Black Lives Matter protest in Lismore. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
Black Lives Matter protest in Lismore. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK

Emotions run high at Lismore’s #blacklivesmatter protest

ACROSS Australia Black Lives Matter protests, in response to indigenous deaths in custody and the death of George Floyd in the United States went ahead after a High Court ruling to stop the protests was overturned.

In Lismore, more than a thousand people gathered at Spinks Park, many carrying placards, some wore masks to protect themselves against COVID-19, many didn't.

Police blocked Molesworth St to traffic and the peaceful but emotional protest went ahead without incident.

Gilbert Laurin, who said he was a knowledge elder, invited anyone in the crowd to step up to the microphone and speak.

Emily Wightman read a heartfelt message from David Dungay's family.

Dungay, a 26-year-old Dunghutti man from Kempsey, died in Corrective Services custody at Long Bay prison hospital in 2015.

"The killing must stop," Ms Wightman said.

An inquiry into his death found no suspicious circumstances yet the family were told he cried out - "I can't breathe" 20 times.

The story echoes with Floyd's cries of "I can't breathe" to the policeman who pinned him down with his knee as Floyd choked to death.




The Dungay family said they are taking their fight for justice to the Attorney-General.

A photo of David Roberts was on the wall at Spinks Park.

His family were in the crowd.

The stories of black deaths in custody echo the #432 hashtag on social media highlighting the 432 black deaths in custody since the Royal commission in 1990.

Nimbin's Michael Baulderstone spoke to the crowd about the disproportionate number of Aboriginal people in jail.

"Racism is the problem," Mr Baulderstone said.

"Whitefellas are scared of blackfellas."

Towards the end of the rally, the crowd, joined by police officers, went down on one knee.