The 9th of October; But These Are Only Our Kid's Toys

 2008,  102 x 146 cms

The Federal Government's response, mid 2007, to dysfunction in the NT's indigenous communities has divided both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. That inequalities and dysfunction are entrenched is an indisputable national disgrace. The means of implementing an intervention is seriously questioned. In the town camps indignation at this most recent discrimination is common. On October 9th, 2008, a dozen police dressed in bullet-proof vests and waving their guns, came commando style, unannounced into the Kunoth's residence at Charles Creek camp. They were acting on a report from the fire brigade that had seen a firearm in an Aboriginal car entering camp. The household was terrified and, in short, it eventuated that the suspect weapon was a tiny plastic toy rifle.. Members of the family rallied in protest, demanding an explanation, if not an apology and lodged an official complaint at the Police Station.

Subsequently the police publicly justified their actions and sought to endistance their unprecedented level of interrogation from leverage afforded by the Intervention. Officially, they were just doing their job in a responsible manner.

Is likening the terror of this situation to that of the massacred insurgents of Goya's, 3rd of May an extravagance? I propose, as with the Intervention in general, that the ends do not justify the means; that an indelible imprint has been visited upon those children that night and that the adult's perception of continuing injustices have been ramified.