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Friday, May 14, 2021

Canberrans stand, and kneel, in solidarity for Black Lives Matter

Hundreds of Canberrans stood, and knelt, outside Parliament House this afternoon (Saturday 6 June), in solidarity with the worldwide Black Lives Matter protest movement against police brutality and racial inequality.

The protests were ignited by the death of black American man George Floyd in Minnesota on 25 May, but has also drawn attention to the 434 Indigenous Australians who have died in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission.

The crowd knelt silently for nine minutes to pay their respects to George Floyd before event organiser, South-Sudanese Australian man Dhëïu BM spoke of his difficulties living as a black man in Australia after fleeing war in his home country.

He called on white Australians to have difficult conversations about race.

Indigenous woman Kenya Matsebula challenged the crowd to remember the name of the last Indigenous person to die in custody in Canberra and said police brutality was not just a problem in the US.

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