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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Protest at Aboriginal trans death inquiry

SX NewsBy Reg Domingo -

Activists will converge at the coronial inquiry into the case of an Aboriginal transwoman who died while in custody, in support of the victim’s family.

The Glebe Coroner Court will hold an inquiry into the death of Veronica Baxter on Monday, April 4-5, two years since her death.
Baxter, who lived as a woman for fifteen years, was found dead in 2009, six days after being placed in an all-male correctional facility.
Supporters claim that no information has yet been given regarding the circumstances surrounding her death.
The inquiry follows a campaign by a coalition of activist groups demanding an inquiry be held, including the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), Sex and Gender Education (SAGE), Still Fierce, The Greens, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, and Queer Collaboration Conference 2010.
Rachel Evans of Community Action Against Homophobia is urging people to “protest this horrendous crime committed against Veronica Baxter”.
“Another black death in custody and brutalisation of a transgender woman in the Australian prison system. Come and show your anger,” Evans said.
The Indigenous Social Justice Association were more scathing of the inquiry, saying it will be a "whitewash" and "will not bring real justice for Veronica Baxter or her family".
"No police person or prison warden has ever been charged with a black death in custody," said Indigenous Social Justice Association spokesperson, Ray Jackson.
"Look at the tragedy of the Palm Island events, six and a half years and still no justice. For this reason, we need to be present to bear witness and protest the lies and cover-up that will ensue.”
The inquiry comes as the Senate last week backed a Greens motion marking the twentieth anniversary of a Royal Commission report into Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues, said it was disappointing that the majority of the Royal Commission recommendations have not been fully implemented.
“We look forward to the release of the report into the progress in implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission by the NSW Aboriginal Legal Service later in the year, and will continue to work to see the recommendations put into practice.”


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