On 9 November 2019 the Yuendumu community was devastated when Northern Territory police officer Zachary Rolfe shot and killed 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker. Rolfe went to trial earlier this year and was acquitted by an all-white jury. The case brought to light many fundamental aspects of colonial policing such as Rolfe and fellow officers previously covering up violent arrests of Aboriginal boys that necessitated medical treatment. Rolfe, an ex-special forces officer, also described his role as having “fuck all… rules in the job” and likening it to the “wild west”. For over two years the Yuendumu, and wider Warlpiri community, have been fighting for justice for Kumanjayi Walker and against police violence.
After the verdict, many would have seen Warlpiri Elder Ned Jampijinpa Hargraves’ emotional appeal for justice and to remove firearms from Community. The Yuendumu community has come together to call for radical change and are asserting their rightful sovereignty. Community elders involved in the fight for justice have now launched the Karrinjarla Muwajarri Campaign calling for an immediate and ongoing ceasefire of police guns in community.
Their list of demands extends well beyond removing firearms from the hands of police in remote communities and includes defunding NT police entirely and asserting the rightful authority of the Warlpiri community to make decisions over their own lives. The Yuendumu community has highlighted the structural issues – such as the racist and discriminatory Northern Territory Intervention – as fundamental causes of their ongoing oppression by the settler-colonial state. They’re demanding their right to make decisions about their community without the coercive violence of the State.As the Warlpiri community are asserting their rights and taking the fight directly to the colonial state, they deserve our unwavering support and solidarity. They have called for a National Day of Action on 18 June 2022 right across the continent. Events have now been confirmed for Sydney, Adelaide and Alice Springs with more likely to be announced soon.
As anarchists we believe deeply in the rights of people to self-determination and to live free of state violence. We believe that all socialists should work to spread awareness of the Karrinjarla Muwajarri campaign and to provide practical solidarity where possible by attending actions, sharing their demands, and raising awareness within their unions, communities and organisations.
The Karrinjarla Muwajarri campaign is currently calling for endorsements and support. As socialists and rank-and-file unionists we will be agitating in our unions and our communities for endorsements of the campaign and for practical solidarity wherever possible. We call on our fellow unionists and activists to do the same.
For those looking for more information, campaign resources can be found at Karrinjarla Muwajarri campaign website, and the campaign is active on Instagram.
Signed in Solidarity by