The white system gets in the way of our law – and now we are scared of our sons being shot

As mothers and grandmothers, our spirits are crying. We want to meet with the NT commissioner of police

Theresa Alice and Amelia Turner The Guardian November 20, 2019

Quentin Walker Jurrah protests in front of the Alice Springs police headquarters over the death of his grandson.Photograph: Rhett Hammerton

The death of Mr Walker affects everyone. This could have been any of our children.

We are two grandmothers who work as traditional healers at the Akeyulerre Healing Centre in Alice Springs. We can’t sit down; we all need to stand up and be united. This is not just one nation suffering. As Aboriginal people we are all suffering. We are giving the Yuendumu families our support. They took away a life that was so young. People want to know the truth.

As a mother you feel hurt and as a grandmother. Our spirits are crying – it is affecting his family but it is affecting everyone. When you read it in the newspaper it is the police’s story, but talking to the families we hear a different story.

Everyone has bad experiences of the police coming to our family homes, making people feel scared. Our young people are being stopped just walking down the street. They are harassed and are not safe. We are watching our families going into paddy wagons, courts and prison. We feel as if we are suffocating. The law is suffocating us. Our voices are being stopped.

All Aboriginal people are rising up and standing up. We are saying enough is enough. We need to defend our law and they need to change their system. They need to understand us. Not treat us like cattle.

It is their system. It’s all about their law. What about our law? They call us lawless people. But we have our law. If you break those laws there are consequences. All Aboriginal people have this law.

Our system is about responsibility, punishment and healing; it is about the whole community. Our law doesn’t hide behind doors. It is seen by everyone. It is transparent. It brings people together, it puts things to rest, and it is not dragged out. It is dealt with and it is finished. We can move on.

The white system gets in the way of our law. It stops us from healing our community. That wound stays. It is hard to heal that wound. It gets deeper and deeper. People wear that scar for life because of the white system……………………

Sophie Trevitt  We are all implicated in the system that cost Kumanjayi Walker his life

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We want the police to come to the table – a round table – like a campfire – we can bring all of our concerns – out of that fire will come peace………..

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