Arrente Grandmas support Voller Family

Sign the petition https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/stop-the-persecution-stand-with-the-voller-family-freedom-and-justice-for-aboriginal-youth
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Arrente grandmas deliver statement in support of Dylan Voller during a court appearance

MPARNTWE, Thursday 5th October: Arrente grandmas and supporters of Dylan Voller gathered outside the Northern Territory Supreme Court today during his court case. They are calling for all fines resulting from the recent #ShutYouthPrisons protest to be dropped and for NT Corrections to stop any further action against Dylan.

Four Arrente grandmas made statements to the media, addressing the concerns that the community shares about the way the NT government.
Pat Ansell-Dodds , Arrente grandmother and Traditional Owner for Undoolya
Sabella Kngawarre, Arrente grandmother and Tradtional Owner for Mparntwe
Pamela Kngawarre, Arrente grandmother and Traditional Owner for BlackTank
Doreen Carrol, Western Arrente and Luritja grandmother of 38 and great-grandmother

Vision, photos and audio available on request.
The following statement was read by Pamela Kngawarre and Doreen Carrol

Stop the persecution – stand with the Voller family – Freedom and justice for Aboriginal youth

5 October 2017 Mparntwe

Dylan Voller suffered horrible torture in NT youth prisons from 11 years of age. Incredibly, he has come out of prison and played an inspiring role advocating for justice and positive alternatives for Aboriginal youth caught in the system.

His family, particularly his mother, Joanne and sister, Kirra Voller, campaigned prominently for Dylan’s release and have played a continuing, prominent role in the campaign to close youth prisons that has taken place through the NT Royal Commission process.

Through all of this, the family has been persecuted by the NT police. They are attacking what the Voller’s represent – resilience and power in the face of extreme state violence and a growing movement for change.

On Friday September 29, NT police targeted both Joanne and Dylan for arrest at a peaceful demonstration calling to shut youth prisons and for justice for victims of Aboriginal deaths in custody. This was a provocation that led to further arrests, including of black youth simply participating in the rally. The protesters broke no laws and police were unable to lay criminal charges, instead they issued fines for “disorderly conduct”.

This arrest of Dylan is being used by NT Corrections to argue that he has breached his suspended sentence conditions, just three days out from him finishing supervision. He must not be allowed to return to prison as a result of participation in a protest, a basic democratic right.

Meanwhile, on three separate occasions over a two week period, large numbers of police have come to Joanne’s house, each time in response to a small fire being used to cook kangaroo tails in the backyard. Joanne has broken no law – this is blatant harassment and intimidation.

We the undersigned stand with the Voller family. We call for an end to the persecution of the family by the NT Police and other authorities. We call for all fines resulting from the recent protest to be dropped and for NT Corrections to stop any further action against Dylan.

We are extremely concerned that there has been no action taken by the NT government to bring the perpetrators of torture on Aboriginal youth in NT prisons to justice, or make any fundamental changes in the way the system is operating. We will stand with all families suffering as a result of this system and fight for Aboriginal self determination in youth justice issues – build communities not prisons!

Pat Ansell-Dodds , Arrente grandmother and Traditional Owner for Undoolya
Sabella Kngawarre, Arrente grandmother and Tradtional Owner for Mparntwe
Pamela Kngawarre, Arrente grandmother and Traditional Owner for BlackTank
Doreen Carrol, Western Arrente and Luritja grandmother of 38 and great-grandmother

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