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that some of them were bashed and aetserrd but they eventually got rid of the laws (the Queensland Acts). Sam raised the Lex Wotton campaign and attempts to have police held accountable for the death of Mulrunji. He spoke of aboriginal organisations like Murri Watch that try to prevent black deaths in custody. He spoke of the unfair rates of incarceration for aboriginal people. 35 40 % of the jailed population is aboriginal when they make up on 2.5 % of the total Australian population. Sam said that aboriginal people are not a criminal people. When they go to court they have a greater chance of being convicted than white people. We are not a criminal people but we are being aetserrd at a higher rate, the system is designed to keep us in there designed to incarcerate aboriginal people. Not withstanding the UN declaration of human rights. He spoke about Mulrunji and Lex Wotton. A campaign was mounted, the trial was down here in the Brisbane district court, send a Christmas card or a letter to brother Lex. The lawyers are going through the transcript to see if an appeal can be mounted. A senior police officer admitted to having lied on the stand he had lied to protect his mate Snr Sgt Chris Hurley.We are demanding a royal commission into the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee, the police witness have all lined up behind Hurley and protected him. Hurley did admit that he had caused a death of a prisoner in his custody. Maintain massive public pressure. Hurley breached at least 11 key recommendations of the royal commission into black deaths in custody. We are asking that an aboriginal person survive the night in jail. We want police to remember the recommendation of the royal commission. Not just aboriginal person, there are suspicious deaths of non-indigenous.He spoke of police violence and its effect on aboriginal people and drew parallels with police brutality by democratic' regimes elsewhere. He spoke of the 15 year old Greek boy who was shop by police on the streets of Athens, the two police have been stood down and aetserrd under criminal charges. He spoke of the 15 year old Melbourne boy in Northcote in Melbourne who was shot by Victorian police the day before. Sam reminded people of the tragic death of John Pat in Roebourne in West Australia. John Pat was bashed to death by 4 police in Roebourne WA and yet an all white jury took only a few minutes to acquit them on all counts. [See Uncle Jack Davis' poem called 'John Pat']. We have made a solemn contract with the people of Palm Island that we will find the people responsible for the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee.He argued that we maintain the pressure, bring forward the petition, break down the locked watchouse doors, to get inside the Palm Island watchouse and find out what happened to Mulrunji, the unlawful killing of Mulrunji, and bring the people responsible before a court and have them held accountable.Two comrades from the trade union movement stepped forward with a red flag. The older trade union man read out a poem about the intervention, the human rights question, the stolen generation, black deaths in custody and the latest being the incarceration of Lex Wotton :True owners and caretakers of this landThis wonderful, wonderful sun kissed landHow proud you make us for what you standYou stand against the oppressor's hand.Those who rape and plunder your earthAll in the name of the dollars worthYour culture, your life, your children goneLittle wonder you feel so degraded and wornFor the oppressor only knows one kind of wealthThat of greed for his own oneself.This, true owners and caretakers of this landThis wonderful, wonderful sun-kissed landHow proud you make us for what you standYou stand against the oppressor's hand.And like your great dream-timeOthers too, can hope and dreamThat the might of right will overcomeThis avarice greed so openly done.Andrew Bartlett then spoke to emphasize two points. He acknowledged the traditional owners of the land like the others who spoke. He spoke of the universal declaration of human rights, that Doc Evatt [a former Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs (i.e. Foreign Affairs) , and also a former Labor Opposition Leader] was heavily involved in making and that we should be proud that our people and our government led this (new develpment). He spoke of the degradation of human rights at the same time, how leaders and community were blind to that when they went up on the international stage to put forward the UN declaration of human rights. However to do this when aboriginal people did not have the right to vote, no freedom of movement, were locked up and jailed and placed on reserves, this showed the lack of recognition of indigenous Australia. He spoke of the the proposed charter of rights (a bill of rights) and that it would be a good idea but that it is just a law. He warned about laws that they can be changed, laws like the racial discrimination act can be changed (as has happened in the NT). Andrew said that the voice of the people is the only thing that can change laws and to make sure that they are administered properly. He said that it may have been lawful that Lex Wotton was jailed, but it is not just, there is no way that it was just and nor was it lawful that Mulrunji was killed in police custody.Andrew said: We can only get good laws by community pressure. That is the key message of human rights day and that there is no where that these laws have been administered so unjustly as they have against aboriginal people.An indigenous woman then spoke, she said that she was 37 years old and was a foster mother to many indigenous kids. She said that three of her boys had died in custody. She has a son with a mental illness, and he has a nine year old daughter: my son is a schizophrenic, an indigenous young male looking after his daughter, and the police made him out to be a pedophile, when all he was doing was looking after his daughter. She spoke of the times she went to police watchouses only to find that her kids had been beaten up, they had black eyes and cut lips. She said that the bulleyman (cops) thought that they could get away with anything, she said that she too had been bashed by 6 police because she voiced her opinion. She sauid that she stood up for her rights and went to court but that the bulleyman lied on oath . Because she stuck up for her rights, she went to the supreme courts, she had been abused and molested in Wilston Prison as a young woman, and the only compensation that she got was $7,000. She blamed Anna Bligh, she said that she was wrong. Our younger generation have to get out and fight for their rights. The bulleyman have to be made subject to traditional law. Uncle Sam Watson, my foster father, he has helped me, he taught me how to find out where I came from and who i was and to stand up for myself. The next speaker spoke abut the NT intervention and how aboriginal people are coming off second best. He said that the economic disadvantage of aboriginal people in the NT. He explained how racist ideology was being used to justify austerity during the economic downturn, he said that all oppressed minorities had to unite to prevent this. That there had been an upturn in racism blaming unemployment on migrant workers. it is fight against the system, a system for thew rich, a fight against racism involves all society, all the working class, the unions have to get involved.The next speaker said that it was no surprise the way the laws were used against aboriginal people when the economy was a war economy to fight against the people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Australian troops are killing people overseas. We do not want a parliamentary system. How much is spent on the war to kill people. We need to end the war. We need a workers revolution, we need to do it through workers struggle and should join a socialist organization and to take an anti-war position.A Palm Island man, Vaughan, spoke next. He siad that he wanted to talk about the Palm Island people. He said that Lex Wotton and Cameron Doomadgee were well respected by the people in his community and how tragic it was when Cameron died. He said that he and his family lived with Lex and his family on Palm Island. Good men like Lex and Cameron and many more people that get punished in our society, but there are racists and liars in (broader) society, we want to see justice in our community, were suffering, because of the lies of others. You cannot replace innocent people like Cameron Doomadgee, we can tell lie and cheat and con, we can lie to ourselves but not to god. Lex Wotton is a good man. I grew up with Lex for years in a valley on Palm Island, we shared and cared for each other. Lex never swore [Editors Note: police verbals had Lex swearing profusely during the confrontation on Palm Island for which Lex was given 6 years jail] and he always told the truth, he was a good father, a good brother and he got punished for stranding up. But we have to live with liars He got jailed for standing up for his rights, for another brother that got murdered in a cell. A palm island man yelled out form the crowd, it was the government The innocent get bashed Yeah Cameron Doomadgee was not a cheeky man he had a lot of love in his heart, the innocent get bashed, the innocent get murdered, Why? Why? [Editors Note: police allege that Cameron was cheeky to Snr Sgt Hurley and this was the reason he was aetserrd. The coroner said that Cameron's arrest was unlawful. No punitive action has yet been taken against Hurley for his unlawful arrest and killing of Cameron Doomadgee] He (Hurley) walked free Palm Island had never been the same, I cry when I go to Palm, I cry when I get off that boat, I cry. Amongst my people, it still lives on, the lies still live in our society. I am not a racist person I have a lot of white friends, there is no one better than the next person, the cruelty to aboriginal people, it stinks! it stinks! It is disrespectful to our community, to our elders, all we ask for is respect , always respect your elders no matter who they and what they are, there is no respect no more, the world has been turned upside down, the world has to be shaken! Do something! For our children! For black and white children! i was walking down the road the other day, I am glad to be be an aboriginal person, I was called a big nosed bastard'. That is disrespectful! Mark Gillespie said that we are not going to march but we are gong to have a discussion after the rally about the Northern Territory Intervention and what is happening next year, we are going to go to Canberra for the opening of parliament and we wish to discussion how we are going to organise that. [Opening of parliament convergence: 1-3 February 2009].Timothy Cummins, a bwgcolman man, spoke next, he told us how his mother was sent to Palm Island at the age of three: my mother along with 127 tribes and nations were sent to Palm Island. We have been through many trials, my mother was part of the stolen generation, this is the history, I am a descendant of that history, back in traditional times this would never have happened. Bwgcolman means many people one tribe, many tribes, one people. I cried during the stolen generation (apology), I cried day and night, for 48 hours for my people, me elders, me I am born free, i am not a yes person i tell the truth, my ancestors they were born in chains, this system has got to recognise this, the apology earlier in the year that was one step, compensation that has git to come next, any of our people that die, they die, it is wrong, there is a lore in this country, it has been here for a long time, (before the white fella came). It is about respect for my grandmother, for our elders. I live by that lore. You talk about human rights, well come and sit in our shoes, I work in the T'vlle cultural centre, and tourists come and say what a beautiful country you have, and i tell them straight, you come a sit in our camp and you tell us how beautiful it is. It is not really nice at all, when you live in a native land. That is all i have to say thank you. The next speaker was also a bwgcolman who left 40 years ago, I am also a human being, i bleed red, i cry, i remember, a lot of people don't know about my dad, he was the first indigenous person to win a gold medal in boxing, but he won the gold medal even before he got into that ring, there were a lot of white people who wanted him to lose. [Editors Note: Former bantamweight boxing champion Jeffery Dynevor made history at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth as the first Aboriginal person to win a gold medal. He died in July 2008, Born in the south-western Queensland town of Thargomindah, he moved to Cherbourg as a boy when his parents were forcibly sent to a mission. See ].To love one another, a lot of people are forgetting what it is to be a human being. We have desires and greed that stems our growth, the injustice aginst our people, my people, when all the trees are born and everything dies, then so do we, if you gonna mess with mother nature, you keeping hurtin' her she will hit back, and there is nothing you can do about it. He recited a poem that he wrote while in prison:I belong to this landBut you came and took herAnd left me to dieInto your world you took meBut I must never cryBefore you cameI was immune to your material raceFor I was happy and I belongedTo this, my native placeYou showed me greedy ways of life, loathingI have never been beforeAlso, violent wars and strifeA world that you adoreThough gospel preachThou shalt not killYou say your god is true?But why did you do this?To my people?Which I will never do to youSo let me get some atom bombsAnd play a christian game.If Jesus Christ came back todayOn who would he lay this blame.Like atoms we are forced to liveDevoid of pride and raceSpite and self-denialIs all from yours, you gave.I do not wish priorityBut simple human rightsTo live as my ancestors didIn peace and not in fights.The last aboriginal speaker said that he came from Torres Strait, he said he wanted to voice his concern about death in custody, he said that he did not speak em good English but that was alright, Palm Island they are my people too, they come from Thursday island everything that is of concern on palms Island is my concern. If you do something wrong then you get speared through leg and that is it. He cried. Free Lex, OK. That was his message. He then sang his own version of Tie me kangaroo down sport .Lauren Mellor closed the rally, thanking everyone for stepping up to speak out, she told people that the Aboriginal Rights Coalition meets every Wednesday at Trades Hall in Peel Street South Brisbane. (with a break until next year before the convergence to Canberra and Invasion Day).After the rally I gave a letter to Sam Watson together with 285 signed petitions. To read the petition click here is the letter that i gave Sam:To Sam Watson106 Norton StreetUpper My Gravatt 4122Hello Sam,This is to let you know that I have 285 signed petitions to free Lex Wotton. These were collected by members of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition after Lex was jailed in November this year.There are another 404 online petitions on the T'vlle Indigenous Rights Group website Plus there are 56 messages of support to your petition on Workers Bush Telegraph.These are in addition to the ones that you have already handed to the Speaker of the Parliament. If you get a chance, could you please pass this information on to Lex Wotton and his family? This is a small sign of appreciation considering the sacrifice they have all made.I will give you the original petitions when we next meet, hopefully at the Human Rights rally on 13 December 2008. In solidarity,Ian Curr13 December 2008