Say their names!
The viral footage of African American man George Floyd being restrained on the ground by police in Minneapolis has been traumatising for the family of an Aboriginal man who died in custody in similar circumstances.
David Dungay Jr, a 26-year-old Dunghutti man from Kempsey, died in Long Bay prison hospital in 2015 after being forcibly moved to an observation cell, restrained face down, and sedated.
His nephew Paul Francis-Silva said it was hard not to compare his uncle’s death with George Floyd’s.
Hundreds have marched through Sydney’s CBD in solidarity with those protesting in the US over the death of George Floyd while being arrested in Minneapolis.
Starting from Hyde Park about 5pm on Tuesday, the 500 people at the rally chanted “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” as they weaved their way past NSW Parliament before arriving at Martin Place.
The protesters – most of whom wore masks – could also be heard chanting “always was, always will be Aboriginal land” as they simultaneously marched for the more than 400 indigenous Australians who have died in police custody since 1991.
Rodney Overby also known as “The Voice” is the host of KIIS FM radio show Rodney O’s Block Party. The former caller for The Sydney Kings used his voice to boom out over the protesters with the chant “BLACK LIVES MATTER”
Rodney who hails all the way from Philadelphia USA is now a local resident of the inner city, eastern suburb of Surry Hills in Sydney.
Rodney lived screened the protest back to his fans back home and in Australian and also spoke of the incident of the young 17 year old Korri boy in Surry Hills. Rodney Overby, who grew up Philadelphia, said he regularly heard about incidents similar to the Surry Hills arrest in other parts of the world.“That is news every day … it’s just because of this brother George being killed in the United States that people are asking up about it,” the 54-year-old told CM.
Another protester, Tegan Smith, said the arrest in Surry Hills “really hits home for me”.
“I have a younger brother the same age and every day I wonder if he’ll be the next one harassed by police,” the 23-year-old Aboriginal woman said.
“It’s scary and disgusting to be reminded police are doing this, even if it’s not surprising.”
Gadigal man Tristan Field, who spoke at the start of the Black Lives Matter rally in Hyde Park, commended organisers for putting black voices at the forefront of the action.
“This mob has let the black people lead this movement for the better,” Mr Field told CM.
The 26-year-old said he wasn’t surprised by an incident in Surry Hills on Monday that saw an Aboriginal teenager taken to hospital after having his legs kicked out from beneath him as he was arrested.
NSW Police are investigating the incident and on Tuesday placed the male officer who arrested the teenager on restricted duties.
“When I was a kid I got harassed by the police,” Mr Field said.
“I remember what it was like to live in fear and I know what it’s like to be scared that you might die.”
By SJ STARK FOR CONTRAST MEDIA
PUBLISHED: 16:10 AEST, 6 Jun 2020 | UPDATED: 17.14 AEST, 6 Jun 2020