Black Lives Matter march seeks justice for Elijah
THE CLARENCE Valley's indigenous community has joined in a nationwide call for justice for their people with a march down Prince St.
About 200 indigenous and non-indigenous people formed up in Market Square before marching along the Prince St footpath to Grafton Court House.
The marchers joined in a nationwide movement to protest against the sentence imposed on the man who caused the death of 14-year-old Aboriginal boy Elijah Doughty near Kalgoorlie last year.
Last week the 56-year-old man, whose name has been suppressed, was cleared of manslaughter in the Perth Supreme Court. He was given a three-year sentence for the lesser charge of dangerous driving causing death.
The verdict prompted rallies in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.
In Grafton marchers blocked traffic in Victoria St while a dance troupe performed, then headed to the steps of Grafton Police Station for an address by one march organiser, Bianca Monaghan.
Ms Monaghan, a Bundjalung woman, was thrilled by the turnout.
"It was an awesome feeling to see so many people come out, whether they were Aboriginal or not," she said.
"As a community we need to stand together to get justice for our people."
Another march organiser, Rachael Cavanagh, said the Elijah Doughty case had similarities to other local cases including the 2011 death of Maclean woman Lynette Daley and the murder of three Aboriginal children in Bowraville.
"People can jump up and down and say it's not racism, but it is," Ms Cavanagh said.
"If that had been three white children or a white woman, it would have been handled totally differently and we wouldn't have to be here on the street marching."