In response to Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s comments on ABC Radio this morning, likening last week’s attack on the US Capitol building to Black Lives Matters protests, Amnesty International Indigenous Rights Lead, Nolan Hunter, said:
“The Acting Prime Minister must immediately withdraw his deeply offensive comments that compared the violent attacks on the US Capitol to the historic and important Black Lives Matters movement that swept the world last year. He must be condemned in the strongest terms.
“To call the Black Lives Matters movement ‘race riots’ proves that the Acting Prime Minister ignored the incredibly important message that it shared. Here, Australians are sick of Indigenous lives not mattering like white lives, Australians are sick of Indigenous people dying younger than non-Indigenous Australians, Australians are sick of Indigenous people being locked up.
“Remember, since the 1991 Royal Commission there have been 441 Aboriginal deaths in custody. Black Lives Matter showed that all Australians no longer accept this.
“To call the Black Lives Matters movement ‘race riots’ also shows that the Acting Prime Minister ignored the hundreds of thousands of people who stood in solidarity, here and around the world, who want to make systemic racism a thing of the past.”.
Following the release by the government on Saturday of proposals for an Indigenous Voice. Hunter said:
“If it is the government’s line to dismiss Black Lives Matters as ‘race riots’ two days after proposing an ‘Indigenous voice’, they clearly have much work to do to get onto the same page as the community”.