Pressure and process
LEANNE Clare’s decision late yesterday not to call for an independent review into her findings in the Doomadgee death in custody case was probably expected yet still heartbreaking for the people of Palm Island and the family of Mulrunji. Just as Premier Beattie’s announcement that from now on all indigenous deaths in custody would be treated as suspicious underwhelmed many in the community, Ms Clare’s announcement that no further action would be taken on the case proved a disappointing counterpoint for indigenous Australians to the great optimism provided by Wednesday’s day of national action. The challenge, now that all legal avenues seem to have been exhausted, is not to fall into the old trap of violent reaction. As many on Palm have learned to their detriment, it solves nothing and provides only a temporary solution to the despair generated by what many see as the system’s failure to act on their behalf. Far better to keep up the pressure legally, determine to be part of the process which finds solutions for the myriad problems which beset indigenous Australia and honour the memory of all those who have died in custody by continuing the hard work of finding a better future.