Friday, June 05, 2020

SILENT protest in solidarity for Black Lives Matter

YOUNG Wadawurrung woman Macaylah Johnson calls for unity and respect for all races as Ballarat grapples with the ripple effects of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Much more civilized than what we have seen in the USA

Parts of the USA have reverted to the law of the jungle in response to the George Floyd death

Ms Johnson will be part of a silent stand against Aboriginal deaths in custody in Camp Street on Saturday, joining with representatives from the city's African community and Ballaarat Allies (non-Indigenous supporters). The demonstration is made in solidarity with calls for equality in justice after the death of African American man George Floyd in custody.

Silence speaks more than shouting or blame. This is not about whites versus blacks, this is about everyone against racism and discrimination.

Ms Johnson said she was a firm believer all lives matter but she could not comfortably follow the emerging all lives trend while there were statistical gaps and disadvantage due to skin colour and race. This includes casual racism.

I think a lot of the time racism has a lot of excuses...It gets swept under the carpet with the language and jokes we say but really it can be hurtful for a lot of people.

"I want to help educate what is happening here and happening close to home for our indigenous and refugee communities - indigenous communities aren't the only ones discriminated against," Ms Johnson said.

Ms Johnson's call is echoed by a cross-section of community cultural leaders across Ballarat. This includes Indian-Australian man Ronnie Singh, who has been hurt by verbal abuse as a black man and called for greater respect and understanding between cultures.

Respect and reflection is why the Camp Street demonstration, organised by Ballarat Allies, will be silent.

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