[Marxism] [BRC-DETROIT] Australian Youth Rebellion in Sydney Over Police Killing

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Mon Feb 16 14:24:53 MST 2004


Sydney riots over Aborigine death 

More than 40 police officers have been injured in Sydney in a 
riot sparked by the death of an Aboriginal teenager. 

Angry youths torched a railway station and pelted police with 
petrol bombs and lumps of concrete in the mainly Aborigine 
district of Redfern. 

Thomas Hickey, 17, died after he was impaled on a metal fence 
when he fell off his bike. Police deny claims he was being 
chased by officers at the time. 

There are to be three inquiries into the boy's death and the 
riot. 

Four people have been arrested and charged over the riot, 
which last for nine hours. Police say they expect more 
arrests to follow. 

The BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney says this was the worst night 
of violence in Sydney for years, and will be a setback for 
race relations. 

New South Wales State Premier Bob Carr said his government 
would launch inquiries into the incident to establish how the 
teenager died and whether there was any police involvement. 

REDFERN RIOTS 

The three inquiries will be carried out by the state coroner, 
the police service and a public affairs watchdog. 
Local anger 

The riot broke out on Sunday night and continued into the 
early hours of Monday. 

Police reinforcements wearing riot gear were drafted in from 
across Sydney to quell the violence. 

Eight of the injured officers had to go to hospital. 

"At this stage one officer was knocked out by a brick that 
was thrown through the air and a number of others have got 
broken limbs, legs," Assistant Commissioner Bob Waites told 
reporters. 

At the height of the riots, some 100 people were said to have 
taken to the streets. 

"They burnt out one vehicle and they in fact were throwing 
Molotov cocktails both at police and at Redfern railway 
station during the course of the riot," said Mr Waites. 

Thomas Hickey's mother said her son was being pursued by 
police when he fell of his bike and became impaled on a metal 
fence. 

The allegation is strongly denied by the police. 

A local resident, identified only as Donna, told ABC radio 
that people were angry because they believed the police were 
responsible for the teenager's death. 

"He was murdered. We've been down to look at the spot and 
everything and there's no sign, they cleaned it up that 
quick," she said. 

One local community leader accused the police of harassing 
people who live in a rundown area of housing known as The 
Block. 

"You could interview every Aboriginal kid down there that 
comes from The Block, and the majority will tell you to your 
face... that they've all been bashed by the police," said 
Lyle Munro. 

The area is notorious for drug dealing, with heroin being 
sold openly in a local park. 


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3491299.stm

Published: 2004/02/16 07:49:53 GMT

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