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Amid Black Lives Matter protests, these incidents show the reality for Indigenous Australians.

Last Saturday, tens of thousands of Australians swept the streets of the nation to protest against racism and the systemic injustices faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

As Instagram account Misterbirdz highlighted, in the same week as these protests, a number of incidents have occurred, proving to be emblematic examples of exactly why the Indigenous Lives Matter movement is so important in Australia.

 

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Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free… #blacklivesmatter #alwayswasalwayswillbe

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Here’s what has happened in the past week alone…

Indigenous teenager abandoned by a hospital.

One week ago, 18-year-old Kahliyha McKellar feared she would die when she was thrown out of Melbourne’s St Vincent’s hospital after suffering a drug overdose.

She spent three hours unconscious on the ground, as strangers cared for her.

Speaking to 7Newsthe teenager explained: “They were sticking their fingers in my back – poking me to wake me up.

“I woke up crying and then I was dragged outside and I couldn’t walk.

“I could have died.”

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St Vincents CEO Angela Nolan said she was “deeply concerned” about the incident and confirmed there will be an investigation into the matter.

Aboriginal deaths in custody increases.

On the same day as the Black Lives Matter protests campaigned for the end to Aboriginal deaths in custody, it was announced that a 40-year-old Indigenous man had died while in police custody at a prison in Western Australia.

Western Australia’s Department of Justice said in a statement the man could not be revived upon being found, and was pronounced dead at hospital. Police say there does not appear to be anything suspicious, but they will be investigating the death, and confirmed there will be an inquest.

Signs at the Black Lives Matter rallies referred to the at least 432 Aboriginal deaths in custody since the royal commission into the issue ended in 1991, as reported by Guardian Australia. But since then, the publication has confirmed this week that number has now increased to 437 Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Listen: ‘I Can’t Breathe’: George Floyd’s Final Words Echo An Australian Shame. Post continues below audio. 

BHP to destroy at least 40 Aboriginal sites.

On Thursday, it was confirmed that mining giant BHP has been given the green light to destroy ancient Aboriginal sites in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The area covers at least 40 significant indigenous sites, including the Djadjiling Range, which contains rock shelters and is an area that has been occupied for up to 45,000 years.

According to Guardian Australia, the native title holders of the land, the Banjima people, told the WA government they do not support the destruction of the site and stated they would “suffer spiritual and physical harm if they are destroyed”. Despite their opposition, the plan is going ahead.

Aboriginal boy slammed to ground in Surry Hills.

nsw indigenous arrest
Image: Facebook.
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Last week, video emerged of a police officer slamming a 17-year-old Indigenous boy to the ground in Surry Hills.

The officer's use of force came after one of the teenagers in the video was heard saying "I’ll crack you across the jaw, bro."

The teen, who cannot be named under NSW law, was treated for minor injuries at St Vincent's Hospital before being released without charge.

The constable involved, who has been in the police force for three years, has been placed on restricted duties while a review is carried out.

Video by Mamamia

Four-year-old Aboriginal girl allegedly accused of stealing in Big W.

Earlier this week, the ABC reported a four-year-old Aboriginal girl was allegedly grabbed by a Big W employee who accused her of stealing clothing.

"As we were leaving, one of the staff grabbed my four-year-old daughter by the back of the neck and ripped her hoodie back," the girl's father, Michael Donovan, told ABC.

His daughter was wearing new clothes, gifted to her by her grandparents.

An investigation by SA Police concluded, upon viewing CCTV footage, that she was "not grabbed or injured". However, when the ABC reportedly requested to see the footage, both Big W and SA Police refused.

An Aboriginal woman allegedly "body-slammed" by prison guards.

This week, reports emerged that an Aboriginal inmate in Bandyup Women’s Prison in Perth was hospitalised and in a critical condition after allegedly being "body-slammed" by a prison guard. The alleged incident occurred on Saturday.

The Department of Justice has since rejected these claims, and said they found no evidence she was subjected to excessive or unnecessary force, reports SBS News.

The department said on Thursday that the prisoner's "need for urgent medical treatment arose from pre-existing conditions".


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