally here at FelixNavidad's flickr site.


Dave Riley of the Ratbag Radio Network has written a report on the rally - click here.


Margaret Wenham of the Courier-Mail reports that Alec Doomadgee, Mulrunji's brother, spoke at the Brisbane rally:

When the cousin of Mulrunji, Alec Doomadgee, took centre stage, the crowd roared their approval as he declared it was time for Aborigines to "stop playing the poor bugger me blackfella".

"Stand up and be counted," he shouted.

"It's time for us Aboriginal people to unite. We need to come together as an Aboriginal nation and stand up for our people ... and stop the injustices that have been happening for so long," he shouted.

Wenham also reports that Queensland Council for Civil Liberties VP Terry O'Gorman said:

"Day in and day ... ordinary citizens of this state have to go through to the agony of a jury verdict in cases prosecuted by the DPP where the evidence is 10 times weaker than the evidence appears with Mr Hurley."


Apparently, an Australian flag was burnt, and comedian Ernie Dingo was at the Brisbane rally.

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Poster on West End Traffic Light Pole - Dec 20 2006 Rally and March for Justice for Mulrunji, Queens Park to Queensland Parliament, Brisbane, Australia



If you are pleasant and friendly, and if you don't mind handing out some leaflets at the march to shoppers who are waiting for the march to pass them by on Wednesday, you could really help keep the Mulrunji story in the minds of the public.

I'm going to go up to shoppers and say "sorry to keep you waiting, we won't be long but this is really important, this explains what we're doing", and give them a leaflet. Will you join me?

If so, email me: djackmanson@gmail.com
Or turn up to the rally. I'll try and say something quickly, and I will be wearing a T-shirt with a big orange question mark. I'll probably be taking photographs.

Please pass this message on to anyone you think might help.

Online Petition - Dave Riley has organised an online petition - click here to see it on his blog.

You can sign the petition, or download it and collect signatures to take to the rally.

On Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, people will rally in Queens Park, Brisbane City, and march to Parliament House, to demand that Leanne Clare be dismissed, and replaced with someone who will act on the evidence in front of them. Click here for more details.



Queens Park is on the corner of George and Elizabeth St in the city.

Click on the map for a bigger view of Queen's Park and Parliament House in Brisbane City. Powered by Google Earth.



Thu Dec 14, approx 1300 Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) A brief TV ad for National Nine News says that Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley has got away with murder. He will not be charged, despite the coroner's report that names him as the killer of Aboriginal man Mulrunji.

Stay tuned for updates.


There is a planning meeting for the rally on SATURDAY, December 16th, 4pm at the Activist Centre, 74b Wickham St, Fortitude Valley.



All Aboriginal people and supporters are invited, to help prepare for and organise the rally and march. All hands needed!

1352 AEST - ABC online confirms Hurley will not be charged.

1405 AEST - I have sent this letter to the Courier-Mail. Please write a letter and send it too - the more they get, the more likely it is that a few will be printed.

SIR:

Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley should have been charged with murder for the death of Mulrunji, at Palm Island two years ago. Instead, he will not face court at all.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Leanne Clare, has failed in her duty, and should be dismissed for cause.

How can anyone, black or white, feel safe now if a rogue police officer decides to attack them? I hope all those officers who love justice will keep a very close eye indeed on Senior Sergeant Hurley.

You can send a letter to the Courier-Mail by clicking here.

1414 AEST - The Australian confirms that DPP Leanne Clare has held a media conference in Townsville and announced no charges will be laid.

Click here for all the background, and a report of the rally held on November 18th last, which demanded that Hurley be prosecuted. I especially like what Adrian Walker said about 'policing the police'.

1510 AEST - WARNING - the article I link to here has a large picture of Mulrunji at the top of the page - The Age has an article which explains DPP Leanne Clare's reasons for not putting S/Sgt Hurley in front of a jury.

An ad for tonight's National Nine News has shown video from Ms Clare's public meeting in Townsville where she said Hurley won't be charged. The video shows her walking away from the meeting while an Aboriginal woman calls out something like 'They think they are going to get away with it'.

1618 AEST - The Courier Mail has comments about the decisions here and here. Please go and comment - keep them passionate but cool. We need to convince the middling people that this really matters.

You can read the one-page statement from the DPP here. WARNING - She refuses to use the name 'Mulrunji', and instead calls him by the name which he had before he died. This is against the express wishes of Mulrunji's family.

I don't always belive in tribal traditions and taboos, but there is no reason to offend the family by not calling the murdered man 'Mulrunji'.

(It is a custom of some Australian aborigines to not use the names of the dead, nor look at pictures of them. 'Mulrunji' is the name that the family has asked people to use.)

The coroner's report, which names S/Sgt Hurley as Mulrunji's killer, is here.

1705 AEST - Queensland Premier Beattie has 'called for calm', while Mulrunji's sister "Valmai Aplin said she was devastated by the decision not to charge Snr Sgt Hurley".

Hurley will also face an internal Queensland Police investigation, which will no doubt overturn this horrible decision and make sure he faces justice (spot the deliberate mistake).

1733 AEST - Senator Andrew Bartlett's blog has mentioned the story:

It is pretty obvious what sort of message the residents of Palm Island – and Indigenous people throughout Queensland - will get from the DPP’s decision, particularly when it is combined with harsher sentences for those convicted of rioting in response to the flawed initial Coroner’s finding. Not to mention combining it with the history over more than a century of a justice system that has failed to protect Indigenous people.

1850 AEST - This is a recording of National Nine News Brisbane's story tonight about Mulrunji. WARNING - the story uses the name Mulrunji had before he was killed.

It was the lead story and took up the first 4 1/2 minutes of the program. You'll need Flash installed to listen to the story. Press play to listen:


powered by ODEO

1934 AEST - I have just spoken to Sam Watson, a local indigenous leader, who says there will be a rally next Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, at midday in Queens Park, Brisbane City, marching to Parliament House. The rally will demand that Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare be dismissed immediately, because she has compromised the integrity of her office, which will cause enormous damage to the confidence of the Queensland community in the DPP.

Of Premier Beattie's call to 'respect the umpire's decision', Watson said 'this is not a game of cricket, its about the death in custody of an Aboriginal man'. He also challenged Ms Clare's claim that criminal responsibility could not be proved, saying that a 'first year law student' could obtain a conviction on the evidence gathered by the two coronial enquiries.

Speaking on ABC news tonight, Sam Watson said that when an indigenous person is arrested in Queensland, there is an 'even money chance' that he or she will be killed or assaulted.

There will be a petition to sack Ms Clare available online by Saturday. Link will be provided ASAP.

2123 AEST - WARNING - both links here use Mulrunji's name from before his death - Ken Parish at Club Troppo has written an article about today's decision. He has also quoted fom an online essay by Chloe Hooper called The Tall Man, from the Monthly magazine, about Mulrunji's death.

2258 AEST - WARNING - the first link (to The Spin Starts Here) refers to the surname Mulrunji had before his death.

The Spin Starts Here takes a cynical view of the Mulrunji decision:

In a tragic sequence of events, Mulrunji managed to split his own liver in two, rupture his own spleen and break four of his own ribs and pull Sgt Hurley down on top of him and propel the 201 cm tall policeman’s elbow repeatedly into himself several times, during a sixty minute orgy of self-violence...Generously, the Queensland DPP will not be posthumously charging Mulrunji with public nuisance.

LiveJournaler drjon (Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!) has also mentioned the story today - in fact, he has mentioned it twice.

2319 AEST - WARNING - There is a picture of Mulrunji, and his surname is used, in the first link to The Stupid News.

Marty at The Stupid News says:

I would not want to be a cop on Palm Island when the locals find out about this. Not for all tea in China.

Actually, come to think of it, those guys will probably have a ball. After all, they now have confirmation that they can kill black guys without fear of prosecution.


and MikQ at Think - Act - Think Again says that the decision is Just. Plain. Disgraceful.

0125 AEST 15 Dec - Mark Bahnisch at Larvatus Prodeo has posted an article about the Mulrunji story, and also wrote an article about the coroner's findings last October.

Captainflux has replied to drjon's LiveJournal post.

And there are 9 comments about this article at Melbourne Indymedia.

The Courier Mail has a story about how Mulrunji's fmaily have taken the news:

"When we heard the decision we just broke down and cried," Ms Aplin [Mulrunji's sister] said. "We feel like we're being treated like animals . . . we are just lost."

Meanwhile, the same article reports that lawyer Glen Cranny says his client, Snr-Sgt Hurley, "was yet to decide his future as a police officer, adding that his client was also considering possible legal action of his own."

You can see Cranny's shingle here, and this is a notice for a seminar he ran for the Queensland Law Society:

Inquiries and Investigations: Coronial Inquests, Royal Commissions of Inquiry, CMC & ACC Investigations

This seminar is relevant for legal practitioners and government officers likely to appear in a Coronial Inquest, Investigation or Royal Commission of Inquiry.

So this is not foreign to him at all. Even if the political will existed to charge Hurley, this brief sounds like a tough opponent. But why not have a go? Well, the Queensland Police Union is far too powerful for any serious player to cross. Basically.

0909 AEST - the ABC says Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough has said:

"So [Queensland Premier] Peter Beattie - please announce that this will be reviewed urgently in the interest of the family and the wider community."

This has raised at least one eyebrow - Mr Brough's Liberal (centre-right) Party is not considered a friend by many Aboriginal people.

The same article says that "north Queensland Indigenous leaders [including Gracelyn Smallwood] are calling for a national day of action".

Another ABC story from last night says that "North Queensland Indigenous leaders say they will appeal" the decision.

And The Australian has more of what Mulrunji's family has to say:

"I shouldn't have been surprised," said Tracey Twaddle, Mulrunji's former partner.

"I don't know what to do now. I don't know how we can get justice."
, while Palm Island mayor Zac Sam said:

"We are just disgusted and shocked that this has happened. It seems as though there is one law for blacks and one law for whites...The law was not made for us. It was made to protect the people from us."

Meanwhile, the story has been noticed by blogger Angryindian at intelligent indigena.

WARNING - photos and previous surname of Mulrunji used at these two links: Bloggers Miss Eagle at Eagle's Nest and Troughboy have also noted the story.

There is also a media release from Socialist Alliance in the comments. Their site, and SA member Dave Riley, have been following the case for months.

1042 AEST - In the Courier-Mail, Member of Parliament for Townsville, Mike Reynolds, has said that the case should have gone before a jury. An article about S/Sgt Hurley says that the Police Union intend to 'appeal' the coroner's finding that Hurley killed Mulrunji. So much for respecting the umpire's decision when they don't like it.

1151 AEST - Malcolm Weatherup in the Townsville Bulletin writes about the way that black activists were expelled from the DPP's press conference in Townsville.

Noel Pearson, commonly said to be a 'conservative' black leader who is closely involved with Cape York Partnerships, says that the DPP is "damaging the public standing of her office", according to the ABC.

Brisbane blogger Tony Robertson has published a statement by Andrew Boe, the lawyer for the Palm Island Aboriginal Council., while blogger Iain Hall thinks the DPP made the right decision.

1456 AEST - The Bush Telegraph blog is promoting the rally, march and planning meeting, and also criticises the decision. There is also an open letter to Premier Beattie from October - you can still add your support to the letter.

1757 AEST
- Blogger John Quiggin says in his post here:

this isn’t the first dubious decision made by Leanne Clare, and something of a pattern seems to be emerging. If you’re on the outer with the establishment (Pauline Hanson, Di Fingleton) dubious charges will be pursued to the limit. But if you’re on the inside, things are very different.

2315 AEST - Stuart Levitt is a "lawyer for the alleged riot ringleader Lex Wotton." [referring to violence on Palm Island in 2004 immediately after Mulrunji's death]. As well as disagreeing with the decision, Levitt says that:

Indigenous advocate service, the Errol Wyles Justice Foundation, would be commissioning a study next year into the Queensland legal system's treatment of Aboriginal people.


The story is from the AAP wire, published at the National Indigenous Times.

The Voice of Today's Apathetic Youth isnt: Palm Islanders screwed by DPP

Sunday December 17th 2006

I went to the planning meeting for the Queens Park rally (Wed 20 Dec, midday) yesterday afternoon.

Sam Watson spoke, first of all going through the story so far.

He reminded the meeting that DPP Clare controversially dropped child abuse charges against prominent swimming coach Scott Volkers.

[At the time DPP Clare said that, because the alleged victim said that she had experienced an orgasm while the alleged abuse took place, then she would not be credible in court.

It is, of course, not unknown for those being abused to experience arousal and/or orgasms, as a forensic physician told the ABC's 7.30 Report at the time. - ED]

Watson also mentioned the fact that public prosecutor Leanne Clare was responsible for pushing dodgy charges against Queensland Chief Magistrate Di Fingleton and controversial right-populist politician Pauline Hanson.

While Hanson is bitterly disliked by many Aboriginal people, Watson reminded the meeting that "You don't send a goose like Hanson to jail...jails are for people who commit serious offences".

Both the Fingleton and the Hanson convictions were overturned, in ways that showed either enormous incompetence or, at worst, malicious indifference to the law.

Watson told the meeting that S/Sgt Hurley was transferred to Surfers Paradise, where he owns $1.4 million in real estate, after the Palm Island murder.

How does a cop who works most of his career in indigenous communities own real estate worth $1.4 million? Watson called for Hurley's entire career in the Queensland Police Service to be investigated.

Watson said that the 'evidence supports a criminal charge of the highest order'. He called for DPP Clare to be removed from office, and said that Clare's 'close working relationship' with the Queensland Police Service should be investigated, as part of a judicial review of the entire case.

This review should be conducted, Watson said, by Tony Fitzgerald QC, who conducted the judicial enquiry in the 1980s that destroyed the Bjelke-Petersen National Party government by revealing its long-term corruption and closeness to senior police.

"Our role is to support the family and the Palm Island community", said Watson. "The family is hurting but staying strong".

Watson identified the core issue: the Queensland Police Union dominates the administration of the Queensland Police Service. The QPS, he said, has never once been held accountable by the Beattie government.

The Criminal and Misconduct Commission has been "totally compromised on a number of occasions"

"We won't put up with this apalling maladministration."

If neither the DPP nor the CMC will act, then "We'll have to".

Watson also announced two important dates for next year: January 26th 2007 will be Justice Day, and May 27th 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the referendum that, in effect, recognised Aboriginal people as citizens for the first time.

Watson announced that all permits and permissions for the rally had been obtained. The march will pass through major shopping areas of the city.

If you can help hand out leaflets to shoppers who are waiting for the rally to pass, please email me at djackmanson@gmail.com

There will also be a rally on the Gold Coast on Thursday. For details call Paul on 0410 629 088.

News from and about Palm Island.

John Andersen in the Townsville Bulletin, a News/Murdoch tabloid, reports that a civil case will be launched by the Palm Island Council against S/Sgt Hurley.

Andersen goes out of his way to report successful relations between acting Palm Island Mayor Zac Sam, and S/Sgt Paul James, current QPS officer-in-charge on Palm Island:

Cr Sam's taking the helm at an early stage has helped ease what might have been a volatile situation.

This has been eased by police maintaining a near-invisible profile and doing nothing that could be construed as provocative.


Andersen reports that the civil case will be conducted by Boe Lawyers, who have represented the Palm Island council before - you can see a resume of their work for the council if you click here.

Boe Lawyers' homepage says:

To achieve individual justice the system must sometimes yield and the state of the law must be tested. Some of our notable cases have sought to achieve this. They also demonstrate our innovation and flexibility and our capacity to look beyond what might appear to others to be accepted limits.


Andersen also reports on the grief of Mulrunji's relatives - WARNING, Mulrunji's name before he died is used in this story.

Elsewhere in the Townsville Bulletin, Selina Sharratt reports on Saturday's mayoral election on Palm Island.

The Sydney Morning Herald prints a story from the AAP wire about a community rally held yesterday on Palm Island:


The ABC also carries a report about the Palm Island rally - WARNING - link has a picture of Mulrunji.

Darrell Giles in The Sunday Mail (News Ltd) reports that Queensland Premier Peter Beattie will visit Palm Island 'as early as this week'.

News Ltd's Courier Mail North Queensland reporter Peter Michael reports the reaction of Mulrunji's sister Valmai Alpin, while the ABC's Message Stick quotes:

the coordinator of the Palm Island Men's Group, Robert Blackley, [who] says he expects an angry reaction to Ms Clare's decision.

"The public prosecutor just called me, I guess in my capacity as men's group coordinator, to inform me that no charges will be laid against Chris Hurley in relation to the death of Mulrunji and I'm pretty pissed off about that," he said.


Also, calls for a review of the case by someone from outside Queensland grow.

Federal Parliamentary Leader of the Greens Bob Brown, Brisbane indigenous leader Sam Watson, Commonwealth Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Mal Brough, Queensland Council of Civil Liberties Vice-President Terry O'Gorman and Cape York aboriginal leader Noel Pearson have all called for an interstate review, while the Palm Island Council wants the decision 'reviewed'.

Premier Beattie refuses to intervene, but has pointed out that the DPP can order a review if she so chooses.

Monday Morning December 18th - News from Palm Island

WARNING - stories linked to here may contain pictures or other names of Mulrunji.






Click on these pictures to see larger copies.

Palm Island is about 65km NNW of Townsville, the largest city in North Queensland.

Delena Foster has won the election for mayor of Palm Island Council, held on Saturday. She has insisted on answers from Queensland Premier Peter Beattie while calling for calm on the island. That is from a report by Dave Donaghy and Steve Wardill, published in News Ltd's Courier Mail and Australian newspapers.

The Magnetic Times reports that Magnetic Island elder Ms Christine George, who was born on Palm Island, said:

“Nothing has really changed. There are numerous instances of Aboriginals being incarcerated for minor crimes and receiving punishments that didn’t fit the crime. There doesn’t seem to be any consideration for the situation Aboriginal people are currently in.”


Shelina Sharratt in News Ltd's Townsville Bulletin says:

TEARS and raw emotion flowed freely as more than 150 residents, both black and white, packed a Townsville church to discuss the 'way forward' in the wake of the DPP's decision not to charge Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley over the death in custody of Mulrunji...

The two-hour long meeting heard addresses from aboriginal lawyers, activists and non-indigenous community members.


Tuesday 19 December - recent news

The ABC reports:

Mulrunji's family seeks legal advice over DPP decision

Brad Foster, a spokesman for Mulrunji's family, says there will be a community meeting to discuss the issue.

"Wednesday's open discussion with the mob over on Palm Island is a peaceful coming together, working out what the solutions are, how do we deal with those solutions," he said.

"We'll let the people know from a brief from our barrister about what position we'll be taking as a community in relation to the response that the DPP has now brought out."

Mr Foster says Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is invited to attend the community meeting.


In the Courier-Mail, Peter Michael and Roseanne Barrett's report suggests that Mr Beattie should not accept the invitation:

PREMIER Peter Beattie has been warned to stay away from Palm Island or risk "stirring up a hornet's nest" ahead of a national day of protest.

Senior police, island councillors and the family of death-in-custody victim Mulrunji yesterday said the Premier's proposed visit, likely to take place tomorrow, was ill-advised.

"He should just stay away," said sister Valmai Aplin, speaking on behalf of Mulrunji's family.


Warren Mundine, Aboriginal man and National President of the Australian Labor Party, is to address a Palm Island rally this week, reports the ABC.

A longer article by The Australian's Patricia Karvelas and Sean Parnell reports Mundine's words:

ALP national president Warren Mundine is to lead protests on Palm Island this week, saying he is "fed up" with the failure of the state Labor Government to deliver justice over the 2004 death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee...

"What an insult to Aboriginal people that this cop is going to continue working," Mr Mundine said yesterday.

"If the law fails people then the law needs to change. The politicians are out of step with the general Australian community on this."


Meanwhile, Col Dillon, "one of Australia's most highly decorated Aboriginal police officers says he is resigning from his Queensland public service role over the State Government's handling of the Palm Island death in custody.", reports the ABC, which also tells us that "The federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) has joined the criticism of the decision not to charge a Queensland police officer over a death in custody on Palm Island."


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14 comments:

Dave Riley said...

I hope to have a petition up and available soon. Here's a copy of the Press Release 20:13:

This decision following on from the contrary evidence tabled in the Deputy Coroner's report is simply beyond political, medical, physiological, and practical belief. We circulated a press release earlier today suggesting that this may indeed be the finding from the DPP. Now here is the SA' sna dthe community's response:


Aboriginal leader calls community rally:
‘Sack racist DPP! Justice for Mulrinji!’
14 December 2006
“Today will live on in infamy, as the day that the Director of Public Prosecutions, an officer of the court that is supposed to act for all people regardless of race, gender, religion or politics, has caved in to the thuggery of the Queensland police service,” said Queensland Aboriginal community leader and Socialist Alliance spokesperson on Aboriginal rights Sam Watson today.

“While Deputy Coroner Christine Clements found that Senior Sergeant Hurley had beaten an innocent man causing his death, a man who Clements says never should have been in custody, DPP Leanne Clare has failed to lay one charge against the police involved. We ask the DPP: ‘What value do you place on the Coroner’s findings and many witnesses and evidence that helped produce them?’

“Indeed, Clare’s report merely echoes the police excuse—that Mulrinji died from a ‘fall’. Yet Mulrinji was a fit young man who died in his cell with four broken ribs and a liver split in two, after witnesses saw him being repeatedly beaten by Hurley. Expert medical advice was clear that this could not have been an accident.

Everyone knows it—Mulrinji didn’t fall, he was killed”, said Watson.

“This is pure racism. DPP Clare is telling Aboriginal people on Palm Island, across Queensland and Australia, that their lives are of no value. Mulrinji’s only ‘crime’ was to live as an Aboriginal man on Palm Island. The police officer who bashed him to death will go free. This is a green light to police to kill Aboriginal people with
utter impunity.

“Ironically, Aboriginal Palm Islanders who understandably rose up in the wake of the brutal killing of their brother are facing serious charges, yet the white copper who killed our brother is being let off scot free,” Watson noted.

Watson stressed that this racist denial of justice should be opposed by everyone who supports justice and equality—regardless of their skin colour. Aboriginal people and many others are furious about this.
“Premier Beattie told us to let justice run its course. We ask him—where is the justice? Would he accept this if it was his child, his brother?” Watson asked.

“We will rally next Wednesday (December 20), and march on Parliament, to demand:
• That the DPP be sacked;
• That Queensland cops stop protecting killers in their ranks and Hurley be brought to justice;
• Justice for Mulrinji and his family; and
• The full implementation of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody.”
For info or interviews, phone Sam on 0401 227 443 or email

EMERGENCY COMMUNITY RALLY AND MARCH
JUSTICE FOR MULRINJI, NO MORE COVER-UPS!
Rally 12 noon Wednesday December 20
Queens Park (Cnr George/Elizabeth Sts, opp casino)
March on state parliament
ORGANISING MEETING
All Aboriginal people and supporters are invited, to help prepare for and organise the rally and march. All hands needed!

This Saturday, December 16, 4pm. Brisbane Activist Centre, 74B Wickham St (in Metro Central), Fortitude Valley. Phone Sam on 0401 227 443, Paul 3831 2644 / 0410 629 088

Dave Riley said...

This petition is in response to the DPP's disgusting decision to ignore the Deputy Coroners findings that police killed Mulrinji, and to accept that Mulrinji "fell" (getting 4 broken ribs and a liver split in two through the "fall").

Download it here:
http://socialist-alliance-brisbane.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/mulrinj+2006
or as a short link:
http://masl.to/?R1B722F5E
OR sign it online:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mulrinji/petition.html
and bring to Wednesday rally or send to:
PO Box 547, Fortitude Valley 4006.

Miss Eagle said...

Thanks for the link and the visit to my site. Hope all goes well with the rally in Brisbane. Miss Eagle is a former Queenslander. Have been gone from Queensland just over two years now live in Vic. What a relief to be away from Qld's stifling racism. Worked in the NT for a number of years and then came back to Qld. Find race relations - particularly in Townsville - to have barely scraped into the 20th century and light years away from the 21st. The ALP's Townsville Mayor, Tony Mooney, was dreadful and only shut up when The Guardian (UK) declared Townsville to be the most racist city in Australia. All of a sudden a lot of the spoken and published racism (The Townsville Bulletin is abominable)dried up - looked like it could interfere with the tourist dollar. Peter Beattie's insensitivity stomping about Palm Island in the middle of all this and before that the dreadful Playschool Minister for Aboriginal Affairs is beyond belief. Certainly Qld doesn't look at best practice in race relations elsewhere! Have you looked at the suggestion that an independent review be conducted by Nicholas Cowdrey, the DPP from NSW?

David J said...

Thanks for dropping in, Miss Eagle. I've just completed an update which touches on the growing pressure for an independent review of the case. Sam Watson suggests that Tony Fitzgerald is the right man for the job, which would not be a bad idea either.

At the moment, the Townsville Bulletin seems to be on the right side - what I have seen of their coverage online suggests they don't buy Hurley's story at all.

As a recent immigrant to Qld, I have been struck by the arrogance and swagger of some of the cops.

But many people have moved here from other states now, so things are different to the 80's when Qld could hide from the national gaze for a long time

Anonymous said...

You all have alot of say for people who weren't there. In a blue/fight things happen in milli-seconds, to recall whether you fell beside someone or on someone is near impossible. Mulrinji would be alive today if he hadn't smacked the copper in the mouth! He would be alive today if he wasn't a drunk alcholic! He would be alive today if chose not to obstruct police doing their business! He is NOT dead because he is black, he is dead because he made POOR decisions. Until you and others like you stop blaming others and take responsiblity for your own actions communities like palm island are just going to sink lower and lower into self-destruction - as Malcom X came to learn - salvation for the black man does not lie with the white man - salvation for the black man lies with the black man - the black man needs to get off his ass and stop blaming others for where he is and the history he has suffered and start making choices that will make his life better. The Jews though murdered and killed and discriminated against for thousands of years still are a success and survivours because they have learnt no one else gives a shit - you can't rely on others you must make your own life. If Palm Islanders and others aboriginals don't like the QPS why not joined it and change it - its only 9,000 members strong, there are more aboriginals than that in the state - apply, join, dominate and if they think they can do a better job THEN DO IT AND STOP BITCHING! If there not up to that then they have no right to complain!

David J said...

The sort of thing that 'anonymous' says is pretty common. If you don't want to admit that a great injustice has happened here, or if you don't think it matters, one easy way is to blame the Aborigines for their own plight.

I've read the coroner's report, and I have seen how S/Sgt Hurley told the same story three times to investigating detectives, and then he only changed it when he realised that his original story meant that he must be guilty of murder.

I would read the DPP's report, except that she hasn't published any detailed reasoning for her decision.

Mulrunji would not be dead today if a 2-metre tall cop had not arrested him for being mouthy. How do you know that Mulrunji was an alcoholic, anyway? Had you met him? Have you talked to his family?

And if he was such an alcoholic, and such a troublemaker, how come S/Sgt Hurley had not ever even heard of him, and did not know who he was, after 2 years stationed on Palm Island?

I can't tell if you are a white racist or a black reactionary, but you refer to Malcolm X, and say:

"salvation for the black man does not lie with the white man - salvation for the black man lies with the black man - the black man needs to get off his ass and stop blaming others for where he is and the history he has suffered and start making choices that will make his life better."

That is exactly what Aboriginal activists are doing. If you were arrested for drunken behaviour, and turned up dead 20 minutes later, don't you think that would rip the heart out of your family and friends?

What if you knew growing up that any cop who wanted to could get away with beating or even killing you, and there was nothing you could do at all? Don't you think that would start to eat away at your senses of pride and possibility?

Aboriginal people are not blaming others for their own problems, they are blaming others for forcing them to live under a system that treats them as the lowest of the low. And they are trying to do something about it. As soon as they do, people like you complain.

All any black man has to do is tell the truth about their life when self-satisifed people tell them to stop 'blaming others'. Smells like bullshit to me.

Oppression works very well - it destroys hope, and if you blame the oppressed for what has been done to them, then you are very callous indeed.

Salvation for black people does indeed involve black people getting up themseleves and leading the struggle. That is what is happening here.

This struggle is being led by black people, and white people like me are supporting it. That is as it should be.

If you check out my report of the last rally for justice for Mulrunji on November 18 2006, you will notice that the rally was dominated by black speakers and a black agenda.

Have you read the part of 'The Autobiography of Malcom X' where he goes on the hajj (Islamic pilrimage to Mecca)?

He saw white Muslims there, which caused him to question his uncompromisingly anti-white attitudes.

Towards the end of his life, he also admitted that white people can sometimes be useful allies when black people are struggling for justice. Previously, I think he had believed that white people were all 'devils'.

If the QPS would allow Aboriginal people to police their own communities, that would be an enormous start into self-reliance for Aboriginal people. However, there is no doubt but that the QPS and white society in general would oppose that idea.

Since you believe that Aboriginal people should take care of themselves, I will look forward to your support when this idea comes up and is knocked back down by the cops and the politicians.

David J said...

[EDITOR: I have had to edit the post of 'anonymous' (below) to remove references to the name that Mulrunji had before he died.

Any posts that use any other name than 'Mulrunji' will be deleted as soon as I see them. If they are good enough, I might post an edited version, but don't count on it.

This does not imply automatic obedience to all Aboriginal traditions. But I want to make it easy for any relatives of Mulrunji to read or use this site if they need to, even the ones who choose to follow traditional bans on using old names of (or seeing images of) the dead.]

anonymous said:

In reply to some of the points you raise. Very few people would be able to show the alcohol reading [Mulrunji - ED] did and still be conscious - the only people who could have such a high reading and still be conscious would be a person who was highly familiar with consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis - if not an alcoholic then at least can we agree he had drunk an excessive amount of alcohol on this night in question?

0.292 is double .15 which I think is the legal definition of a drunk is it not? So he was nearly double drunk???

The govt. breaurachy is not going to be able to stop the 60% rate of child abuse/rape in Aboriginal communities - and I know its that high because the STD rate can be that high among the children. This is only a problem the local communities can address themselves. Successive govt. have thrown millions or dollars at the situation with no real change!

Also check out the Cairns paper article approx. five years ago about the huge violence problems particularly against women. Until women and children are valued, until the family unit is strong any attempt to establish and improve these communities will self destroy. As many historians have said, "The mothers teach the next generation".

Also I have read the 35 pages of the coronial report. There are claring omissions and suppositions not based on facts or witness statements. I.E. if the policeman hit [Mulrunji - ED] why did no witness say I heard him hit him. I've heard punches before and when they hit you can certainly hear them in a room - yet the aboriginal witness in the SAME room fails to mention it - did it escape his mind or were punches never thrown?

I'm well aware of Malcom's trip to Mecca and his change of view - but his view was white's could help but not lead, that real change would only come about when it came from within the community (in his case the 'black' community).

As for bringing up the issue of race your writings thrive on it "a white copper" would have it made a difference had it been a black copper? What is the real issue here? Are you sure that S.Sergeant is PURE white? From the pictures I've seen in the paper he doesn't fit Hitlers pure "white" profile.

If we remove race from the issue would you still be so outraged? Are you protesting the four mentally ill person shot by police in the last two years - see recent coronial report - it would be easy to blame police again - but if you were in the street with knife welding person wanting to kill you the average person would use a sidearm to defend themselves if one was available - if you just concentrate on the police you are missing the real issues - the police are an easy mark - they can't publically complain back - proof of that is their union president is now facing charges for the sin of using freedom of speech to criticise the coroner- oh if we had the American constitution here to protect freedom of speech - I fear the outcome if he is convicted - who is next? me for writing this - you for hosting this blog?

The real problem is the system and the lack of self inspiration and success - life is always going to give individuals bad deals - I know mind has - I take the good and build on that and that is the only way me and my family can have success. As Robert Kiosaki says, if your rich - race is no object - i.e. if you could increase the wealth of these communities their power for self determination would be much greater. That isn't going to happen whilst they suckle at the govt. welfare handout tit. That just creates dependence and continues the cycle of destruction.

There is no doubt aboriginals have had a bum steer - history of being hunted, raped and killed. But many peoples have suffered the same - Scots, Irish, Indians, Africans, all have had times of shocking oppression - what makes these people great is how they overcome.

If Oprah had bitched about being black, being raped as a child, having slave ancestors do you think she would be at the head of a billion dollar empire today - a politically powerful empire at that! She took the shit that happened to her and made a sucess despite it.

Even if Hurly went before a jury all I think that would achieved is wasting a couple of million of dollars in tax payers money - I don't think a jury would convict the evidence doesn't pass the boundary of beyond reasonable doubt. I think the DPP realised this and made the right decision in relation to whether a successful prosecution could be obtained. I'm more outraged that Claude Gabriel never faced a trial - the girl was stabbed about 30 times (did you complaint about that one?). You can believe what ever you want - after all many people still believe Lindy Chamberlain to be guilty of killing her baby - that just proves the public can remain divided no matter what new evidence is discover - i.e. the babies jacket.

I love the quote "the thuggery of the Qld Police Service" - WHO THREW THE FIRST PUNCH?

Hurley despite two years on the island doesn't appear to have been known as a thug - the coroner only found two prior complaints - one of running over someone foot and another minor matter - hardly the history of a thug? So after two years of working on an island once listed in the guiness book of records as the most violent place on earth are we to presume this night he suddenly lost his cool and flogged the crap out of someone? I somehow doubt it. The coroner suggests that punches split [Mulrunji's - ED] liver - I doubt it - a flying knee dropped straight on his lower chest to break four ribs and split his liver - maybe, dropping on concrete steps edge - probably the most likely scenario - but hey why bother with the likely let's just invent stuff - why not a baseball bat, a cricket bat, maybe he ran him over with a car - or we could listen to all the witnesses and realise that a hard fall is the most likely scenario - do you know how many people die in Australia each year from falls? Its one of the highest causes of death!

As for the QPS I'm sure its not up to them where the send police - that would be up to their political masters. From coppers I've spoken to most would be glad not to be forced to work in the middle of nowhere yet they don't always have a choice.

Personally I've been out on the town and seen drunks around - vomitting, abusing people, screaming, yelling, fighting - I wish police would lock them all up or better still how about they have the balls to not get that drunk in the first place or do it at home!

You can address the real issues or you can shot the easy targets - your choice! Lenin got rid of the evil Tazr, and landholders, etc only to replace it with wholesale murder - think twice about what society you are trying to build?

Are you prepared to go back to traditional aboriginal justice with spearing in the legs and chance of death? Do you support the death penalty? What type of justice system do you see for ALL humanity?
We are all God's children - sons and daughters of adam and eve?

drjon said...

"Anonymous" surely mouths off greatly for someone not even prepared to have the courage of their convictions enough to put their name to their racist outbursts.

Funny how reactionaries demand that their opinions be respected (eg the DPP, "Anonymous"), but are so unwilling to pay any respect whatsoever back (eg an insistence on insultingly using Mulrinji's former name, to the great distress of the Doomadgee family).

Anyway, you seem much more competent at deconstructing and rebutting "Anonymous"'s nonsense than I would be. I'll leave you too it, and look forward to reading the response.

The rally was good. I've not seen that many angry yet peaceful folk in quite some time.

Anonymous said...

I choose not to give my name because as a webmaster I don't want my sites spammed or attacked as previously has happened by others. I will give you my first name Alastair.

Second who is the racist? Read my arguments again - I'm trying to take race out of the issue and lift it to a higher plane of reasoning and get at the underlying issues - I think you are the ones arguing that M. was killed soley because of his race. I used his prior name because I could spell it properly and didn't want to insult him by spelling his name - Mulrinji - incorrectly - who is really being insulting here?

If I didn't respect your opinion would I even take the time to write or respond. Surely your version/opinions aren't so fragile to face a touch of criticism or examination - there will always be more than one view on any issue.

Perhaps its easier just to write me off than listen to any other possiblities - obviously you have the power of God and see all and know all without a shadow of a doubt. All coppers are killers and anyone who disagrees with you must be a Racist, anyone who expects people to take abit of self responsiblity must just be a Capitalist Pig.

The truth of HISTORY is that cultures that don't evolve to meet new challenges DIE - you can either start adapting culture to embrace the positives and grow or you can choose to create a state like the Tabliban did in Aghanistan - a perfect example of forcing a country into a cultural void from a thousand years ago. This doesn't mean your culture doesn't remain unique. Look at the NZ Maori's they have taken much from modern culture - metal tools for carving, guitars for music, etc, etc and have blended it to produce a modern culture that is very much alive because it continues to evolve.

I questioned what is the real agenda here? It is Justice? Surely you have learnt by now we have a legal system not a Justice system - true justice can only be provided by a all-knowing God.

If every agrees with your opinions then why is more of QLD not up in arms.

You say "Yet Mulrinji was a fit young man who died in his cell with four broken ribs and a liver split in two, after witnesses saw him being repeatedly beaten by Hurley. Expert medical advice was clear that this could not have been an accident." Have you read the same report? his liver was not a liver of a fit healthy young man. You say witnesses - the report I read said one drunk witness saw Hurley lift his elbow three times - from this Clements supposes that Hurley punched him three times. If Hurley can split a liver in two with three punches he should try and become the heavy weight champion of the world because even Mike Tyson didn't achieve this feat!

You say "Expert medical advice was clear that this could not have been an accident" There was also other Expert medical advice that said this could have occurred from a fall. Which expert? Just pick and choose the ones you want.

The absolute "Everyone knows it—Mulrinji didn’t fall, he was killed". Well I'm one who believes a fall was more likely so that immediately discounts the phrase "everyone".

The rally achieved a one mintue spot on the news - Politically what did it change? If you are serious political power follows from control of the purse strings - as Al Pacino said in Scarface - "first comes the money, then the power"

Call me a reactionary, call me a racist - but call me stupid at your own peril because if you haven't learnt some of these lessons you are doomed to repeated failures.

David J said...

Will respond to both of Alastair's above comments when I have the time to address the large number of points properly. Please check back, may take a few days.

David J said...

You all have alot of say for people who weren't there. In a blue/fight things happen in milli-seconds, to recall whether
you fell beside someone or on someone is near impossible.


Then how was Hurley able to say, three times, after he consulted (suspicious in its own right) with Sergeant Leafe, that he
fell 'next' to Mulrunji. He said that, not me. And he only changed his story when the medical evidence showed that if Mulrunji was not killed by a fall, then he was killed by assault.

In front of the coroner, Hurley changed the story that he had told three times, because that story makes him look like a murderer.

Mulrinji would be alive today if he hadn't smacked the copper in the mouth!

He would not have smacked the copper in the mouth if the copper had not shamed him by arresting him for what, when it comes down to it, was a bit of backchat.

He would be alive today if chose not to obstruct police doing their business!

Backchat of police is not obstruction. At least it should not be. Hurley should have excersised his discretion and laughed it off.

He is NOT dead because he is black, he is dead because he made POOR decisions.

He is dead because a system that is set up to look the other way when black people are being oppressed has made it very easy, for very many years, for police officers to assault and kill black people with impunity.

Hurley may not have meant to kill, but it certainly looks like to me that he acted in anger, with reckless indifference to Mulrunji's life, to assert his authority through a beating.

A private-school boy who backchatted a cop would not be killed, no matter what sort of smart-arse he was being. And if he
was, the cop would be under a lot more scrutiny.

The real problem is the system and the lack of self inspiration and success - life is always going to give individuals bad deals - I know mind has - I take the good and build on that and that is the only way me and my family can have success. As Robert Kiosaki says, if your rich - race is no object - i.e. if you could increase the wealth of these communities their power for self determination would be much greater. That isn't going to happen whilst they suckle at the govt. welfare handout tit. That just creates dependence and continues the cycle of destruction.

You are Noel Pearson, and I claim my five pounds.

Also check out the Cairns paper article approx. five years ago about the huge violence problems particularly against women. Until women and children are valued, until the family unit is strong any attempt to establish and improve these communities will self destroy. As many historians have said, "The mothers teach the next generation".

A link?

The govt. breaurachy is not going to be able to stop the 60% rate of child abuse/rape in Aboriginal communities - and I know its that high because the STD rate can be that high among the children. This is only a problem the local communities can address themselves. Successive govt. have thrown millions or dollars at the situation with no real change!

Until you and others like you stop blaming others and take responsiblity for your own actions communities like palm island are just going to sink lower and lower into self-destruction - as Malcom X came to learn - salvation for the black man does not lie with the white man - salvation for the black man lies with the black man - the black man needs to get off his ass and stop blaming others for where he is and the history he has suffered and start making choices that will make his life better.

Thanks for the sermon. Funnily enough, it sounds exactly like what I am hearing black people say at their rallies.

I heard a black man stand up and say that Aboriginal people need to stand up and 'police the police'.

I heard a black man stand up and speak for justice, and against this crime. In the course of his speech, he talked about quitting both booze and heroin, "not even a taste". Both times, he got spontaneous, warm applause.

So, guess what? The black leadership agrees with you. Stop saying it, and go on to ask the next question:

What can I do to help, given that the leaders agree with me?

And what needs to be done to conquer two centuries of being the bottom of the pile?

Sorry, but that sort of oppression is not just gotten over by putting on a happy face and thinking positive thoughts.

Thousands of people are stuck in the habit of knowing that they are worthless, because that is exactly how they have been treated all their lives. Those habits are damned difficult to break, or even bend.

The Jews though murdered and killed and discriminated against for thousands of years still are a success and survivours because they have learnt no one else gives a shit - you can't rely on others you must make your own life.

Yes, I heard similar things being said at rallies as well. What do you plan to do to, at least, make it easier for aboriginal people to help themselves?

If Palm Islanders and others aboriginals don't like the QPS why not joined it and change it - its only 9,000 members strong, there are more aboriginals than that in the state - apply, join, dominate and if they think they can do a better job THEN DO IT AND STOP BITCHING! If there not up to that then they have no right to complain!

Well, Aboriginal policing for Aboriginal communities would be a fine thing indeed. However, the Aboriginal community is probably in no state to do that yet, and even if they wanted to the white power structure would resist fiercely. (Not because they are racists by the way, because they are bureaucrats).

But if an Aboriginal community stood up, would you really stand up with them and and help them fight for that right, if they wanted you to? Really? I can't tell yet.

BTW I reject the idea that any community that can't provide it's own police force deserves to accept abuse from the police.

In reply to some of the points you raise. Very few people would be able to show the alcohol reading [Mulrunji - ED] did and still be conscious - the only people who could have such a high reading and still be conscious would be a person who was highly familiar with consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis - if not an alcoholic then at least can we agree he had drunk an excessive amount of alcohol on this night in question?

0.292 is double .15 which I think is the legal definition of a drunk is it not? So he was nearly double drunk???


He was killed. For being mouthy.

How drunk he was (and yes, he must have been very drunk) is utterly beside the point.

Also I have read the 35 pages of the coronial report. There are claring omissions and suppositions not based on facts or witness statements. I.E. if the policeman hit [Mulrunji - ED] why did no witness say I heard him hit him. I've heard punches before and when they hit you can certainly hear them in a room - yet the aboriginal witness in the SAME room fails to mention it - did it escape his mind or were punches never thrown?

Here are the parts of the report that make me suspect Hurley. His own words, and the medical evidence. No other witness statements are needed for me to think this stinks like three-day-old fish.

The hole in Hurley's story is so large that it needs to be invesigated more, by a Royal Commission if necessary.

Page numbers below refer to the Coroner's
report, - click here to see the pdf file.


Page 11: The consensus of expert medical opinion was that a simple fall through the doorway, even in an uncontrolled and accelerated fashion, was unlikely to have caused the concentrated compressive
force sufficient to cause the particular injury to the liver and portal vein. The exception to this
would be if, in the course of that fall, Senior Sergeant Hurley fell on top of Mulrunji in such a way
that concentrated compressive force was applied to Mulrunji’s upper abdomen while he was on the
floor. A knee or elbow, with the body’s weight behind it, could conceivably have caused the injury
that Mulrunji suffered.

Page 11: Senior Sergeant Hurley’s counsel conceded that if the injury occurred after the fall it necessarily inferred a deliberate application of force by Senior Sergeant Hurley.


Page 13: Interview number 1, November 19, 2004: Hurley claims "I fell to the left of him and he was to the right of me"
Page 15: Interview number 1: Hurley claims "No, I landed beside him on the lino."

Page 16: Interview number 2, November 20, 2004: Hurley admits he discussed the matter with Sergeant Leafe: he said he "… just asked Michael (Sergeant Leafe) before, when did he, (Leafe) come through?"

Page 17: Interview number 2: Hurley claims: "I ended up on my knees beside him"

Page 19: Interview number 4, December 8, 2004: "I recall I fell to the left and he was to the right"

If Hurley did not fall on Mulrunji, violent assault is the only other reasonable conclusion. Hurley claimed three times he did not fall on Mulrunji.

Even if Hurly went before a jury all I think that would achieved is wasting a couple of million of dollars in tax payers money - I don't think a jury would convict the evidence doesn't pass the boundary of beyond reasonable doubt. I think the DPP realised this and made the right decision in relation to whether a successful prosecution could be obtained. I'm more outraged that Claude Gabriel never faced a trial - the girl was stabbed about 30 times (did you complaint about that one?).

Well, at the Dec 20 rally, I saw Terry O'Gorman point out that:

"Day in and day ... ordinary citizens of this state have to go through to the agony of a jury verdict in cases prosecuted by the DPP where the evidence is 10 times weaker than the evidence appears with Mr Hurley."


So one rule for all, I say.

I did not complain about Claude Gabriel's crime. What, specifically do you think should be done by black leaders to
make this sort of criminal domestic violence less likely? What should white people do to support them?

You can believe what ever you want - after all many people still believe Lindy Chamberlain to be guilty of killing her baby - that just proves the public can remain divided no matter what new evidence is discover - i.e. the babies jacket.

How many of Chamberlain's self-appointed judges in the public had read any official reports about the case at all? If you have an argument to make about the parts of the coroner's report I am quoting, please make it.

Hurley despite two years on the island doesn't appear to have been known as a thug - the coroner only found two prior complaints - one of running over someone foot and another minor matter - hardly the history of a thug?

Chloe Hooper's article suggests otherwis - click here to read it - WARNING it uses Mulrunji's name that he had before he died

So after two years of working on an island once listed in the guiness book of records as the most violent place on earth are we to presume this
night he suddenly lost his cool and flogged the crap out of someone? I somehow doubt it. The coroner suggests that punches split [Mulrunji's - ED] liver - I doubt it - a flying knee dropped straight on his lower chest to break four ribs and split his liver - maybe, dropping on concrete steps edge - probably the most likely scenario - but hey why bother with the likely
let's just invent stuff - why not a baseball bat, a cricket bat, maybe he ran him over with a car - or we could listen to all the witnesses and realise that a hard fall is the most likely scenario - do you know how many people die in Australia each year from falls? Its one of the highest causes of death!


Read the medical evidence again in the coroner's report.

The consensus of medical opinion was that severe compressive force applied to the upper
abdomen, or possibly the lower chest, or both together, was required to have caused this
injury. (Page 7)

His chest was pressed while hard up against something.

Hurley's new story is that he fell on Mulrunji.
I belive that Hurley punched him.

No one, not even Hurley's side, suggests that "dropping on concrete steps edge" is "probably the most likely scenario". You are the one who is inventing stuff here.

I'm well aware of Malcom's trip to Mecca and his change of view - but his view was white's could help but not lead, that real change would only come about when it came from within the community (in his case the 'black' community).

See my previous comment:

This struggle is being led by black people, and white people like me are supporting it. That is as it should be.

If you check out my report of the last rally for justice for Mulrunji on November 18 2006, you will notice that the rally was dominated by black speakers and a black agenda.


Why won't you take 'yes' for an answer? I am not leading this rally, or this movement. In Brisbane, Sam Watson is the main Aboriginal organiser, and he appears to be doing work that the local indigenous community, and leadership, wants done.

If you wish to challenge him on this, his mobile number has been widely published: it is 0401 227 443.

Specific calls for white support have been made - if you follow the link to the the November 18 rally you will see that black speakers, twice, explicitly warned the white community that we too need to beware of cops who can get away will a kill.

Mulrunji's brother Alec, who spoke at the December 20 rally, said:

"Black, White, Asian, if you're here it means you've got a heart and you're a friend of mine".

"Supporters" of the Aboriginal community have been specifically called on for help.

I am a supporter, not a member of the Aboriginal community, and I will remain aware of my place.

But that doesn't mean that I should stop writing this blog, out of some misguided sense of 'racial purity of the struggle', when my help as a white supporter has been called for.

As for bringing up the issue of race your writings thrive on it "a white copper" would have it made a difference had it been a black copper?

Yes.

What is the real issue here? Are you sure that S.Sergeant is PURE white? From the pictures I've seen in the paper he doesn't fit Hitlers pure "white" profile.

No. I know nothing about his ethnic profile. However, he is light-skinned enough to be treated as a 'white' person in a society where 'white' people are treated as better than 'black' people.

If we remove race from the issue would you still be so outraged? Are you protesting the four mentally ill person shot by police in the last two years - see recent coronial report - it would be easy to blame police again - but if you were in the street with knife welding person wanting to kill you the average person would use a sidearm to defend themselves if one was available - if you just concentrate on the police you are missing the real issues - the police are an easy mark - they can't publically complain back - proof of that is their union president is now facing charges for the sin of using freedom of speech to criticise the coroner- oh if we had the American constitution here to protect freedom of speech - I fear the outcome if he is convicted - who is next? me for writing this - you for hosting this blog?

The police publically complain back all the time, through the police union. People who claim to be active police officers have been posting strongly in favour of S/Sgt Hurley on the Courier-Mail site, for instance. So I reject the idea that they 'can't complain back'.

And no, I am not protesting the four mentally ill people. In fact, I missed the story. Do you have a link?

I can't concentrate on everything. You have to focus your efforts.

In this particular case, Mulrunji's, the actions of a police officer have resulted in the death of someone who gave backchat to the police.

If you are willing for me to link to anything you have written about the deaths of mentally ill people who confront police with knives, and the difficulties police have in dealing with that because of structural issues, please say so here.

Perhaps its easier just to write me off than listen to any other possiblities - obviously you have the power of God and see all and know all without a shadow of a doubt. All coppers are killers and anyone who disagrees with you must be a Racist, anyone who expects people to take a bit of self responsiblity must just be a Capitalist Pig.

I am not blind to the very difficult job that police do, and if you go and back to the article about the November 18th rally you will notice that there are a number of photos of the police doing their job - very well - of keeping the march safe from traffic.

Of all the photos I took, I particularly like this one.

If you click here, this photo will also demonstrate that I noticed the police made a deliberate decision to not have firearms with them at the December 20th rally.

It's also cropped in an edgy way that the kids love nowadays. Apparently.

And in
this recent post here, which is also in an update to this post
, I say:

John Andersen in the Townsville Bulletin, a News/Murdoch tabloid, reports that a civil case will be launched by the Palm Island Council against S/Sgt Hurley.

Andersen goes out of his way to report successful relations between acting Palm Island Mayor Zac Sam, and S/Sgt Paul James, current QPS officer-in-charge on Palm Island:

So get off the idea that I hate all cops. I'll admit when they are good. But there is a world of difference between being anti-cop, and anti-dirty-cop, and you should recognise that being against Hurley is about being anti-dirty-cop.

I love the quote "the thuggery of the Qld Police Service" - WHO THREW THE FIRST PUNCH?

Who arrested a black man for being mouthy?

There is no doubt aboriginals have had a bum steer - history of being hunted, raped and killed. But many peoples have suffered the same - Scots, Irish, Indians, Africans, all have had times of shocking oppression - what makes these people great is how they overcome.

If Oprah had bitched about being black, being raped as a child, having slave ancestors do you think she would be at the head of a billion dollar empire today - a politically powerful empire at that! She took the shit that happened to her and made a sucess despite it.


Idealist rubbish. Oprah also had advantages of living in the third city of the USA, living right in the middle of a centre of culture and power and business.

First of all, we can discuss the effects that being 'hunted, raped and killed' has on a society. People learn to be victims, not because they are weak-willed, but because being hunted, raped and killed teaches you to think like a victim. You teach your children, and before very long your people cannot imagine anything different.

So, what specifically do you think black leaders should be doing to overcome this deeply-entrenched culture, and how specifically - no empty idealism, please - should I be supporting them?


Are you prepared to go back to traditional aboriginal justice with spearing in the legs and chance of death?

Probably not.

Do you support the death penalty?

Generally not.

What type of justice system do you see for ALL humanity? We are all God's children - sons and daughters of adam and eve?

Question one is too long to answer here. As for the second bit, I am an atheist, but I don't think that what I belive is actually a valid political argument.


Second who is the racist? Read my arguments again - I'm trying to take race out of the issue and lift it to a higher plane of reasoning and get at the underlying issues - I think you are the ones arguing that M. was killed soley because of
his race.


The underlying issue is a system that makes it easy for police officers to assault and abuse the weak and powerless and get away with it. Aboriginal people are one of the weakest and least powerful groups in Australia right now.

I used his prior name because I could spell it properly and didn't want to insult him by spelling his name - Mulrinji - incorrectly - who is really being insulting here?

I have noticed the name spelt both 'Mulrunji' and 'Mulringi' by Aboriginal people. I am sure they would prefer you to try to not be grossly offensive by using a name people have been asked not to use.

The truth of HISTORY is that cultures that don't evolve to meet new challenges DIE - you can either start adapting culture to embrace the positives and grow or you can choose to create a state like the Tabliban did in Aghanistan - a perfect example of forcing a country into a cultural void from a thousand years ago. This doesn't mean your culture doesn't remain unique. Look at the NZ Maori's they have taken much from modern culture - metal tools for carving, guitars for music, etc, etc and have blended it to produce a modern culture that is very much alive because it continues to evolve.

Correct, but once again, empty platitudes. I repeat my questions:

What, specifically do you think Aboriginal leaders should be doing to bring their people forward?

What can supporters do to help them?

Those are the questions that need to be answered. Aboriginal people already realiseas they have to find their own way forward, and have heard enough lectures from white people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks taking to time to analyse my argument.

one practical suggestion

seek proportional representation in both federal and state parliments to over come the two party system.

In NZ where Maoris make up 10% of the population they have effective control of the parliment due to proportional representation gives them enough seat to decide who will be the next govt. - real power indeed.

I agree with you about buearachy, changing buearachy takes alot longer.

As for the system making it easy for Police to assault people and get away with it - you obviously have never spoken to many police about facing both criminal then also internal police discipline or the numerous False complaints made - many that have been proven false since the introduction to cameras into watchhouses - thus another practical suggestion - are there now cameras inside the palm island police station? That would have answered the question once and for all had they been there before this incident, just as video in the Rodney KING video showed the police used poor and excessive tactics to deal with a highly drug affected person.

Anonymous said...

P.S. oprah grew up in a poor southern backwater - she later moved. don't use your past to justify you future - I grew up in a slum myself.


P.P.S thanks for having the courage to publish this discussion - although we disagree on some points as voltaire said, - although I disagree with you - I will die for you right to say it.

I leave the conversation here. I will look in from time to time to see if a hornets nests has been awoken or if most people remain happy to remain silent?

Anonymous said...

What we know:

1. Hurley clearly wasn't racist. He chose to work in indigenous communities. An aboriginal activist who knew him said he wasn't racist. Approximately a year before the death he complained to a parliamentary committee that there was no alcohol diversionary program on Palm Island forcing police to take drunk and disorderly indigenous persons into the watchhouse.

2. There were lots of witness around. These clearly established that there was a struggle after Mulrunji punched Hurley and the pair fell downstairs into the watchhouse and that there was a 6 or 7 second window of opportunity where only one aboriginal witness and Hurley and Mulrunji could see what was happening.

3. There was a camera in the cells. An aboriginal man in the cells initially said he saw nothing but later claimed that Hurley took Mulrunji out of the cell and assaulted him. He said he would have intervened but he was in a different cell. The video showed him in the same cell asleep or hugging Mulrunji at all relevant times. The witness later committed suicide when a retired judge was sent to Palm Island.

4. The witness during the 6-7 second moment after the fall who was at the watch house because Hurley had recently arrested him said that Hurley punched Mulrunji in the head and kicked him. The coroners report indicated that the medical evidence ruled out kicking so she said that he must have been mistaken and the punching must have been to the body not the head. Mulrunji died of liver injury.

5. The pathologist who examined the body gave evidence at trial that he couldn't rule out punching but it was unlikely as there was no bruising.

6. All medical experts concurred that if Hurley had landed on Mulrunji on his knee during the fall it could have caused the death.

7. The DPP determined that there was insufficient evidence to go to trial so if the faces had been different that would have been the end of it. The CMC determined that there was insufficient evidence that Hurley criminally caused the death to go to a tribunal hearing. The jury gave a not guilty verdict.

So how does the nonsense about Hurley being a racist cop who took out his frustrations on an aboriginal man fit with the facts. Not very well obviously. It isn't rocket science.

Why not end your witch hunt.