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

rohan rohanp at greenleft.org.au
Mon Feb 16 15:27:18 MST 2004

Reports from a Redfern community meeting:

On Tue, 2004-02-17 at 08:24, Charles Brown wrote:
> 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. 
> 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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