Beautiful War

Bite your tongue. Don’t make a scene dear everybody’s been here at least once before but we’ve been here more. I’ve seen it all go comeback around I’ve heard the sound. The tip of your tongue the top of your lungs Is doing my head in. I say love don’t mean nothing left them something worth fighting for, It’s a beautiful war.

These are the words that stick in my head. Twelve minutes before the scheduled 3pm start time, the NSW Court of Appeal declared the rally an authorised public assembly, meaning protesters could not be arrested for blocking roads along the planned route from Town Hall to Belmore Park.

Demonstrators cheered when the decision was handed down, with organisers declaring it a victory for the people. The rally was one of many to take place across the country on Saturday aiming to draw attention to the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have died in custody in Australia.

Leetona Dungay, whose son David Dungay Jr died in Long Bay jail in 2015 after repeatedly shouting “I can’t breathe”, said she was emotional after becoming aware of the appeal’s success.

“We’re going to get justice for David today,” she told Contrast News.

“We are going to march on our land where they put my son’s body underneath our feet.”

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said the appeal’s success was “great news” and urged attendees to be “as safe as we possibly can”.

Many protesters had publicly pledged to attend regardless of the court’s ruling, with the rally’s organisers also promising to hand out face masks and hand sanitiser nearby.

Some demonstrators carried signs saying “Police the police” and “Same story different soil”, while most breached social distancing rules to hear speakers on the steps of Sydney Town Hall.

In the midst the protest a 50 something male form Sutherland Shire made no friends with his chants of all lives matter. He was quickly detain by NSW Police and taken to Rocks Police staion. At this stage no charges have been laid.

By SJ STARK FOR CONTRAST MEDIA

PUBLISHED: 20:10 AEST, 6 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12.29 AEST, 7 June 2020

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