We are fighting in court to free our people - and winning

30th March 2020

Hello, Makayla here. I’m reaching out to you mob because right now many of us might be feeling cut off and disconnected from our family, friends and the world. 

Many of you are First Nations mob and worried sick for our elders, communities and of course family members in prison. But together we can fight for justice for our people and our communities.

Last week I put out a call to Governments, asking them to show compassion and justice for our brothers and sisters locked inside over-crowded prison cells and at direct threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporters were fast, with more than 4000 already signing their name and calling on others to join us. And Our deadly ALS teams across NSW and the ACT are working around the clock and fighting hard in court to get our mob released.
  
On Thursday, some of the hard-working lawyers at the ALS managed to free a young Aboriginal man. He said:

My dad died young - I'm right in the middle of these old fellas - if someone gets it, we all get it - they won't be able to look after us - I'm scared I'm going to get sick and die

This fulla was essentially in lock-down without access to: a shower for over 10 days; visitors; medical treatment nor recreational activities and programs.

The judge agreed with the ALS’ argument and he was released.

There are many more sisters and brothers inside who, like this man and my brother Nathan, are at severe risk from COVID-19 due to underlying health issues. We cannot allow them to be forgotten in this crisis. 

Last week, less than 48 hours after we launched the petition, the NSW Correctional Services Commissioner was granted emergency powers to release or parole people nearing the end of their sentence. Now we need to keep the pressure up and call for other States and Territories to do the same.

Whether it’s standing up for our young sisters and brothers who are the overwhelming targets of police inquiry and strip searches, or our Aunties and Uncles who are forced into the criminal justice system at disproportionate rates, we are fighting for justice. 

That’s why I’m reaching out to you, to share some good news and to ask if you want to share in our fight.  If you can chip in a few bucks so we can share this campaign as far online as possible, here is the link-

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In solidarity

Makayla Reynolds
Aboriginal Legal Service

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