David Cole speaks to a rally at State Square w to protest the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford
David Cole speaks to a rally at State Square w to protest the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford

Darwin protest calls for justice after shooting

DEMONSTRATORS have called for justice at a large rally in Darwin to protest the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu.

Hundreds of protesters chanted "justice for Walker", "we want justice" and for police to "stop killing us" as a smoking ceremony took place at Darwin's State Square before the rally moved to the steps of parliament on Wednesday.

Demonstrators gather at Parliament House in Darwin to protest the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford
Demonstrators gather at Parliament House in Darwin to protest the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford


Police blocked the doors of Parliament House during the protest.

Protester David Cole said leaders from all tribal and ethnic groups in Australia needed to unite to solve the greater issue of disharmony across the country.

"We need to unite, we need to take back our community, we need to take back our self determination, we need to take back our right to govern our own affairs, we need to take back our right to look after the land and care for it as we have for 70,000 years," he said.

 

A protester shares her thoughts with the protest crowd at Darwin’s Parliament House. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford
A protester shares her thoughts with the protest crowd at Darwin’s Parliament House. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford


"The reality of that is non-tribal people will benefit from that because we manage the land properly and there will be good water, good air, good food for everyone into the future."

Protest convener Teghan Hughes worked at 8PAW radio in Yuendumu for 18 months and said it was important for the indigenous communities from across the Territory, not just Yuendumu, to voice their opinions and feelings about the death on the weekend.

"Today is making sure a lot of the public know what the Walpiri are saying happened and what the police are saying happened and understanding they are two different stories," she said.

"It's just making sure the general public who maybe don't have an understanding of Yuendumu and the Walpiri people have a better understanding of it, it's a really great place, a really strong community … but there's also a lot of pain in the community and the way the police are there with their guns are intimidating them, there's a lot of fear in the community."

 

Dozens of police stood by at the protest and were also targeted with chants, with many protesters calling for them to leave and show respect given the circumstances of Mr Walker's death.

 

The Darwin rally followed protests in Alice Springs on Sunday.