Right now Aboriginal people in Australia are being harassed by police. Aggressively stopped, searched, cuffed and manhandled - too often for no good reason. When this is caught on camera, communities are able to stand up and fight back in court rooms. Communities want us to bring legal training and media so they can share their stories. Chip in - together we can make this urgent project possible.
This is a gift most needed. Figures show the unacceptable Aboriginal prison rates are due to to over-policing and harrassment.
We’ve seen horrific footage of Aboriginal people dying in police custody. We've seen the torture of Aboriginal kids at Don Dale which led to a Royal Commission. But more is happening on the streets and in communities across the country that is not being exposed. We need to make sure it is exposed. The National Justice Project can get pro bono lawyers and creatives to communities to train them in the skills they need safely capture injustice on video. Together, we can make this possible - Please donate.
Just last month a young man in Cairns, who was simply sitting down with his mate was cuffed, searched, man-handled and humiliated by police – he suspects that it was his Aboriginality which made him a target- a video of the incident reached 500 thousand people on social media.
Imagine if more Aboriginal communities would share daily police stories through the power of video? Accountability benefits the entire community, including police.
Our team is working pro bono, however with more oney we can reach more communities. Will you donate to help send human rights lawyers and media professionals to Aboriginal communities?
We've all seen how video footage in the USA has turned the killing of innocent black people into a national story. We want to make sure that footage here in Australia is recorded so that police brutality can be exposed.
With your support the National Justice Project and Aborginal lawyers and media pros, training and equipment will be provided to communities for evidence gathering and advocacy. Communities need to know what their legal rights are and how to share their stories.
If police know that they are being filmed, they are more likely to behave appropriately.
As Darumbul woman and journalist Amy McQuire says "it's important that we begin to document all the interactions with police... we can use this as evidence in court....media talk about being a voice for the voiceless but Aboriginal people want to be our own voice"
And Shaun Harris the uncle of Ms Dhu " People need to see what this racial profiling looks like on camera - i bet if you saw it on camera - you would feel sick. This racism is making Aboriginal people sick and it's killing them in custody and reducing their life spent with loved ones. "
Will you help chip in a few dollars right now to send pro bono lawyers and creative professionals to empower communities in their call for change?
The work may upset authorities, traditional funding sources are tricky. Government is obviously not an option.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes it is.
Who are the National Justice Project?
A pro-bono human rights law outfit in Sydney. We represent Indigeneous people and their famililies after they have terrible outcomes in the justice and health systems. We represent many refugees in Immigration detention camps.
How exactly will my donation be used?
The National Justice Project is running training sessions for Aboriginal communities in the use of smartphone technology to document police and community interactions. Training sessions will be delivered in vmetropolitan and remote locations across Australia. The training will target young people and will provide local people guidance on the laws, tools and techniques for using video to document wrongdoing and for advocacy. They will also gain skills in creating and editing video, drone use and social media.
We are travelling to communities who are asking for the training.
The aim of the training sessions is to channel community frustration into positive responses to abuses of authority by empowering people to use video evidence to seek justice and accountability.
It is also about skills training as well as building relationships with legal organisations so that local communities feel supported in doing this work.
We will prioritise safety when filming police violence including complying with relevant laws at all times.
For every $5000 we can reach a new community with human rights lawyers, Aborginal media profressionals, and drone trainers and drones and all the materials. Help us get to 20 communities. Help communities get justice.
While the lawyers will work pro-bono there are costs to reach communities!
What is the Law?
We will introduce participants to the importance of knowing their legal rights and obligations regarding copyright, trespass, filming in public, the use of listening devices and privacy as well as their obligations to comply with police requests/orders.
The legal use of drones will also be covered. As these laws are often State/Territory specific the NJP has already prepared State and Territory relevant material to cover these issues
How to capture footage that is relevant?
An understanding of the law is often necessary to understand what footage is relevant. For example, to prove an assault by a police officer in a court, you need to show that the assault happened, that the police officer had an intention and that the person arrested suffered harm. This means that there are a chain of critical events that must be caught on camera, not just the incident itself.
How to best manage captured footage?
Once the participants have footage that is reliable and relevant, we will explain how they can share and store it safely. Sharing is a complex topic, and there are many examples of good and bad ways to share footage.
What is success?
1. Leaving communities with basic skills in:
- Citizens Journalism
- Advocacy in Social Media
- The collection and storage of critical evidence
2. Leaving communities with an understanding of their legal rights and materials to distribute.
3. Relationships enhanced between local Aboriginal communities, human rights lawyers and creative professionals.
4. Improved accountability from police in their interactions with Aboriginal individuals and communities.
Stock Photo: By Angelina Potapova, APEC Sydney 2007 (not depicting harrassment of Aboriginal communities)